Coach’s Challenge for 3/8/10

Good day team,

This week’s challenge is about overcoming obstacles.

Out for my daily walk this week, I marveled at how plants manage to overcome so many obstacles as they grow and blossom each year. Take daffodils, for example—the courageous little flowers, brave enough to start popping up before spring has even sprung. They endure rain, hail, sometimes a dusting of snow, frost, fog and myriad other difficulties, from animals trampling them to people picking them. Nevertheless, the daffodil overcomes these obstacles and continues to shine its happy yellow trumpet to passersby.

I have been watching my husband do the same at our property out in the Columbia River Gorge while digging a large trench for laying some pipe. Toward the end of the trench, he encountered a huge boulder embedded in the path he needed to follow. It was far too heavy to dig out, so he decided to break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. The boulder was basalt—a very hard stone, which doesn’t break easily and rarely breaks where you want it to. He used a sledgehammer and chisel to find seams and weak spots that he could turn into larger cracks. After hours of work, he broke off four large but liftable pieces. However, the remaining rock was still too big to move, so he tried to pull it out with his truck. When his tires just spun, he attached a winch to a large oak tree and finally—triumphantly—pulled the heavy stone out inch by inch.

Both the daffodils and my husband’s efforts got me to thinking about how we react when we encounter obstacles in our daily lives. Herein lies this week’s challenge. What kinds of obstacles are you facing? How do you overcome them? What techniques can you use to get past the things that seem to always get in your way, trip you up when you are moving along, and stubbornly remain immovable no matter what you seem to do?

Trying to unravel a large obstacle all at once can be overwhelming. When I’m confronted with a problem, I try to break it down into smaller pieces. By dealing with them one at a time, I have a greater chance of eventually solving the larger issue.

This week, identify an obstacle you’re dealing with and see if you can reduce it to manageable chunks. Focus on the smaller pieces one at a time. It might be helpful to talk through your problem with a co-worker or family member. We often become so identified with an obstacle that it blinds us from seeing the solutions for getting past it. One of my friends suggested that I try to see what’s on the other side of the obstacle. Visualizing what things might look like if the obstacle was gone can help to find the solution for getting around it, past it or, in some cases, underneath it.

As in my husband’s case, sometimes it takes a level of determination and true grit to get the obstacle out of the way. Whatever the obstacle is, stay the course and try not to let it defeat you. You just might find that all at once, it has disappeared and the way is open to you again.

Have a good week!

Kathleen

Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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Best regards,
Kathleen Doyle-White
Pathfinders Coaching
(503) 296-9249

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