This week I’ve started thinking about obstacles that I faced in my past. Thinking about the past and what we have endured can help us plan a better future. With the experience of the past, we learn not to make the same mistakes over and over.
As a teenager and young adult, I felt this huge desire to want to fit in. The only problem is that I never did for some reason or another. I was a white kid, in a predominantly Latino/African-American school. I listened to rap music, and also rock. (Which was not really cool when I was a freshman.) My horizon was broad as far as cultures, music, and things of that sort; but only a fraction of what it is now. (Thankfully!) With so many interests, you’d think I’d have fit in somewhere, but not really.
On top of that, it was hard to fit in when I could not relate to the other kids I knew in high school. My situation at home was bizarre. I survived off of Instant rice, and hot Cheetos. Junk food was the main staple of my teenage diet. My bed was on the floor. Just a mattress with no boxspring. At one point I was sleeping on JUST a box spring. I’d rather have slept on the floor most nights.
Other kids had large families and were involved in the school clubs and sports. I tried that. It didn’t work. I was a chain smoker at 15 years old and would rather not even discuss the other unmentionables that I did. Listening to 2 Live Crew in the morning on the way to school, and Led Zeppelin on the way home I was just a strange kid. Of course, there is an explanation for everything I’ve mentioned. It all has some sort of underlying reason or story. It’s all part of my experience in this life and has helped make me who I am. How? I won’t give that away just yet, or the other horror stories, tragedies, and romances of my life. No, not yet. That’s not the purpose of this blog.
The purpose is that I overcame what I’d experienced in my childhood and teen years, and some of my adulthood. I did it in a way of learning hard life lessons and self-teaching. In fact, I may be overcoming still. In a way – we all are every single day. When you think of obstacles, it’s easy to just get caught up in the misery of them. It’s easy to just think of the obstacle itself and think of how miserable you are, and complain about it all and sulk in your own sadness while you drown in self-pity! The hard part is overcoming the obstacle, whatever it may be. In order to overcome – you need to take action.
There are a few different ways to do it. Everyone will develop their own ways and methods of achieving success in what they desire and overcoming those obstacles that hold them back. For me personally, I think with my desire to fit in, the best way that I overcame that was just accepting the fact that I didn’t HAVE TO fit in. Acceptance was part of my method. I accepted who I was and who I am. I accepted my own truths, abilities, flaws, and uniqueness. Accepting the fact that I was not like everyone else allowed me this sense of mental freedom that I didn’t have before.
At many points in my past, I was so worried about what others thought of me, (especially considering certain events that took place in my life and within the family) that you could say I was living for them and not my own self. If you feel that way, I kindly suggest that you also start to try to overcome your own obstacles. Obstacles are not all that terrible. We do learn from them. They are there for a reason. It’s important to jump and climb over them instead of laying stagnant forever. You need to take action!
- Focusing on yourself and the issue at hand is the first and foremost way of overcoming the obstacle that you face. If you are constantly wrapped up in the news, media, or politics, that is going to leave you very little time to focus on the number one person in your life. (You)! When you catch yourself getting angry at small things that actually don’t concern you (like what’s happening with the Kardashians for example), you are wasting your time and energy. Catch yourself in the moment of those habits and redirect your thoughts and energy into thinking about you and what YOU need to accomplish.
- When you start to worry about yourself, something magical happens. Once you are rewired to focus on you and yourself you will start to want to achieve goals once the hurdle over the obstacle is finished. You need to make a game plan to surmount what you are facing. Be real and honest with yourself. It is key for success. If there is something you need to complete and get over, the best thing you can do is just write it down. Write it all out and make it part of your plan. Writing things down has this super positive mental effect that can actually help you overcome even more obstacles than you originally thought.
- Emotional intelligence within yourself and within the world around you is more important than you think when it comes to overcoming obstacles. To overcome something that is bugging you; you need to actually FEEL your feelings. Don’t drink them, don’t smoke them, don’t eat your feelings. Just FEEL them. It can be messy and you may cry and be upset – but in the end it is worth it. I think the feelings part is kind of intertwined with acceptance. Accepting that something is wrong, or that something needs to be overcome can have a huge emotional strain. But once you accept whatever it is, it is one step closer to defeating the problem or obstacle that you face.
- Ask for help! If you’re anything like me, you’re a stubborn ass who never wants to ask for help. Pride does get the best of us at times! It really does happen. However; sometimes it is actually okay to ask for help. If you have a team of people, or family or friends who support you and genuinely care, don’t be afraid to ask them for help in overcoming what you are facing.
These are some things that anyone can utilize. The main thing you need to do is just run at those obstacles head-on. Charge yourself up, and face them without fear. In the end, it will always be for the best. Obstacles are constant, learning lessons.
They help us build character and gain life experience, so don’t fret. You have to face your fears like a true warrior. You are the leader of your own battle. Armor up and be ready. It will all be okay!