What do you consider as your main daily challenges and obstacles? Do you feel like you’re faced with a myriad of energy-draining, hard-to-resolve problems every day, or do you see yourself as a balanced surfer successfully riding that wave?
For each of us, the terms “challenge” and “obstacle” mean different things. They can be related to any sphere of our lives: work, family life, relationships with others, self-care, and so on.
Some of us tend to perceive these with ease, while others get stuck in draining, negative thoughts.
There’s no universal step-by-step formula that will help resolve any kind of adversity you might find yourself in, but there is something much better you can do: change your attitude and mindset and start looking at things from a more positive perspective.
This article is a framework for dealing with tough and challenging moments in life. We’ll share some useful tips and additional reading resources that will guide you towards living a happier life and having a lighter approach to daily challenges and obstacles.
6 Ways to Deal With Daily Challenges and Obstacles
Always Have a Plan
If you have clear plans and goals, obstacles and challenges become much easier to handle as they’re no longer seen as chaotic and random.
Having plans can help you find patterns in your life and perhaps discover that you’re not standing in front of an artificial, external obstacle, but in front of an inner barrier. This also allows us to gain information on what would be the optimal outcome of any given goal and prevents us from getting lost in minor setbacks.
Lucky for you, we can offer you various resources to help you become a planning expert.
First of all, there’s our Productivity Planner that has helped thousands of people organize their time and efforts towards achieving their goals. The Productivity Planner teaches you how to plan ahead on a daily and weekly level, how to prioritize various tasks, and how to manage your time more efficiently with the Focus Time Technique.
If you want to learn more about what it can do for you, head over to our step-by-step guide on how to plan your day, week, and year and the step-by-step guide on how to set achievable goals.
Clearly Define What’s Bothering You
If you feel like you’re facing a challenge you need to overcome, the first step towards the resolution should be defining the problem.
Thanks to the experimental works of German psychologists in the 20th century, such as Karl Duncker, today we have detailed descriptions of the cognitive processes necessary for efficient real-world problem-solving. The most important step here is the representation or the definition of the problem.
Whether you need to hear a detailed explanation of the problem from someone else or define it by yourself, it’s always good to check-in with someone other than yourself and gain insight on some of the following questions.
- What does the situation look like to them?
- Does your definition of the problem sound reasonable?
- Did you understand it properly?
Bottling things up can sometimes make a much bigger mess than necessary, so writing things down or talking to others can help you regain clarity.
Take a Gratitude Approach
Taking a gratitude approach means not allowing yourself to fall into the trap of negative thinking. Sometimes, when faced with a challenge, we fall under the influence of negativity bias, and forget that there’s always the other side of the coin.
Practicing gratitude every day: at work, in your relationships, through meditation, or by keeping a gratitude journal can help you gain clarity and maintain a dual perspective in every event regardless of how difficult it is.
Our favorite way of practicing gratitude is keeping a gratitude journal. We’ve designed The Five Minute Journal for anyone who wants to systematically implement a short and sweet gratitude practice into their daily routine.
Each morning and evening, you need to take a moment with your journal and write down some positive expectations or experiences from that day. That way, no matter how challenging your day was, you can allow yourself to acknowledge that it wasn’t all bad!
You’ll also learn to cherish your challenges and obstacles, as overcoming them makes you a better and stronger person, so they’re also something to be grateful for.
Very often the only thing we lack to turn that obstacle into a valuable experience is knowing that we’re not alone.
Sometimes we retreat to our micro-universes and forget that, regardless of what we’re experiencing right now, someone’s been there before us.
If you feel like you’re stuck somewhere, it’s more than okay to turn to your community for support: friends, family, colleagues, partner. After all, you’d give them support if they were in your position, right?
Other great sources of support are self-growth books. If you’re interested in acquiring universal wisdom about the human race, productivity, letting go of difficult emotions, or achieving happiness, pick a book from our list of self-growth book recommendations!
The Obstacle Is the Way: Adopt a Growth Mindset
Guess what’s the difference between people who get stressed out even over minor challenges or setbacks and those who flourish and become better people by overcoming them?
Their mindset, of course.
Adopting a growth mindset means having a positive perspective and following the idea of life-long learning. Although the challenges life puts before us can sometimes seem insurmountable, it’s usually just a matter of perspective.
Believing that hard work can get you through anything and that your traits, abilities, and skills are forever changeable means deciding to believe that you’re meant to grow throughout your entire life.
Getting stuck inside an adverse situation or believing that you’re simply not good enough to surpass the obstacle doesn’t mean that’s true. It only means you need to move from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset and use those obstacles to pave the way forward!
Nurture a Positive Way of Thinking
Positivity is not something you’re born with, it’s something you need to consciously acquire. Practicing gratitude and adopting a growth mindset is a sure way of becoming more positive, but you can always do more.
Read more about positivity, engage in uplifting stories, try to counterbalance all the negativity you probably often read about in the news with some inspiring and positive life stories.
Not sure where to find those?
Focus on Your Ideal Self
Perhaps you’re stuck right now, but what would your ideal you do in this situation? Can you remember the last time when you were the best possible version of yourself? What’s the difference between that you and this you? Is there something you can retrieve from that experience and use now to inspire yourself to move forward?
Although no one can serve you a solution to any particular problem or challenge you’re facing, we believe that articles like this one can be of great help on your personal growth journey.
Challenges and obstacles are a normal part of our lives and we should embrace them as valuable lessons and learning resources.
Yet, we often forget to do this and end up being all stressed out and unsatisfied with life. That’s why we’re here to remind you that in every yin there’s a yang and vice versa.