I, along with a lot of other people, used to feel that challenges and obstacles standing in the way of my goals were "blocking my way on the path." I always looked at obstacles as these huge dreadful hindrances interrupting my plans, and I thought that I would have to find a way around them in order to get to where I wanted to go.  One of my mentors told me that’s not true… He said “Marti, obstacles don’t block you on the path, they ARE the path.”  At first I didn’t understand what he meant. How can an obstacle be the path to reach my goals, when all they do is slow me down?  Then he broke it down for me so I could understand…

If your goal is to get to the moon, but the obstacle is that you don't have a rocket ship, then your path becomes getting or building a rocket ship.  Some people let the obstacles stop them from achieving their goal: "I would go to the moon, but I don't have a rocket ship."  But others take obstacles as clues on how to actually get to the goal:  "I see that I will need a rocket ship. How can I get one?"  Another more practical example would be the goal of getting straight A’s in school.  If you got a 3.0 last semester, your success on getting a 4.0 this semester would be correctly identifying which obstacles stopped you last semester.  Did you go to all of your classes last semester? If not, that's one obstacle you can eliminate this semester…go to class!  Start identifying all the obstacles that stopped you last semester and you will have a clear path on what to do this semester; you can start knocking those obstacles down one by one. 

When you know what’s stopping you, you can have a clear path for what to do next.  In this way, the obstacle is the path.  

Here is a step by step way to use obstacles as the path to your goals:

  1. Write down your most important goal.
  2. List all of the obstacles in your way.
  3. Circle the top 2 critical obstacles.
  4. What tools do you have available to overcome these obstacles? (i.e. books, mentors, friends, technology, your habits, process, informational interviews, develop new skill, time commitment, etc.)
  5.  What next action will you take today.
  6.  Repeat… until there are no more obstacles left standing in your way.

Why let obstacles stand in your way to reach your goals when they can be the way? It’s inevitable that obstacles are going to occur in your life, so use them to your advantage and start achieving your biggest goals and dreams! You are fearfully and wonderfully made.

Blessings and Love,

Marti Reed

Marti Reed