Overcoming Obstacles

Overcoming Obstacles | Mental Toughness Boot Camp

How do you see obstacles in your life? Do they cause anxiety, depression, frustration, and sadness? If you answered to any of those feelings, congratulations, your human. Now, how do you handle obstacles in your life? I try to run from them, I don’t address them hoping the just go away, I freeze, I find ways to overcome them, I reach out to others to help me, I just give up? Again, if you answered yes to any or all of these, congratulations, you are human.

I have always been a huge Michael Jordan fan and he stated the following:

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

I love how he simply states that obstacles don’t have to stop you. The key is to try and understand how you can overcome the obstacles you will encounter. Here are some thoughts/ideas on you can overcome obstacles:

Acknowledge the obstacle: It is critical that when you encounter an obstacle in your life to acknowledge the obstacle. To to do this you must take a look at how it came into your life, what was the circumstance, what does it involved and who does it involve. Being able to understand these items will give you a feeling of control of the situation. The sooner you can feel like you are in control of the situation, the quicker you can start to think about ways to overcome the obstacle.

Eliminate the noise: If you think about it, when obstacles come in your life one of the main reason for the feelings I mentioned at the beginning of this post enter your life is because you cannot focus on what is happening. This is usually because of the noise that is taking place in your life. In order to address what is going on, you must eliminate the noise. This may be removing yourself from a situation, taking a break from what you are doing to give yourself time to think, doing some type of meditation, whatever works for you to eliminate the noise.

Focus on what you can control: There is no doubt that we all like to be in control. This is especially important when we encounter obstacles. Being in control allows for better clarity of what needs to be done. When you focus on things you can’t control, you only increase your feelings of frustration and this can often lead to feelings of giving up. There will be times when you feel like you cannot control anything but at the end of the day, you can control how you feel. And as is often said, when you control how you feel, you can control how you act. I have often found writing things down helps me understand what I can and cannot control when dealing with an obstacle.

What Is a Growth Mindset? And How Do I Develop It?

Mindset is key: You may or may not have heard about the concept of Growth Mindset vs Fixed Mindset. Simply put, if you have a Growth Mindset, you embrace challenges and persist in the face of obstacles while on the other hand, if you have a Fixed Mindset, you avoid challenges give up easily when faced with obstacles. As you can quickly see, how you think will impact every aspect of how you act. Thus, it is imperative to have a growth mindset in order to effectively overcome obstacles.

Notice that no where did I say overcoming obstacles in your life is easy, the truth is, its not. However, when you develop what works for you, overcoming obstacles becomes an empowering part of your life. You will find ways to learn more about who you are and what you value in your life. Remember this, developing ways to overcome obstacles is a process. It will not happen overnight.

The fact that you have read this block post means you believe in yourself and want to make good things happen so let me simply say, you’ve got this, you are amazing and there is truly no obstacle you cannot overcome.

Be A Hero

A Break Worth Taking

So I felt I needed a little break from social media to refuel myself mentally, so I took one. I am not sure what exactly I was expecting from this experience but I started writing down my thoughts. I wanted to share those here:

My weekly phone activity dropped dramatically.

At first I struggled with “what am I missing” anxiety. But then felt calm and peace.

I spent more time pondering important things.

I realized the need and importance for people to show they care by reaching out.

I was able to gain a better understanding of why I use social media.

I learned that life goes on.

I felt more in control of my day to day actions.

I discovered that social media can be important as long as boundaries are set.

I realized how polarizing social media can be and for some reason people who enjoy confrontation can let things go.

I enjoy playing Sudoku.

I felt less continuous towards others.

I appreciate all the things my wife and boys do each day whether it’s work, school, playing, helping or just chilling.

I missed dancing and making others happy.

You might be asking, “so what was your big take away from this?” Well here it is:

Technology has an incredible influence on our lives. There is so much good that comes from it but there is also lots of bad. We have a choice who we listen too, who we surround ourselves, how we treat others, how we react towards others and many other things. I realized that every person has influence on others, some we know about and many others we don’t. The pictures we share, the post we make, the comments we add, the reaction buttons we click all have influence. And all of this because of technology.

I have had reconfirmed to me that I will continue to be authentic, myself and open. I may not always feel the happiest but if I can help some else feel happy, I am at peace.

So I learned I may be able to live without social media but I also know it has created many incredible blessings because of the people. I feel connected to so many amazing people and I love that.

One last thing that I am excited about is the knowledge that taking a break strengthens me and gives me some much needed mental health fuel. Thus, I plan to take breaks in the future.

I look forward to reengaging on social media to connect with people. That’s what it’s all about.

Let’s Start With “Why”

Time to get real. Why do you do the things you do? Take a minute to ponder that question and the responses that come to your head and heart.

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Some Why Questions

Why did you get up this morning? Why are you reading this blog? Why didn’t you say “Hi” to the person you walked by in the hall? Why did you “comment” on that one Instagram Post? Why did click the “Like” button on that Tik Tok but not that other one? Why did you leave her/him on read on Snapchat for the entire day? Why did you kiss that boy/girl? Why are talking bad about that person or group of people? Why didn’t you give your best effort today? Why did you lie to your friends about what happened last weekend?

Okay, I think you get the picture, the question why should hopefully open our eyes. Depending on how we answer the questions above and many others like it each day we may or may not like what we see. So I return to the initial question I posed, Why do you do the things you do?

In short we can respond by simply saying that’s just who I am. Not a bad place to start but it is time we go a little deeper. To do this we must ask the next obvious question which is who am I and why am I this way? The answers to these questions will be as numerous as there are people in the world but there will be one common thing, our experiences are what shape our lives.

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Sure, it is much easier for me to say that now when I have had many experiences throughout my life that have shaped me but I wish I would have realized this as a teenager. There is no doubt had I made this connection, I would have been nicer to others, more aware of those in need around me, more respectful to my parents, siblings and friends, not so caught up on who is dating who and why am I single. I would have made sure others felt included all the time. I would have ensured that no one group of students was not so influential on my own decisions. The truth is, I would have made better decisions.

I have felt very strongly that teenagers especially right now need to know that every decision they make has an impact, it will be for good or not so good. That impact will be felt by them and others either directly or indirectly. Having been closely involved with so many teens throughout my life but especially over the past 3 years I can see with all my heart that they are amazing. They have so much potential and talent. They have hearts that are caring. The problem is that many have been influenced by those who do not make the best decisions. They have allowed popularity and clout to fog their sight. For so many they would respond to the question why do I the things I do with a simple, because my friends do it.

For the parents and adults who have influence on teenagers, please let them know how much you love them, care about them and that they are amazing. Do this often.

For the teens who are reading this, you MUST take responsibility now for the decisions you make because they are influencing what you do everyday. Remember, we don’t get to pick the rewards and/or consequences of our decisions, thus we must make it a pattern in our life to make good decisions, even when others don’t.

Be a leader.

Be an example.

BE A HERO!

be a hero