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An Uncommon Approach to Handling Obstacles
by Lisa Olson

Obstacles and set-backs are a part of life. As we travel our life's path, one door opens, another closes. Sometimes we take three steps forward and two steps back. Sometimes we decide we want to move in a certain direction, but we're blocked. There, in the road, is a big ol' obstacle, keeping us from where we want to go. Most of the time, we handle obstacles in one of four ways.

1.) We choose to view the obstacle or set-back as a bad thing. 

2.) We think that success is on hold until we get this annoying thing out of our way. 

3. ) We think of the obstacle as some type of external force in our way, preventing us from getting the life we want or 

4.) We try to fix it by using tactics like manipulation, control, rationality, money, aggression and logic.

What would happen to your obstacles if you chose an uncommon approach to handling them? Would they go away? Not necessarily. Would they begin to SERVE you instead of HINDER you? YES.

The secret is to put your arm around the obstacle and create a relationship with it. Instead of pushing, prodding, whining, digging, banging and hitting it, in your attempts to get past it, this "uncommon approach" will help you to resolve the obstacle until it diminishes or your direction has shifted.

The next time you are faced with an obstacle, be willing to see it as meaningful information rather than a terrible thing. Respond with a "Yes, Teacher?" attitude, ready to learn from the situation. This shift will open you up to understanding there is a PURPOSE to the obstacle.

Ask yourself "What do I need to pay attention to? Is the timing right? How can this help me grow? Am I truly ready to have what I want?" And lastly, realize this "external" obstacle actually represents an INTERNAL belief. Once you can identify this, resolutions will come in unlikely ways. Your intuition may guide you in a new direction. You might take different action. You may wake up one morning and realize what's on the other side of that obstacle isn't what you actually want, after all.

By accepting our obstacles as teachers, we can begin learning the powerful lessons in what they reveal to us. Like beauty, "obstacles" too, are in the eye of the beholder.

Lisa Olson is a creative consultant, writer, Life Purpose Coach, facilitator, and co-founder of Spark! a Dallas-based women's organization. With an extensive background in recruiting and career counseling, she has interviewed hundreds of people and has helped countless others find their "dream jobs."  http://www.sparkyourpassion.com/LisaOlson

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