Turn Obstacles into Opportunities

helping hand 2If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” —Michael Jordan


By Elizabeth Stincelli, DM


It is so easy to become overwhelmed when we run into obstacles. How easy is it to just give up? To walk away? As Michael Jordan points out in the quote above, obstacles are inevitable. You can choose to overcome the obstacles you encounter or succumb to the fear and frustration that causes you to give up; it’s all in your attitude. Instead of seeing obstacles as roadblocks, start seeing them as opportunities. So, what opportunities do obstacles offer?

Opportunity to reevaluate

Obstacles give us the opportunity to reevaluate. Do we have a good grasp of the big picture? Did we have a solid plan? Did we stick to the plan? Is it time to look for a contingency plan that yields the same results? Have we done our due diligence? This is a great opportunity to look five steps ahead. Can you see the other side of this obstacle?

Opportunity to collaborate

Obstacles are a great opportunity to wake up and realize that we can’t do it all by ourselves. Where are we weak? Can we collaborate with someone who is strong in this area? Where will our energy and focus be most beneficial? Who can fill in the gaps? Who can we learn from? Who can motivate and inspire us?

Opportunity to gain confidence

What better way to gain confidence than to overcome an obstacle. Every time we conquer a challenge, we gain more confidence in our ability to overcome anything that is thrown our way. It changes our self-talk from “I can’t” to “I’ve done it before and I can do it again”.

Opportunity to grow

And last, but definitely not least, obstacles provide us with the opportunity to grow. We don’t grow when things are easy; we grow when things are tough. Obstacles help us to see where we need to improve our knowledge and skills; they challenge us and help us to stretch and to grow.

Start Seeing Obstacles as Opportunities

You will encounter obstacles; things will get difficult. Don’t let obstacles derail you. Use them as opportunities to reevaluate the situation, your plan, and the big picture. Use them as opportunities to find ways to collaborate and benefit from the strengths of others. And, use obstacles as opportunities to stretch beyond your comfort zone and to grow.



© 2016 Elizabeth Stincelli


Liz Stincelli is passionate about recognizing and inspiring the leader in each of us. She is the Founder of Stincelli Advisors where she focuses on helping organizations engage employees and improve organizational culture. Liz holds a Doctor of Management degree with an emphasis on organizational leadership.

Learn more about Liz by visiting her website, stincelliadvisors.com and connect with her on Twitter @infinitestin, Google+, and LinkedIn. You can contact her by email at stincelliadvisors@gmail.com.