STRONG Strategies for Overcoming Obstacles

We all know that life is full of challenges and obstacles.

We’ve all been told that “life isn’t easy”.

What we haven't all been told, is how to create a road map to turn these challenges into accomplishments and obstacles into success stories.

The three “STRONG Strategies to Overcoming Obstacles” will have you looking at struggle in a whole new light.

You may even start to embrace it. You may even start to seek it out.

Why? Because you’ll know what waits on the other side of challenge and struggle.

You will get to experience a deep sense of pride and satisfaction that comes with accomplishment. That feeling is one of life’s best rewards!

Ready? Let’s go!

"Accept. Embrace. Move forward."

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this and you will find strength.”- Marcus Aurelius

When presented with an inconvenience, challenge, struggle, or setback, filter it through the “Accept. Embrace. Move Forward.” model.

“Accept”- There exists a gap between how things are and how we wish them to be. Suffering and negativity can live in that gap. The longer we choose to focus on that gap, the worse it becomes. Instead, we can choose to accept the reality of our current situation, and then start to do something about either our situation or our reaction to the situation.

“Embrace” - Once we have accepted the reality of our current situation, we can begin to embrace the situation. Ask yourself some key questions. Are there any advantages to our situation? What can this teach us? Is there an opportunity for growth? How can my situation possibly be a benefit to others? These questions might be very difficult to answer. That’s ok. In fact, it’s good. It will help lead to the next step.

“Move Forward” - What is the next step? Determine what needs to be done to move forward. Take that next step, and then the next, and then the next. When the mind wants to wander back to negative feelings, take a deep breath, and focus on the next step to move forward.

This can be a powerful model for everything from daily inconveniences to life’s bigger struggles.

Action step: Get out a pen and paper. Yes, pen and paper. Doing this hand written will have a deeper impact than typing it on your phone or computer. Write out one challenge you are currently facing. Work through the Accept. Embrace. Move forward. Model and write out each step.

"Re-framing Obstacles as Opportunities"

American Ninja Warrior is one of our family’s favorite tv shows. We love watching these amazing athletes overcome incredibly challenging obstacle courses.

One of our favorite ninja warriors is Jessie Graff. The heart, determination, and positive attitude she puts into her training and competition is inspiring.

In the 2017 Daytona Beach City Finals, Jessie made it all the way to the last obstacle, was only feet from the top...and then fell, and failed to complete the course. Had she made it to the top, she would have been just the second woman to have ever completed a City Finals course.

The whole time though she was smiling!

After her run, the interviewer asked her why she was smiling when it was obviously so difficult. Jessie answered that she was smiling because she knew that through the struggle she was getting stronger. She re-framed the challenge as an opportunity. An opportunity to get stronger.

We all have this ability. It just takes a shift in perspective.

In the challenges we face, there is opportunity.

When we re-frame an obstacle as an opportunity, we will see new ways to take that obstacle head on.

We will find new and often creative solutions.

We will find positive attitudes with which to take on the challenge.

We will learn and we will grow.

Action step: Create an “Adversity Journal”. Start by taking small everyday inconveniences and look for the opportunity. When you come across one, make a note of it. Write down the challenge and the new re-framed opportunity. This will build the skill with the smaller challenges so that you will be ready to tackle the bigger ones life can throw at us.

Team up!

Cooperation is powerful. When we find ourselves struggling with a challenge, it’s important to remember to ask for help from those that can help us best.

Sometimes another person may be able to help guide you as they may have encountered a similar situation themselves.

Another person’s perspective can also be invaluable, as we are all different and all have different strengths.

What may be challenging for you, just might be another person’s strength.

Action Step: Create a list of five people who can be there for you. This is your “Team Up!” list. Remember to pay it forward and be there for others as part of their team. Together we can accomplish so much!