Not every obstacle is put in your path to be overcome. There are those very rare gems that teach us one of the most valuable lessons in life: learning when to let go. The real obstacle in these instances is often coming to the realization that all of the energy you have dedicated to breaking through this obstacle has actually been expelled in order for you to learn that you need to change your path. Here are three steps to using an obstacle to inspire change:
- Knowing when it is time to let go
- Gaining perspective from your process
- Pursuing the next challenge
Remember, every obstacle provides an opportunity. Today is your lucky day! Today you will learn when to let go of an obstacle, as well as any feelings of failure or incompetence that might surface in your efforts to move forward.
Time to Let It Go
It is very normal for this to be the most difficult part of the process. How do you know the difference between letting go, and giving up? They sound similar, but are most definitely not the same. It's not even a matter of exploring every option, DEALing with every challenge presented over the course of exploring this particular block. The real test to put the obstacle against is quite simply to look at it and ask yourself
"Does this process still serve my purpose?"
If the answer is "no," it is time to move on.
You are not likely to find the lessons in assessments of the time and energy you have poured into conquering your challenge. When you look at it from this perspective, the logical thought path takes you to feelings of failure and ideas that you are somehow lacking in competence. If not this, you would have succeeded, correct?
Instead, look at that time and energy as having been expelled in order for you to be certain that this goal does not serve your purpose. Now, you no longer need the obstacle! The weight of the boulder that fell in your path is lifted. You can let it go and move on. Imagine the light that can now shine on you, because you are moving out from under the shadow of the obstacle. It is time to change course and use that energy to propel you towards something that will serve your purpose. It then becomes clear your decision to let go was the most intelligent choice you could make, and you can feel satisfied that you have not failed in overcoming your obstacle, but instead have succeeded in knowing what you need and can accept that the obstacle was not a true representation of that. This requires intelligence and emotional strength. Embrace those qualities as you begin to move away from this moment in time.
Harboring any negative feelings around that old obstacle will only serve to inhibit your progress down the path. Do not carry them with you. Remember as you approach new challenges that letting go of that last obstacle was neither quitting nor failing. You used your thoughts and senses to recognize there were more productive things to pour your energies into. Breathe freely and with no guilt over "losing." That is the voice of the ego, and ego doesn't serve your purpose any more than that obstacle did.
Approach your new path and the challenges that arise with a fresh perspective and confidence in your ability to know when the opportunities have been extracted fully from each obstacle.