Oftentimes, when we are working towards a long-range goal, and an obstacle appears in our path, we get depressed, we get anxious, we get demoralized, we overreact and catastrophize. We tell ourselves that there's no point in trying any longer, we will always fail, we will never get what we want, it's hopeless!
Rather than looking at the evidence and seeing an obstacle that can be overcome, we allow ourselves to misperceive the obstacle as an immovable barrier that will ultimately defeat us. The end result is even more depression and demoralization, oftentimes leading us to the point of our giving up.
This is clearly a mistake. The bottom line is that obstacles are normal. It is rare, when we are pursuing a goal, that everything is smooth sailing without any resistance whatsoever. Most things we want to achieve in life have built-in obstacles of some sort. Movement towards success usually involves two steps forward, one step back. Just because we hit a snag doesn't mean that the game is over.
It's like getting a flat tire. We're driving on the road. We're heading towards our destination. We want to get there at a certain time. And then we get a flat tire and now it takes time, money, and energy that we didn't want to expend. We tend to get depressed, anxious and irritated. But truth be told: Eventually the tire gets fixed. We get back in the car. We get back on the road. And we're on our way, once again, towards our destination.
We are our own worst enemy when we allow our fear thoughts to derail and defeat us. Obstacles are not dead ends. We can go around obstacles. We can overcome obstacles. We can use obstacles to our advantage. When one door closes, another door opens. Every failure, every setback, has the seeds of success within it. It's all how you look at it.
It's a mistake to look at one moment in time and define our future by that moment. If we look at barren, fruitless trees in the wintertime, define trees as perpetually barren and fruitless, and then cut them down for firewood, we have misinterpreted reality, we have inappropriately defined the future, we have reacted to our misinterpretation, and we have defeated ourselves.
There is always a bigger picture. It always behooves us to step back and look at the forest from the trees. Oftentimes, what seems to be bad luck, later on down the road appears to have been good luck. And vice versa.
For example: Let's say we lose our job. We decide that's bad luck. We send out resumes to find another job. A week later, we get an offer for a new job, with more money, closer to home, with fewer hours, greater responsibility, and room for advancement. We decide that's good luck.
So was losing our job bad luck or good luck? The point is we can't say. It's a mistake to judge anything on the face of it at the moment that it's happening. We really don't know what the future has in store for us. Rather than judge something as good or bad, it's better to just decide that it is what it is, and that we'll deal with it, and move forward as best we can.
That being said, the next time we hit a wall, when we feel ourselves being overwhelmed with anxiety, depression, frustration, impatience, anger, or any other emotion, we don't overreact. We don't freak out. We STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN.
We stop and get calm. We don't make a soap opera out of our lives.
We look at the data quietly and objectively. We ask ourselves what's the evidence that, because an obstacle has appeared, it means we're going to fail, that our life is not going to go where we want it to go?
And then we listen. We listen for the answer from our higher self which knows the truth, that when an obstacle appears in our path, it says nothing about whether or not we will succeed in the long run.
We stop, look, and listen. And then we take appropriate action, continuing on our path towards our goals, doing the best we can to make them happen.