Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay were the first climbers to have reached the Mount Everest summit on May 29, 1953. Sir Edmund Hillary said something so profound after his Everest climb that it has stayed with us forever. His quote on climbing mountains and overcoming obstacles resonates with us deeply:
Life is not a straight line, which takes us from point A to point B. We meander, sometimes to take a route more fun but mostly to avoid obstacles. These mountains of obstacles that come our way are less to do with the outside world and more to do with our inside world. That is also exactly what Edmund Hillary points out in his quote.
So what do you do when you are stuck? Faced with an insurmountable challenge that you can't possibly wrap your mind around? What do you do when you are faced with a challenge that is metaphorically as big as Mt. Everest? Here are some tips to overcome obstacles:
Take a step back
Get some distance if possible and look at the issue at hand from afar. Sometimes, you are not able to see the obvious because you are just too close to the obstacle. Zooming out and viewing the issue from afar can go a long way in just understanding what you are dealing with. It will also add a lot of clarity and help you define the problem quickly. With some luck (and distance) you will be able to see things more clearly and acknowledge what is what.
Once you have taken a good look at what you are dealing with, accept it. Many times, we know what to do and how to solve the issue. We are just unwilling to accept the reality. We often don't want to believe that we have made a mistake or that people close to us hurt us or even that life just sucks for the moment. But when you truly embrace what you are going through, you tend to see things clearly and a path to overcome the obstacle emerges.
Stop being a victim
Accept that you cannot control what happens to you, often in life. But you can control your reaction to it. If you can look at the world from this perspective, you will stop victimizing yourself and start looking at the issue at face value - a challenge that you have to overcome and nothing more. If you can stop asking the question, "why did this happen to me", then you can finally move away from the victim mode to a solution-driven mindset. You only have control over your reaction, so focus on that.
Focus on the why
When we are overwhelmed by seemingly unsolvable challenges, it helps to focus on why we are doing something. When we are faced with tough choices, emphasizing why we are doing it, can help us make the right choices. We often find the courage to take that difficult step when we know that we are doing it for our parents, spouse, kids, or even for a bigger cause.
It may also help to really take the time to assess the meaning of your life. If you are lost and are unable to come up with a why then we recommend you read the article: the meaning of life is to find your gift.
Take time off
This suggestion may not work for everyone. But if you have the liberty of time, then this is a powerful idea. If you have been trying to solve a problem for years, but haven't been able to get to a solution, then this is something you can try. For a specified time, give up on solving the issue. For instance, if you are struggling with losing weight, and you have really tried everything, then for a month, don't try anything. Just let it be. Accept who you are and let go. Let the universe find the perfect way to solve the issue.
We often create more resistance when we are ardently trying to solve an issue. By doing this, we don't give the universe to work out a way for us. When we let go of the focus on the issue, we give space to the universe to do its thing. We reduce the resistance by not overthinking it and not trying to change our thoughts and minds about what we want over and over again.
We often feel that we have to solve our problems all by ourselves. We try not to seek help as much as possible. While this is a good practice overall, however, when you are dealing with obstacles that are this large, it's about time you seek help. It may be a family member who has done this already, an expert in the domain you are struggling in or it just may be a counselor to help you through some emotional challenges. Whichever it is, don't shy away from asking for help. Accept as much help as possible - what you are dealing with is difficult and it's okay to rely on others for a little help.
Evaluate your options
Really think about all the available options. Don't rule anything out, even if it means changing your entire life around. Often, these insurmountable challenges are just a way for life to tell us we need to change the way we are approaching life. So if an option involves you uprooting everything you stand for, don't discard it. Take a piece of paper and write all the choices down - however crazy they may sound. Make a comprehensive list.
This is where the rubber meets the road, it will help you look at what you are dealing with clearly. Laying out all the options in the open will help you plan your next course of action.