Two Obstacles

There are two obstacles. Or maybe at least two categories of obstacles.

Internal obstacles and external obstacles.

Internal obstacles include fear, doubt, our inner voice, regret, commitment, procrastination, and fear (yes I put it on the list twice).

External obstacles include time, resources, location, people, bosses, organizations, regulations, climate, and the entire world.

When we do not accomplish something it is so tempting to blame the external obstacles.

You didn’t have the time.

You didn’t have the resources.

The organization got in the way.

Those people derailed you.

The weather didn’t cooperate.

In reality, our internal obstacles play a larger role.

You were afraid.

Your inner voice reminded you that you are an imposter.

You thought you might fail.

You were afraid.

You didn’t commit.

The genius of the internal obstacles is that they convince you to look elsewhere. To look outside.

Internal obstacles hold up a magnifying glass and convince us that the external obstacles are large. Larger than life.

We forget that a magnifying glass, although helpful in viewing details, is a distortion of reality.

This distortion convinces us that we have no power to move forward. The external obstacles are too large, too menacing, too much to overcome.

The internal obstacles get off easy by blaming the external obstacles.

Next time, don’t let them off so easily.

Put down that magnifying glass, and take that first step.

Fear not the obstacles in your path.

(I can no longer type or say OBSTACLES without thinking of this movie scene. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. However, now all I hear is “OB-STACK-ELLS”)

“I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them…”

Blind Seer in O Brother, Where Art Thou?