Obstacles – Or Friends In Disguise?


I have come to believe that obstacles may not be the insurmountable things that we think they are. What if they are just tests to see how committed we are to what we say that we want?

It has been my experience in life so far that when I set a goal, I can almost feel the gremlins awakening and crawling out of the woodwork to tell me why I can’t possibly achieve the goal: I am not smart enough, wealthy enough; not enough time, not enough energy.

Gremlins say all sorts of things. Sometimes the things they say sound good. Sometimes they sound more like friends. But listening to a voice that steers you away from achieving your goal is not a friend.

One way the gremlins seduce us is by defining the process by which we achieve our goals as “work” as opposed to a more positive description. “Work” is bad; “work” is not fun.

What if we change “work” to “the plan of action by which I will achieve my desired result”?

What if we define the process of achieving our goals as building, improving. Perhaps we can consider that the process is a process of becoming excellent. This differs from “perfection” which is a sweet-sounding word for a really toxic mindset. Perfection is never achieved; excellence can be achieved daily.

When my gremlins bite at me, I take is as a test to see just how committed I am to what I say my goal is. I dig my heels in and tell them they can bite at me all they want to but I am not changing my mind and I will achieve my goal. I know that as I begin to reap the rewards of my commitment, their nagging little voices will be gone anyway.

It is amazing how quickly most people will quit working toward their goals at the first sign of difficulty. It makes me question their commitment in the first place.

I have yet to see someone fail who has persevered in the face of obstacles which leads me to believe that obstacles are not solid walls but just obstacle courses in which we may need to run, jump, climb and crawl towards our desired outcome. Anything worth achieving comes with a test or two, I have found.

Who perseveres and who gives up? No one can see that deeply inside a person to formulate an answer for analysis or prediction. I have often been surprised; the least likely person I would have thought to be committed turns out to be the most committed. And those who seem to possess strength and self-assurance to achieve their goals turn out to give up quite easily at just a hint of difficulty.

As a fitness guide, I always tell clients that they will give up on themselves before I do because I know they have yet to face their own gremlins and tests.

I haven’t been wrong yet.