Can you leverage An Obstacle?
We all face obstacles...
Some are big, some are small but we all have them and depending on what the obstacle is, they can feel slightly uncomfortable to downright impossible. I talk a lot about obstacles with clients. In fact, that is usually the #1 most common thing that we're dealing with during a coaching session. We all have dreams, goals, and a vision of us living our most abundant lives and/or running an abundant and successful business, and achieving those things would just be so easy if there were just no obstacles right???
Wrong! Guess what???
If it were easy everyone would do it. And if it were easy then you wouldn't value it because it took no effort to achieve...
Ok, so I know you must be thinking, so Tab, "I'm stuck because there is an obstacle and yet I'd be stuck if there wasn't?" Yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. Crazy, but think about it, it's true. We've all heard of the story of the poor kid who grew up with nothing growing up to build a multi-million dollar business with no college degree and valuing every moment of struggle because it made them strong and who they are today. We've also all heard the story of the trust fund kid that was spoiled and had every obstacle they were ever faced with removed for them by someone else. They grew up to never accomplish much, feeling often sad and lost, not knowing what their purpose was in life. Sometimes, they even lost the families fortune because they never learned the value of earning money for themselves. Now, this is an example that doesn't apply to all people in either of these scenarios but we do tend to see when the obstacle is removed, there is a lack of value towards the achievement.
So what is the solution?
If you can't achieve an obstacle because it's too big and you can't appreciate the value of achieving something if the obstacle is too small than what do you do? How do you ever win?
You leverage the obstacle...
1. the exertion of force by means of a lever or an object used in the manner of a lever.
If we were to stop approaching obstacles as something to powerhouse through, something to conquer, something to strain against, something to use our entire will power with, we might actually conquer them all the time rather than just occasionally. What do I mean by this? Here is a great example. At my Vision Retreat in Sedona a few weeks ago one of the attendees looked at her workbook and said, "Tabitha, I know it's asking me to leverage the obstacle that might come up with with goals, but shouldn't I just push through it and force myself to get it done? Wouldn't that be easier?" I replied "Perhaps but let's test that out. Give me your hand and push it against mine as hard as you can while I push my hand against yours as hard as I can. Now, really force yourself to push as hard as you can to move my hand. We're going to do this for a few seconds and see if you can get my hand to move all the way towards my chest." We did this for about 10 seconds and then laughed and stopped as neither of us were able to really move the other persons hand very much. Then I said, "Now how easy was that?" she replied "It was fairly easy, we only did that for a few seconds." I replied "Yup it was easy for me too, but let's do it again and this time we're going to do this 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year..." she looked at me like I had lost my mind... and I asked her, "How hard would that get?" she replied "It would be impossible!" to which I said, "Exactly, so leverage the obstacle." she sat for a moment and thought about this and then smiled and said, if I leverage the obstacle I can accomplish whatever I'm trying to do but with way less effort and time." Bingo! She hit the nail on the head! Leveraging your obstacles are about working smarter, not harder and even at times using the obstacle to your maximum advantage!
Here is one of my favorite stories in my life where I leveraged an obstacle. This one is downright silly too! I had been trying to get more exercise both for myself and for my dogs. I knew that getting up and doing a morning walk was best so that it was accomplished before the day got full and then it became a lower priority. I was feeling a lot of resistance to going for a walk lately and I wasn't sure why. I usually really enjoyed walking and they felt really fulfilling to me. Summer had moved to fall and so I was even thinking how much nicer the weather was and how I really had no excuses or complaints. This went on for a few weeks and I noticed I was really having to "force" myself to go for my walks and lately I was starting to just skip them as I wasn't looking forward to them. My morning walks had somehow become an obstacle so I sat down and tried to figure out why. As a Coach, I love receiving Coaching so I brought it up to my Health and Wellness Coach (I have a few Coaches that I work with) and really started to try and understand when and why my morning walks had become an obstacle. After some exploration, I figured out something so silly and yet so important. I was too cold on my walks. My body doesn't do cold really well and struggles to maintain warmth even on a sunny day, so I realized that my yoga/exercise pants were too thin and I was really uncomfortable on my walks.
I started laughing and realized that I needed to buy sweat pants to leverage my obstacle!!! :) LOL I bought them a few days later and was excited to test them out and see if they were truly the leverage to my obstacle. Guess what? THEY WERE! I had such a lovely walk and I was warm and toasty and without anymore hesitation I resumed my morning walks with joy.
You will be faced with many obstacles this year and throughout your entire life. How do you want to handle those obstacles as they arise? Are you ready to force things to happen for the rest of your life? Or are you ready to leverage them?
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Tabitha enjoys living in Tucson, Arizona with her husband Jared, and her adorable doggies Shadow & Scooby. Stay tuned for Tabitha's upcoming book Serendipity in which she takes us through her time in Africa.