Blog Post #496 Overcoming Obstacles II

Coaching for LIfe Success:  Overcoming Obstacles – part II

Let’s continue with overcoming obstacles today.

Looking more in depth at the article:

First a quote: “Author Jeff Olson writes in The Slight Edge: “There are going to be all types of obstacles placed in front of you during your lifetime. And you can determine the size of a person by the size of the problem that keeps them down. Successful people look at a problem and see opportunity.”

I remember (happily) Dick Gowan – for two years as President of Dakota State University, and then President of South Dakota School of Mines and Technology.  When we had obstacles/ difficulties/problems, Dick said we had “opportunities to excel”. He called them OTE’s.

We created a ‘new’ university on the back of napkins (true).  It has been revised multiple times since then, but we definitely EXCELLED on this obstacle.  

Back to the article:

1 Distance yourself from the drama.  Sometimes in a tough situation, there are people running all over the place.  There might be chaos. Take a step back, think rationally and approach it again.  “Sleep on it” is a suggestion some use – and that is a good concept – step back, reflect, get a new perspective and go forth!!

2 Seek out Necessary resources.  What might you need to overcome your situation?  New equipment, more education, or help. The article suggests having an outsider with a ‘new set of eyes’ look at the problem and give you perspective!!!  (That is why great consultants are worth the expense)

3 Gain perspective.  Walk around the situation, put yourself in other’s shoes.  If I were an engineer, how might I approach this? If I were a humanitarian, how might I approach this?  If I were a marriage counselor, how might I approach it. Talk to others (especially those you trust and admire).  Like #2, get a new set of eyes on the problem.

For early years, the only way to climb Mt. Everest was to go through China.  When the Communists took over, they closed their borders to outsiders who wanted to climb Mt. Everest.  The solution was to go through Nepal to get to Mt. Everest, to determine other paths and approaches to the summit.

4 Evaluate the obstacle.  There is an old song that says you can go over it, under it or around it.  (Or move it). Are you making a mountain out of a molehill? Winners figure out how to get around the obstacle. Losers let the obstacle overcome them.

5 Stay Focused and Committed.  The article states: “Don’t allow setbacks to get you down since you are bound to fall upon many setbacks in life. Obstacles help enrich your mental experience in so far as building resilience, fortitude and strength. Every time you tackle a problem, you overcome a mental hurdle.”

6 Develop a growth mindset.  Again, the article states: “She states: “The passion for stretching yourself and sticking to it, even (or especially) when it’s not going well, is the hallmark of the Growth Mindset. This is the mindset that allows people to thrive during some of the most challenging times in their lives.”

Have you been to an ‘escape room’?  There are escape rooms developing around the country where a team faces some sort of obstacle (like getting out of the room) and has to work together to get out the door.  There is a way out – it just isn’t obvious!!!

So … how do you overcome obstacles?  Let us know!!!


Posted by Bruce White

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