We will all face adversity at some point in our lives that will cause us to experience extreme stress, disappointment, and a great deal of uncertainty. We'll face some formidable challenges as we lean into adversity. When we face these challenges, we must keep moving forward.
Many people become stuck or lose their momentum when life becomes extremely difficult. They are plagued by anxiety, self-doubt, and other negative emotions.
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To overcome roadblocks, you must fully acknowledge the issue and have a compelling reason to continue moving forward. You must also adjust any unrealistic expectations. Then you must cultivate a positive mindset, see the problem as an opportunity disguised as a problem, and begin taking action.
Learn how to use these six powerful strategies to keep pushing past obstacles in your path so you can achieve your goals.
1. Do Not Avoid Difficulties
The first thing you should do is not try to avoid the obstacle in front of you. Don't bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. Avoiding problems usually makes them worse because small problems now often grow into larger and unmanageable ones later.
Many people avoid that daunting obstacle by either denying that it exists or purposefully underplaying its importance. They usually do this because they don't think they can solve the problem or realize how much effort it will take to overcome it.
Others avoid problems by diverting their attention away from them. They engage in activities that divert their attention away from the painful situation in front of them.
How many times have you faced a challenge and procrastinated rather than confronting it? Another common reaction to a problem we don't want to face is procrastination.
Here are some solutions to stop avoiding problems:
- Recognize that there is a problem. Recognize that it exists. It can be painful, especially if it is an emotional issue, but you must recognize that something is wrong and that it requires your attention.
- Accept that you are responsible for resolving this issue, whether or not you caused it. Don't spend too much time blaming others or lamenting how unfair things are. Recognize that you must deal with this issue right away.
- Distracting yourself with things that take your attention away from the problem is not a good idea.
- If you find yourself procrastinating, remind yourself that the longer you wait, the worse the problem will become.
2. Understand why you're doing it
Many people are unable to persevere in the face of adversity because they lack a compelling reason to do so. It is critical that you understand your “why.” Your “why” should be the driving force that inspires you to keep pushing, overcome obstacles, and achieve your goal.
Determine your “why.” Why should you work so hard to overcome these obstacles in order to achieve your goal? What makes this goal so important to you?
When I was released from prison, I was subjected to a great deal of discrimination. Because of my felony drug manufacturing conviction, I was turned down for a number of jobs. This was without a doubt one of my most difficult challenges. I was furious. I was furious at myself for getting arrested and ending up in prison. I was enraged at the business world for treating me unfairly when I was trying to do the right thing.
There were times when I wanted to give up. I considered resuming my drug dealing career. Then I considered why it was critical for me to find work. I had several “whys.” I knew I was capable of using my abilities and skills to do good in the world. I didn't want to return to prison. I needed to establish a consistent work history. I knew that if I just did the right thing, my best days were ahead of me.
I stayed the course once I realized I had some compelling reasons to keep going. I went to interview after interview until I found people who were interested in hearing my story and giving me a chance. It took a long time, but it worked in the end. I was able to find some decent, caring people who were willing to hire me.
What makes your goal so important to you?
To keep moving forward when faced with obstacles, make sure you have compelling reasons to do so. Check to see if your goals and values are in sync. Make sure the big goal is something you're passionate about—something worth fighting for.
3. Let Go of Previous Expectations
There will be many times in life when you will expect a positive outcome, encounter an impediment, and then discover that you must devise a new strategy.
My mother died while I was in prison. I was devastated because I didn't get to see her, but I found solace in knowing that my wife was there for me. When I was released, I planned to live with her and begin a new chapter in my life.
My wife later left me. I had nowhere to go now. I had reached my lowest point in my life.
I contacted a couple I knew a few months later and told them about my predicament. When I got out of prison, they graciously agreed to let me live with them. I was with them for nearly 9 months. That experience solidified our friendship, and they remain in my inner circle—they're family.
They assisted me in rebuilding my life. They were present at my university graduation and assisted me in celebrating other milestones on my road to redemption. We continue to assist and support one another. I was able to let go of previous expectations and make the best of a bad situation.
Recognize that life is frequently unjust. Recognize that things can and frequently do change. Accept that you have no control over many things. Let go of past expectations and strive to make the best of a bad situation.
When necessary, revise your expectations. When things change, pivot to a new plan to deal with the unexpected change as best you can. Simply keep moving forward.
4. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Have you ever attempted to solve a problem while harboring a negative attitude? It was most likely a difficult battle. You most likely struggled to come up with solutions to the problem or believed you couldn't do it.
A positive mindset is one of the most powerful tools you can use to overcome challenges in your life. A positive attitude boosts your confidence in your ability to overcome enormous obstacles. It keeps your mind open to new ideas and approaches to problems.
Negative thinking causes you to feel stressed, overwhelmed, and afraid to act. Positive thinking, on the other hand, reduces stress. It relaxes you and prepares you to deal with problems.
It is critical to be “rationally positive,” which means that you should not tell yourself that you will be able to do everything flawlessly and that everything will work out perfectly. Instead, recognize that you have the courage to face difficult challenges, the ability to adapt to unexpected events, and the perseverance to get back up every time you fall until you reach your goal.
5. Consider obstacles to be opportunities
I initially thought prison would be a major impediment. I was afraid it would ruin my life. Because of my criminal record, I didn't think I'd be able to get a good job later on. I was afraid that people would dislike me if they found out I had been to prison, and I didn't see myself as having a future.
But when I began to see prison as an opportunity to become a better, stronger, and smarter person, my life began to rapidly change. I realized that prison was the wake-up call I needed. If I hadn't gone to prison, I might have died like so many of my old friends.
For the first time, prison provided me with the opportunity to reflect on the meaning of my life. It gave me the opportunity to reflect on how I needed to change myself and my life. It set me on a positive path to keep moving forward.
When you face a challenge, consider how it can make you a better, stronger, and smarter person by asking yourself the following questions:
What lessons is life currently attempting to teach me?
What can I do to make the best of a bad situation?
6. Take Action Once you've accepted that there is a problem that must be solved
you must take action. This may appear simple, but many people fail to get started because they lack an action plan.
To make a plan of action, do the following:
- List all of your options, as well as the costs and benefits of each.
- Choose the best options and discard the rest.
- Determine how long it will take and when you must complete it.
From the first to the last step, make a list of the actions you need to take.
- Ascertain that you have the necessary resources to carry out the action plan (time, people, money, technology, etc.).
- Begin carrying out the plan.
Don't stop taking action once you've started. Maintain the momentum. Continue to push forward until you reach your objectives.
We must cultivate a positive attitude and see obstacles as opportunities rather than roadblocks. When we look at problems from this angle, we learn, grow, and develop new skills and insights. We become smarter, stronger, and more capable of dealing with future challenges.
When things get tough, our natural instinct may be to avoid or minimize the obstacles in our path. We must fully recognize problems and believe we have what it takes to overcome them. And we need to know that all of our efforts and sacrifices are for a good cause.
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