Your greatest obstacle is your biggest chance – a 7-step guide
Germany is in full-lockdown again and my whole family is working from home. Is this my greatest obstacle at the moment? Maybe it’s as a chance to redefine our family life with love and acceptance for each other. Define the obstacle is the goal.
A year ago, I started this blog to resume about my personal experience from moving to different countries as well as write about the tools that have helped me to overcome my fears and start a career as blogger and writer. The idea was to install a writing routine, clear my thoughts and share the insights I learned along the way in coffee-break manner.
But what, in a nutshell, have I done to overcome my obstacles?
And HOW can YOU improve the quality of your life?
“Your greatest obstacle is your biggest chance.”
That was my starting point. After I had read this quote somewhere, I couldn´t stop thinking about it. What is MY greatest obstacle was the question I turned round in my head again and again? (Also check “The Obstacle is the Way” by Ryan Holiday.)
Finally, I allowed myself to admit that my biggest obstacle at that moment was my family life and the fact it kept me busy all day long. The moves to different countries had disconnected me from my “working identity” as restrictions in the countries and the unknown time frames of the assignments had left me as full-time mum and family manager. Over time, I had spent so much time looking after my family, that I had nearly forgotten to look after myself.
My first (and the most difficult action) was to put myself first. I know this sounds quite selfish, but to pursue your dreams and overcome your obstacles you can´t work with depleted energy. You need to refresh your body and mind before you can fully concentrate on the mission.
Follow your passion
Since I had found my passion in Yoga, it guided me on my way. Through constantly moving my body, breathing consciously, and sitting in silent meditation, I was able to come out of head and into my body. This helped me uncover hidden patterns and overcome long-ago developed negative thought constructs.
This is a process, which can´t be done in a day or two. As always, we will start with one thing and then move on to the next and the next. Life isn´t about being successful all at once. It´s a learning process – sometimes we end up where we have envisioned ourselves, other times we end somewhere else. The trick is to keep going.
I learned that I can´t have a blog with hundreds of visitors daily by setting up one post. But I can grow my audience over time by continuously writing about interesting topics and posting with consistency.
Now it´s your turn:
What is it that you always dreamed of, but couldn´t start with, because the circumstances are not right? They never are for as long as we don´t make them right.
It´s time for you to sit down and
- Get clear on your obstacle
- Be honest
- Define what you need to overcome your obstacle
- Put yourself on top of the list
- Break it down into steps.
- Develop an action plan.
- Take action.
Start with one thing at a time and don´t try to overcome several obstacles in one go. Sometimes one follows the other.
I started by setting the alarm a tiny bit earlier to have 15 minutes in the morning only for me. In addition, I stopped jumping from one task to the other, set a list of goals and tried to structure my day as best as possible, mapping out weekly and monthly plans. Of course, these are subject to change. Especially in a year like 2020 we all had to review our goals and adjust to the challenges of the pandemic and home learning in particular. But it helps to clear the thoughts and refer to the list whenever it´s necessary.
My 7-step list was:
- Obstacle: Never ending household business
- Be honest: My kids AND the family business occupied large parts of my time, I felt invisible.
- What did I need to overcome my obstacle? Knowing that I am rooted in my family, I set new goals, structured my day and stopped feeling guilty pursuing them.
- Put myself on top of the list. Set fixed “appointments with myself” and stick to it. Say no to my kids from time to time.
- Break it down into steps. To overcome my fears, I need to unveil hidden thought patterns and become more confident -> daily Yoga and meditation practice. To become visible as a writer, I need to a) write b) learn the art of writing, c) share my writing.
- Develop an action plan. 1. Take a creative writing course, 2. Install a daily writing routine, 3. Set-up a blog to share my writing, 4. Blog consistently.
- Take action. I inscribed for a creative writing course in Munich, afterwards I joined a course to learn to create a word press blog. I did research on webhosting and WP themes, I set-up the blog and started.
Speak it into existence
This is only an example of how this list could work. The first and most important step was to change the thinking of myself as full-time mum only, boost my self-confidence through continuous Yoga practice and start to become visible through smaller Instagram posts and see which topics relate with others.
No matter what you want to start or dream of becoming, you have to speak it into existence, says Steven Pressfield, renewed writer and author of various books. You are a writer, if you call yourself a writer and if you continuously sit-down to write.
Entitling my obstacle and finally restraining from the capturing family business was a chance for me to redefine my identity from family manager to loving mum AND writer and structure my day accordingly. I was lucky that these inner works did take place before the outbreak of the pandemic, as this gave me a chance to re-arrange and keep my writing routine in the unexpected challenges of last year, when the whole family was home.
“Obstacles are opportunities in disguise.”
Picture: eagle pose; strong pose with various benefits. On the energy level it connects you to your roots, helps you to trust your intuition and therefore can bring body, mind and spirit into balance. Compare https://www.doyou.com/the-holistic-benefits-of-eagle-pose-88007/