Last week I was out on my morning run and stumbled across a huge branch on the trail. So I climbed over it and so gracefully got my foot stuck and fell down in the mud! So it had me thinking about having goals and visions then hitting an obstacle on my path and my own relationship with obstacles.
From time to time, we all have setbacks, blocks and obstacles on our path to achieving success and living the life of our dreams. We’re told that we just have to be determined, push harder, and strive to overcome these landmines.
But does it ever feel like you’re forcing a square peg into a round hole? Like no matter how hard you try, you’re completely blocked?
How I faced that branch on my path is typical of how I tackle roadblocks. I climb over them and push my way through them. Yes, my persistence does work sometimes and I reach my goal. I also sometimes fall down in the mud because I pushed too hard.
I noticed the times that I stopped forcing and started allowing is when things really started to move for me. This doesn’t mean I don’t take action steps and face the obstacles presented, it’s simply done with less push, force and angst.
Blocks can be a great teacher. If you pay close enough attention, you might just be able to create a breakthrough. Here are four ways that blocks can actually lead to success:
1. Blocks point out where things aren’t flowing for you.
When you can’t write anymore, your inspiration is gone for the day. When you can’t run any longer, your muscles are exhausted. When you can’t think anymore, your productivity for that meeting plummets. Blocks pop up in areas of our life where energy just isn’t flowing. It warns us that something just isn’t working here and it’s time to take a break, or go a different route. Sometimes that pause can help you reconnect to what your vision is, and sometimes we realize the original goal no longer serves us.
2. It feels unnatural to you.
Most blocks come about because we’re forcing something that was never a good fit to begin with. We’re trying to do things the way we’re told they’re supposed to be done or we’re trying to hide certain parts of our personality. So maybe traditional marketing isn’t your thing, but hosting fun parties is and focusing on connection is. Whatever the case, blocks point out when things feel unnatural and encourage us to be more authentic.
3. Sometimes the best way to get through a wall is just to walk around it.
We can be so obsessed with an obstacle that we forget why we were trying to overcome it in the first place. Maybe you want a book deal because it will help you get more clients. If the book deal isn’t working, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to never get more clients. Forget the obstacle and find a new path to your ultimate goal. Many times, obstacles point out that one tiny part of the plan isn’t working, not the whole thing.
4. Lack of resources teaches you how to be resourceful.
When you’re unable to move forward, you have no choice but to get creative. The advantage of being pushed to the edge of the cliff is that we learn how to fly. Blocks teach us things about ourselves that we never thought possible and push us to blow our expectations out of the water.
So the next time you come up to a block in your life, consider that maybe it’s there for a reason. Maybe it’s there to teach you what comes naturally to you or where things flow for you. Maybe it’s there to help you figure out just how much potential you really have inside. Maybe it’s there to help you stop taking on other people’s blueprints for success and start building your own.
Once you realize what you can really accomplish, good luck to anything that tries to get in your way.
Life and Leadership Coach, Licensed Counselor, outdoor enthusiast, yoga lover and passionate about wellness.