Practices for Well-Being: Strategies for Embracing Obstacles


Strategies for Embracing Obstacles

Life is full of obstacles, speed-bumps, and ups and downs. Everyone experiences setbacks, disappointments, and tough times. As each of us works to navigate life in the age of COVID, there is no question we are faced with unprecedented challenges. What is your strategy for embracing obstacles? How are you approaching this period of time? How are you approaching the challenges unique to this time in your life?  No matter the challenge, the key to thriving in the face of adversity is how you respond to the obstacles in your path.

Here are some strategies that might help you manage the challenges unique to this moment unique to COVID and the challenges of every day life, even without COVID.

  1. Decide to embrace the obstacle

If you’re having a tough time, it can be easy to feel helpless, even that you’re a victim. But it’s up to you to rise to the challenge and decide that you won’t be overwhelmed. Choosing to take control and embrace your challenge is the first step in overcoming it. Look your obstacle square in the face and resolve to meet it.

  1. Be okay with discomfort

The proof that you’re embracing your obstacle is acknowledging that it doesn’t feel good. It can feel uncomfortable, heavy, even painful. There are lots of life experiences that hurt at the time but end up being for your best and highest good. From marathon training to going to the dentist to public speaking, even facing your debtors, you feel so much better once you’ve faced the worst. Remember it won’t last forever. Don’t shrink from the bad feelings. You can ride them out!

  1. Make sure you have a support team

You don’t have to face your obstacles alone. It can make all the difference to remain connected (even if via Zoom!) to supportive people who will stick by you and cheer you on when you want to give up.

If you have a cheering squad, you’ll find that extra level of energy to help get you through. And you’ll be there for your friends and colleagues when they’re facing their challenges. Once you’re part of a team who has each other’s backs, none of you will have to face life’s ups and downs alone. You’ll fight together and celebrate success together.

  1. Be grateful for your obstacles

Feeling gratitude for the challenges in life might sound counter-intuitive. But think about it. Accepting the challenge, resolving to meet it head-on, and overcoming it makes you a better, stronger person. Think of how good it feels to deal with a problem and solve it. It is a wonderful feeling to face your fears and overcome them!

Without obstacles in your life, you would not grow and learn and become a better person. Obstacles are a natural, normal part of living an authentic life.

As you consider living in and through the age of COVID, you might look into the future. Ask yourself an important question today.  In a year from now, as you look back at this period of time, what do you want to be able to say about yourself and how you handled yourself, your relationships, and your life during this pandemic?

Next Steps:  Consider journaling about these ideas. Generate a list of actions you could take as you face your fears and tackle challenges. Choose one – begin!

~ In this blog, I write about various practices that I have found helpful to my personal and professional development. My hope is that this blog will support all readers, especially clinical social workers, clinical supervisors and their supervisees, and therapy or coaching clients. My hope is that readers might integrate these practices into their personal and professional lives.

Find a journal that works for you

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