What do you do when you’re facing obstacles in life?
How do you deal with those obstacles? Most people don’t like barriers. That makes a certain sort of sense. After all, when you’ve got a goal that you’re trying to accomplish, the last thing you want or need is something standing in your way.
Obstacles in life seem to make us stand still; they keep us from getting where we want to go. They cause us to lose whatever momentum we’ve built up. In worst-case scenarios, they become the roadblocks standing in the way of allowing us ever to get there at all.
With all this in mind, it’s no wonder obstacles look so daunting.
So How Do We Deal With Obstacles in Life?
What if obstacles in life weren’t as bad as you thought? What if the thing you’re facing right now might hold the solution to the very problem you’re trying to solve?
Consider this for a moment: What if what you’re looking at is not so much an obstacle as an opportunity? Our emotions can hold us back, making us think a constraint is a stopping point instead of a new beginning.
God uses so many different avenues to get our attention, sometimes we are aware we have wondered, other times we are shocked to find we are off the path He set for us.
How to Deal With Obstacles in Life? It’s Time to Rethink Them
Read on to find nine simple steps that will help you keep your emotions in check as you reach out and embrace obstacles.
It’s time to see the opportunities you never imagined were there and to travel new roads you’ve never been down before. Holding tight to His hand – or better yet, resting in His arms.
1. Take a Minute to Reconsider & Reconnect
Whatever you’re doing when you hit the obstacle, stop. When you stop, you give yourself time to consider the options without all the emotions flaring up. You guard yourself against acting impulsively in a way you might come to regret later on.
To do this, start by taking a deep breath or two. Define the emotions you’re feeling, then wait for them to calm. Knowing whether you’re sad, or angry, or frustrated will help you to find a calm place faster.
Once identified, we can address each emotion differently. For example, ask yourself what you’re angry at if you are indeed angry. If you’re sad, accept the sorrow as being a natural part of the disappointment of meeting something that keeps you from your goal.
As challenging as it might be, don’t try to rush through the feeling or push it down.
The best way to use this setback as fodder for out-of-the-box thinking is to embrace the emotion, no matter what it is.
Own it and feel it in your body. Once you think it’s settled, you’re ready to move on. Move on with God as the One that lights your path. Where is He shining the light right now?
This process may take an hour, a day, or a week, depending on how substantial the complication.
2. Accept Where You Are in Him
Realize obstacles in life happen. The more you fight them, the worse they’re going to seem. Like standing in quicksand, the sooner you come to accept the situation, the better it’s going to go for you.
It’s the struggle that pulls you down. So, take a minute to tell yourself this is a natural and healthy part of the process. Remember, the emotions you’re feeling are legitimate and real. It’s where you are, right now, at this moment. But the feeling won’t last forever.
Look closely at your faith walk, are you abiding the best you understand how? Be in His Word, in prayer, and in relationship. with other believers.
[ctt template=”8″ link=”b7b0e” via=”yes” ]Look closely at your faith walk, are you abiding the best you understand how? Be in His Word, in prayer, and in relationship. with other believers.[/ctt]
3. Flip the Switch with His Help
After acknowledging the emotions of the moment, choose to let them go. It’s time to switch over to the logical side of your brain, where you store wisdom and experiences. That’s where you’re able to process what is happening and consider your options.
Next, take a step back and look at the obstacle from an outside point of view. That means looking at it as if you were a stranger standing on the outside of your life looking in.
What would they see right now? Question your assumptions to find a unique solution.
4. Get Creative & He Can Flow Through You
Here’s where a little flexibility is going to go a long way. Start examining the alternatives. Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being ‘too silly.’ Or ‘dumb’. His ways are not our ways and obedience is not always comfortable. Sometimes it’s those unique ideas that are going to get you thinking along a different path entirely. His path.
God gave us each an innate creativity. He can and will work through us when we ask Him.
Sure, it’s normal to feel some disappointment at this point. Chances are you had your path all planned out. But when you consider all the new possibilities, it’s easy to get excited about trying something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.
5. Embrace the Lesson, He is Always Growing Us
Every obstacle in life holds something from which you can learn. Ask yourself what you gained in facing the roadblock.
How are you looking at the world differently? What can you share with those around you about your experience?
When you cannot only ask these questions but also answer them, you’re discovering the meaning in the lesson. You haven’t wasted your experience, and even roadblocks hold a purpose.
