The blissful fall day was calling me! The temperature was delightfully comfortable, especially in the sun. The leaves in vivid shades of red, orange, and yellow were fluttering in the breeze against the brilliant blue sky. A quiet calm hung in the air; just a few leaves rustling. It seemed like the perfect day to take my laptop outside to write a blog. Anticipating an eventful weekend ahead with family coming into town, I was eager to get it done while savoring the fabulous weather.
I dutifully began writing what had been on my heart for days. It was nearly complete and I was pleased with how it was coming along. Life was just about perfect.
Then it happened! My program closed unexpectedly and in an instant the blog was lost forever. My entire morning’s efforts wasted! Lesson learned: save your work after the first word!
To make matters worse, the blog mishap was just one of many in a string of challenges that had recently popped up. Needless to say, I was just a little frustrated!
On the path toward your goals there will be ups and downs. It is rarely level and clear. Inevitably you will encounter obstacles along the way. Which of these obstacles have you encountered?
- Distracting life events such as a move, an illness, or family death
- Strained relationships or difficult people
- Too much on your plate – not having a clear understanding of your limits
- Uninvited criticism or naysayers
- Unexpected events – crashing computers, car trouble, disasters, etc.
- Bad habits
- Lack of passion, boundaries, or time with God
- Unclear expectations and feedback
- Lack of knowledge
- Negative mindset
- Resistance to change
- Fear or insecurity
- Worrying about what others will think
- Identity crisis or feeling like an imposter
- Energy drainers
Obstacles can be road blocks that cause you to abandon your goal altogether or they can be detours that force you to find a better, more victorious way. They often reveal a need for change, as my unfortunate blog moment exposed for me.
What can you do when inevitable obstacles come your way? Consider these options:
1. Take a break
Rather than plunging in and hammering out another blog post right away, I took a break and did some errands. I knew that if I tried to make a blog happen in the heat of my frustration, I would be miserable and it would impact the content. Even though the urgency of getting the blog done that day was there, I knew it would be more productive to allow some time to pass.
2. Take the obstacle to God
God loves it when we depend on Him. He is just waiting for us to include Him in what we are doing. He wants to show us that He is more than able to handle what seems overwhelming or impossible to us. He doesn’t mind if we express our frustration and raw feelings to Him. Trust me; God got an earful over the lost blog.
3. Take responsibility
It is handy to blame others for the situations we find ourselves in; however, we often have more control than we would like to admit. When it comes to the obstacle you are currently facing, where do you need to take responsibility? How can you be more proactive?
4. Let go
Let go of the way you thought things needed to play out.
Let go of whatever is robbing you of energy.
Let go of the things that are or cluttering your schedule. A packed schedule leaves very little wiggle room for the unexpected. It keeps you frazzled so that you have very little time to ponder the challenges you encounter and come up with solutions. What do you need to let go of?
5. Re-frame your obstacle
My perspective on my blog moment could have been that everything is going wrong, and writing blogs is pointless. Instead I chose to see this as an opportunity for God to reveal Himself to me and work things out in a positive way. How can you re-frame your obstacle? How have you allowed your circumstances to cause you to think negatively?
6. Take time to consider your options
Because I had family coming into town, I knew I needed to complete the blog that day. I could attempt to write while everyone was visiting, but that would mean sacrificing treasured family time and keep me from being fully present while they were here. My Sundays are my Sabbath, my day of rest, so that option was out. Monday I had plans to be out of town. Monday night was the only window of time I had to complete the blog which meant making new arrangements to get it edited, returned, and post it before my deadline on Tuesday night.
Rather than try to force a blog, I waited, and while I was waiting, my plans for Monday got cancelled. That provided me the window of opportunity I needed. It also showed me that God heard my prayers and that He was eager to show me His faithfulness.
7. Get organized
A cluttered office or a lack of systematic ways of getting things done can create unnecessary hurdles. Investing the time now to correct these issues will yield great dividends later and make tackling obstacles less stressful. What can you do to get better organized?
Experiencing victory over obstacles all depends on how you choose to handle the challenges in life. How do you typically approach obstacles? When it comes to your current obstacles, which of the above options would lead to victory? How has God intervened and revealed Himself to you in the midst of obstacles?
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Basketman23