After starting to talk at the age of four, Albert Einstein was famously distracted in school, even assumed to be lazy. Stephen King’s first novel, Carrie, was rejected by 30 publishers. Actors Jim Carrey and Chris Pratt were once homeless.
It’s easy to assume that some of the world’s top celebrities, scientists, and thinkers had it easy, but the truth is that challenges don’t avoid the rich and famous. Overcoming obstacles is a universal need, and household names like the ones above are great evidence that it’s possible to not only move past a challenge but find success afterward.
Whether you’re dealing with professional hardship, personal or relationship issues, or health concerns, overcoming challenges isn’t always easy. If you’re not sure how to move forward, we’ve got you covered: let’s take a look at a few tried-and-tested methods of thriving in the face of obstacles.
1. Know Your Purpose
Think about it this way: it’s hard to stay on track if you don’t have a destination in mind. Obstacles can seem more overwhelming when you aren’t reaching for a larger purpose or vision, making you feel as though you’re floundering and unmotivated.
People who have a vision for their future and who set long-term goals to achieve that vision tend to be more successful than those without. It’s easier to jump back up after a fall if you know the next milestone you’re reaching for!
Of course, having a sense of purpose may seem easier said than done, especially if you’ve been pursuing fleeting short-term goals for a while. A few easy tips, like exploring your interests and having conversations with people you admire, can help you get started.
Note that there’s no right or wrong purpose for your life: some people focus on their career, while others focus on family, social injustices, their community, or personal growth.
2. Build Your Resilience
Obstacles are inevitable, but that doesn’t mean we have to accept them. In the face of adversity, stress, and trauma, our innate resilience can help us persevere.
Resilience is what allows us to adapt to negative changes in our lives, and it can even help us funnel our energies into more positive personal growth. While it won’t prevent you from experiencing stressful situations, it can help you withstand them.
Even if you feel that you’re not adept at responding to challenges, it’s worth knowing that you can build your resilience over time with a few steps:
- Focus on your personal goals and purpose
- Develop or reconnect with your social network
- Work to cultivate a hopeful outlook
- Make regular time for goal setting
- Nurture yourself with proper self-care
- Practice problem-solving skills
- Work on being kinder to yourself
It’s important to remember that you’ll never be in full control of your circumstances—but you can control how you react to them. Building resilience is a great way to feel more at ease with challenges that come your way!
3. Learn How to Persevere
Focusing on the bigger picture can help you understand where you’re meant to go, but it’s easy to feel demotivated if that vision seems like it’s a long way off. This is especially true if you keep running into challenges that unseat you along the way. We live in a culture of instant gratification, allowing us to get our hands on things fast, but goals don’t always come to us so easily.
Putting in constant time and effort is the only way to overcome your struggles and reach your goals. Throwing in the towel may seem like the best option, but it won’t help you move any closer to your desired future!
Though there are countless techniques people use to help them keep moving forward, a few are worth mentioning here.
First, work on developing grit, or mental toughness. This skill can help you tolerate pain and discomfort in order to stay on course—even when the going gets tough.
Second, decide on your pace. Sticking to a set schedule that allows you to tackle a problem step by step can help you break down even the largest of challenges.
Next, take a single step forward. Often, the act of not giving up gets much easier once you’ve taken the first small step toward a goal, as this step can bring other milestones within easier reach.
4. Don’t Hesitate to Ask for Help
Some obstacles are difficult or even impossible to overcome on your own. Humans are social animals, and we’ve survived as a species because we lend support in times of crisis.
If you’re going through tough times, don’t be shy about asking for help within your social circles. Asking for help isn’t always easy, but accepting some extra support shows great courage and strength. Tap your support system of friends, family members, and even coworkers to find a team that supports your vision—and your growth—when you need it most.
Like everything else, this is a skill you can build with practice. Many people find it helpful to come up with a list of friends and relatives they trust to support them, identify specific tasks they need help with, and ask in a direct fashion.
Use These Tips for Overcoming Obstacles
No matter what challenges you face, it’s crucial to have the right strategies in your toolkit for overcoming obstacles. The four methods above are tried-and-tested techniques that can help you analyze your challenges and work to get past them. Moving forward takes time, but countless people throughout history have proven that it’s possible to get past even the most difficult hardships—which means there’s hope for you as well!
Want more tips to help you move forward in life? Be sure to take a look at our other content for additional insights.