When I was a teenager, I couldn’t wait to get older and get out of school. Somehow, I believed that once I was “grown up,” life would be easy and fun. I’d be able to do what I wanted, when I wanted and go where I wanted. Guess what I found out? Life is definitely not easy. About now, you are probably thinking, “Well Judi, how long did it take you to find that out?” The answer: Not long!

There’s no question that some have it easier than others, but all of us, at some point, will have an obstacle in life which we will have to overcome. I’ve yet to meet anyone who hasn’t. It’s been my observation that people deal with obstacles in one of two ways: some people choose to focus on solutions, not allowing anything to get in the way of their goals. Others take virtually no responsibility for solving their problems themselves. Which are you?

Overcoming obstacles actually serves two purposes: to heighten your belief in yourself and to strengthen your determination to succeed. Obstacles even help some of us find more positive meaning in life. A cancer diagnosis three years ago led me to a new appreciation of life, helped me discover talents I didn’t know I had, helped me realize a strength within which I had never recognized before, and taught me to make better choices in my daily life. This experience brought me to a very clear understanding of what is really important in my life – what my priorities are regarding who I want to spend time with and how I want to spend the rest of my life, however long that may be. I have learned the value of “now” and I concentrate on being fully present in that now. I’ve learned to be more tolerant with people, a bit more compassionate, less judgmental, and more accepting. Most of all, I’ve learned to be grateful for every day and each breath I take.

There are people who use obstacles as excuses for not being successful. After all, what could they do? They wanted to succeed, but circumstances prevented them from it! They didn’t have the right opportunities, the right parents, the education they needed, and they certainly didn’t have the right “connections.” Don’t let this person be you!

Intelligent people see obstacles as something to be overcome. This viewpoint brings them closer to getting what they want. Be one of these people! There are always going to be obstacles in life. The real challenge is to overcome them. When you expect great things, then great things will happen. For some, an obstacle may be “the end of the line.” For others with strong beliefs and great expectations, an obstacle is simply regarded as a setback. Let it be that way for you. Have faith in your future.

Obstacles and hardships don’t have to lead to failure. Do you remember the Bible story about the army of Israel facing the giant, Goliath? They said, “He’s so big, we can’t beat him.” But when young David saw Goliath, he said, “He’s so big. I can’t miss him!” He defeated the giant with only a slingshot as a weapon. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise which, when handled without fear, can transform our lives.

Sometimes overcoming obstacles brings change. You’ll be out of your comfort zone, and this can be frightening. Do what you are afraid to do, go where you are afraid to go, because if you allow fear to take hold and immobilize you, opportunity may pass you by. I am reminded of that poem by Robert Frost in which he says, “…two roads diverged and I, I chose the one less traveled by.” Well, our roads are either the road of passivity and despair or the road of action and hope.

We make choices every moment of every day. When we choose to have faith instead of fear, take part in creating our own destiny, show gratitude for the progress we’ve made, and stay focused forward, we will see miracles at every turn. Then and only then are we moving toward a future filled with unlimited possibilities. Faith is the confident assurance that something we believe is true or something we desire is going to happen.

Life may not be easy, but if we choose to adopt a positive attitude, recognize obstacles as opportunities, and focus on solutions, life can be very rewarding.

Author's Bio: 

Judi Moreo is the author of the award winning book, “You Are More Than Enough: Every Woman’s Guide to Purpose, Passion, and Power” as well as its companion, Achievement Journal. She is a Certified Speaking Professional who has spoken in 28 countries around the world. Less than 10% of the speakers in the world hold this highly respected earned designation. To contact Judi or book her for a speaking engagement, contact Turning Point International, (702) 896-2228 or judi@judimoreo.com.