Taking small steps, facing obstacles and roadblocks and starting over again has shown me that living instead of merely existing means that I will no longer be on cruise control, drifting down a calm river.
Living means experiencing it all; it means traveling the white water and ‘shooting the rapids’. Emotional highs and lows are part of the journey, part of living. Notice I didn’t say good or bad. There are cycles to everything – emotions, energy, the wind. The highs and lows are neither good nor bad; they are just part of the cycle – ups and downs like a wave.
As you step out into your own journey and begin taking small steps you’ll run into obstacles and roadblocks.
It’s bound to happen. It happens to us all.
The most important key in the beginning is to just start moving.
Now let’s imagine you’re cruising right along taking small steps every day.
You’re thinking “Hey, this isn’t as hard as I thought it’d be.”
You’re feeling elated, euphoric really. You’ve acted despite your fear and anxiety and you’re wondering what took you so long to get moving in the first place.
This is about the time you hit your first wall, your first obstacle, trip and fall down. You’re shaken, confused, not sure what is happening. It suddenly feels like everyone and everything is conspiring against you, trying to stop you.
Take a deep breath and relax. Obstacles and roadblocks are a natural part of the journey. As a matter of fact, taking three steps forward and two steps back is a pretty average dance, especially in the early stages.
You have to be prepared for these setbacks and not let them stop you.
There are several strategies that can help you get back on track and moving again.
Reach out. Sometimes you need to talk to someone who understands. Having a circle of support, people who understand what you are doing and why you are doing it are essential. Now is the time to tap this support, reach out and talk to someone. Sometimes that’s all it takes to get on your feet again and start taking small steps again. You just need someone to hear you and understand. You just need to share what has happened.
Ask for help. Sometimes you’ll need to ask for help. Again, turn to your circle of support. Put what you need out there and be specific. Do you need help with technology, need a resource, help spreading the word? Ask for help.
Inspiration. Go to the well of inspiration often. Inspiration can be one way to overcoming obstacles and roadblocks. You need reminders and you need to stay inspired to keep moving forward. (I learned this one from Barbara Winter.)
Know why. Understanding your own motivation and the reasons why you are pursuing a particular dream or goal is very important. It’s also important to write it down and carry it with you to refer to as often as necessary to give you the continuing courage you’ll need to keep taking small steps, even if it feels like you are moving backward sometimes.
Take a break. Sometimes when you are hitting roadblock after roadblock and are having trouble figuring out how to get around them or move through them it’s best to just take a break, walk away for a bit and have a little fun or a little R&R. You’ll be surprised when the answers to your problems just seem to pop into your head or you have a sudden insight or clarity.
Get quiet. There are time when you just have to sit with the obstacle and see what it is trying to tell you. Maybe you took a misstep and need to change directions. Maybe you need to slow down. To hear the message the obstacle is trying to send you, you may just need to get quiet, sit silently and see what comes up.
Some of the obstacles and roadblocks I’ve encountered are a lack of knowledge or skill set, technical issues and snafus, losses and failures and timing issues. Other obstacles I’ve faced revolve around my own self-doubt and the emotional highs and lows associated with living instead of merely existing.
There have been many times over the years that I’ve felt like quitting and running away and a few occasions where I came very close to chucking it all.
Just living can be hard sometimes. It can be even harder when you begin to acknowledge your deepest held dreams or decide to be who you want to be or were born to be. Everything in your psyche can fight back, trying to keep things the same. Growing is hard. Growing pains are real. Using some of the techniques listed above can help – they’ve helped me time and again.
Please, just remember, that obstacles and roadblocks are a natural part of the journey. Expect them and be prepared, but don’t let them stop you.