7 Ways to Have Victory in Obstacles
Of course, Thus far, 2020 has been brimming with obstacles, not just for me – for just about everyone. Personally, I’ve had more challenging years, but I don’t recall a time when so many people were facing significant difficulties simultaneously.
It’s tough to see in the moment, but obstacles are a beautiful invitation to even better possibilities. The trouble is we get discouraged when obstacles arise, blinding us to the opportunities.
There is no limit to what can stop you in your tracks. Some obstacles are external while others are internal. Some barriers are unexpected circumstances while others are the result of our own poor decisions. Here are some examples:
- Distracting life events such as a move, an illness, or family death
- Financial troubles
- Strained relationships or difficult people
- Limiting beliefs or negative mindsets
- Fear or insecurity
- Lack of motivation, passion, or inspiration
- Poor habits
- Travel restrictions
- The inability to meet face-to-face
- Uninvited criticism or naysayers
- Unexpected events – crashing computers, car trouble, disasters, etc.
- Poor boundaries
- Disasters (hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, etc)
- Too much on your plate
- Lack of knowledge
- Resistance to change
- Worrying about what others will think
- Identity crisis or feeling like an imposter
- Energy drainers
This list could go on and on!
No doubt you’ve bumped into an obstacle or two this year. I know I have, but honestly, obstacles are normal part of life. You should expect them. They have a way of knocking the wind out of you, but they don’t just take place in the midst of pandemics!
Obstacles Are Normal
A few years back, on an amazing fall day, I decided to work on a blog outside. The weather was delightfully comfortable, especially in the sun. If you’ve experienced the humid summers of the South, you know what I mean. The fluttering leaves were vivid shares of red, orange, and yellow and the sky was a brilliant blue. Anticipating an eventful weekend ahead with family coming into town, I was eager to savor the fabulous weather while getting some work done. It seemed like the perfect plan.
I was making excellent progress on the blog that had been on my heart for days and was happy with how it was coming along. My plan was panning out nicely.
Then it happened! My computer program closed unexpectedly and in an instant the blog was gone 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 challenges that I had recently faced. Needless to say, I was more than frustrated!
Obstacles can become 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:
Rather than plunging in and starting my blog post over right away, I decided to take a break and run 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 negatively impact the content. Even though I felt the urgency of getting the blog done, I knew it would be more productive to allow some time to pass.
When you face an obstacle, pause. Gather yourself. Remind yourself that the situation is not catastrophic.
God loves it when you depend on Him. He is waiting for you to include Him so that He can show you that He is more than able to handle what seems overwhelming or impossible to you. Of course He doesn’t mind if you express your frustration and raw feelings to Him. He can take it! Trust me; God got an earful over the lost blog. And I know He knew my heart and just what I needed.
3. Let Go
Let go of your expectations – the way you wanted things to play out. In order to overcome your obstacle, you will have to rework your plan and get creative!
Eliminate whatever is robbing you of energy.
Clear the unnecessary from your schedule. A packed schedule leaves very little room for the unexpected. It keeps you frazzled and unable to ponder the possibilities or come up with solutions.
Release the resentment or bitterness that might creep in.
What do you need to let go of?
4. Be Proactive
It’s handy to blame others for the situations you find yourself in; however, you often have more control than you would like to admit. When it comes to the obstacle you are currently facing, how can you be more proactive? How can you take responsibility, stop being a victim, and proceed forward empowered with His help?
In the moment, obstacles feel anything but positive! That’s why it’s so important to adjust how you look at it. I won’t deny it, initially when my blog vanished, my focus was on everything that was going wrong! I had to intentionally chose to see the incident as an opportunity for God to show up and work things out for the best. And appreciate the time spent in the beautiful outdoors!
How will you re-frame your obstacle? How have you allowed your circumstances to perpetuate negative thinking?
6. Explore Your Options
Because it was Friday and I had family coming into town that day, I really wanted the blog done that day. I didn’t want to be working on it while everyone was visiting. That would mean sacrificing treasured family time and keep me from being fully present while they were visiting.
My Sundays are my Sabbath, my day of rest, so that option was out.
Monday, I had plans to be out of town myself. Monday night was the only window of time I had to complete the blog. I would mean adjusting some plans, but it was possible.
Rather than trying to force a blog, chose to hold off until Monday night and while I was waiting, my plans for Monday got cancelled. That provided me the window of opportunity I needed to complete it without having to work late on Monday. It also showed me that God heard my prayers and that He was eager to help and show me His faithfulness.
7. Get Organized
A cluttered office or a lack of systems of getting things done not only creates unnecessary hurdles day to day, but it makes facing obstacles that much harder and more stressful. Investing the time today to chip away at getting organized yields great dividends later.
What needs to be organized? You’ll be better prepared to face obstacles when you’ve organized your…
- Work area
- Calendar – and maintaining plenty of margin!
- To do list
- Rhythm – Assign certain tasks to specific days of the week and create a flow to your day
- Systems & processes
- Files, resources, etc. – everything should have a place
- Emails & computer files
Even investing 15-30 minutes a day makes a powerful difference! And then when the obstacles show up, you are better prepared to navigate them.
Where do you need to get more organized?
Loosing the blog post I’d diligently worked on initially seemed like an utter disaster. In the end, it taught me valuable lessons:
- Save your work!
- Trust God – He knows what’s ahead.
- The rewritten blog was even better!
There are blessings even in obstacles if you choose to see them! It all depends on how you choose to handle the hardships that come your way. It is possible to have victory over obstacles!
How do you typically approach the obstacles that come your way?
Originally posted on 11/11/14, this post has been revised and updated just for you!
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