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  • Writer's pictureErica

"The Obstacle is the Path"

Updated: Sep 12, 2023

Embracing Obstacles: The Path to a Growth Mindset

Obstacles present opportunities. Every obstacle we face cannot be navigated by avoidance. As much as we resist the urge to push ourselves to tackle it head-on, instead, we may choose a different route, a short cut, to try to avoid it all together. But why?

Each one of us has experienced challenges in our lives that were difficult and may have left us with an uneasy feeling, discomfort, fear, etc. It's not easy to bounce back from experiences that make us feel uneasy, and we make sure to take note to avoid any future experiences that may be similar. Previous experiences can be considered obstacles, but there are other obstacles that we avoid because we haven't experienced them, in fear of what the outcome may leave us feeling.

Engaging ourselves in obstacles can make us stronger, more resolute, and more in control of our choices in life. Rather than sidestepping obstacles to avoid them, embrace the challenge and shift your mindset to see it as an opportunity for growth and learning.

Here are a few examples that can be seen as an obstacle for most people:

Overwhelmed and stressed at work or in your personal life.

You can complain about this problem (and it will then continue for the rest of your life), or you can immerse yourself in reflecting on what is making you feel this way through self-exploration and uncovering the source of that stress and overwhelm.

  • You may learn that you have unrealistic expectations and ideals; learn to let go of them, and the stress will go away. You’ll now have a tool for dealing with stress for the rest of your life.

Shy or struggle to meet people.

This can be seen as an obstacle to social happiness. Many people will avoid this obstacle of shyness and instead stay home and avoid socializing. Instead, go towards this shyness, explore it, find out what your hesitation may be and work with that fear or discomfort.

  • You’ll get better at handling the fear, even letting go of it, and it will no longer stand in your way.

Being yourself.

Most of us are not exactly true to ourselves and will shy away from expressing our true likes, personalities, in fear of that we may do or say things differently than someone else. All to avoid the possibility of being criticized or judged by others. You could continue to suppress who you are in hopes that doing so, will prevent you from feeling all the above, or you could embrace and accept who you are and know that we are all unique and well, human.

  • This is a great opportunity to celebrate who you are. You will be surprised by the possible conversations that may emerge from being yourself. By being vulnerable, you invite learning opportunities for yourself and for others. You may find that people have similar interests or something learning a new perspective on something. You'll find a sense of peace when you challenge yourself to be yourself.

This month, look for the obstacles in your life and write about them. Find something that challenges you daily or something that you have been avoiding for quite some time. Challenge yourself to go into it head-on. Work with it. Explore it. Ask yourself, "What shortcuts am I taking to try to get around it? and Why?"

Learn from the experience, and you’ll have a skill for life.

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