6. Break Things Down
Frequently our problem with obstacles in life starts with trying to take on too much at once. In moving forward, re-examine the goal you were trying to accomplish.
How can you break down your goal into smaller steps? By focusing on these more modest goals, you’ll find it easier to move ahead. Also, you won’t be quite so overwhelmed by the big picture.
Kaizen-style goal and habit setting are a low-stress way to reach huge success.
7. Admit You’re Only Human
When we rest in our weakness, He can use us to move mountains. Everyone makes mistakes. By permitting yourself to fail, you’ll accept obstacles that sometimes occur due to human error.
In some ways, these feel like the worst sorts of obstacles because it’s easy to get caught up in a negative thinking spiral when this happens. You might even start questioning your abilities and wind up wanting to give up on your goal altogether.
Here’s where it becomes crucial to keep things in perspective. By acknowledging you are only human after all, you’re able to admit when you are wrong and to move on. What’s more, you’ll be better able to accept when you make mistakes again in the future, because after all, you will. We all do.
When we let our guard down and admit our own humanness, other’s imperfections and quirks become so much more tolerable.
8. Reconsider the Goal – Get Aligned
In the end, it might be the obstacle was connected to what you were trying to accomplish in the first place. It might be the goal either wasn’t well thought out or isn’t what you needed to do in the first place. It might be time to consider the original premise all over again. Is God using this obstacle to tell you something?
Sometimes the obstacle comes because you’d made a shift in what you were trying to do. Have you somehow changed your goal midstream?
It might be you need to rethink your plan of attack entirely. When this happens, your obstacle has instead become an opportunity to move in a direction that suits your purposes better. And aligns more closely with His plan for you.
9. Don’t Forget to Celebrate!
It might seem odd to be thinking about celebrations when talking about obstacles. However, consider this: when you celebrate your accomplishments, you embrace the journey you’ve been on, barriers and all. Even if you’ve stalled out completely, you can celebrate the progress you made and the work you’ve. This is worth acknowledging, and the emotions here are worth considering.
Then when the party is over, ask yourself where you want to go from here. Make choosing a new goal part can be a component of the celebration. That’s also something to get excited over. What does He have in this for you?
Final Thought on Obstacles in Life: Ask for Help
As a note, you never have to do hard things alone. Through practicing and disciplining ourselves to abide in Jesus, we are never on our own.
“He has given us mighty weapons that we are able to utilize in this spiritual battle we’re involved in.”
When you’re facing an obstacle, it’s okay to ask for help. Mentors and support systems are integral to the process of working your way through difficulties.
The benefit of a mentor is clear. They may not have been in this position before, but God will often use their wisdom and insight to lead you through to the next stage of development.
Support systems are made up of those friends, co-workers, and relatives who can act as the bulwark to shore you up when you feel like you’re falling flat on your face. This group should only ever be made up of people who support you wholeheartedly.
That’s not to say they’re all cheerleaders or ‘yes-men.’ A sound support system is willing to speak up when they see you heading in what they perceive to be the wrong direction. They’re also there to encourage you and to remind you why you’re working toward this goal in the first place.
Finally, don’t discount professional help where it’s needed. If you find you’re having trouble separating your emotions from the process, you might need a little bit of help in working things through. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from a counselor or medical professional if you find you’re overwhelmed and unable to proceed.
In the end, by embracing the obstacles you meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re likewise embracing a new way of thinking.
You’re adjusting your mindset to one of success instead of failure. Success in obedience.
You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things standing in your way are more often new opportunities than an exact stopping point. You’re looking at life in a way that allows you to go places you never thought possible before.
The key here is in abiding in your faith. Your emotions shouldn’t be what’s holding your back. Of course, it’s okay to feel what you do when you meet with an obstacle. The key is in not staying there when it’s time to move forward again because you will move forward again if you keep following hard after the One that knows the path He has set for you.
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Cate Leach is the creator of Blessed Reject, a brand that is focused on helping women overcome emotional trauma, rejection, and betrayal. Additionally, Cate is a Personal Protection for Women expert and offers in-person and online workshops to educate, empower and equip women and children to defend themselves. Online seminars for your company available. Cate is a stay-at-home guru who has been working and educating her seven children and two grandsons at home for over 25 years.
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