Overcoming Obstacles is only hard…not impossible.
Guest Post by Michael De Rosa
I write from experience, having endured many years with a severe speech impediment which quickly mushroomed to my isolating from conversations because of the ridicule from my peers for talking so funny. Overcoming obstacles at this point in life was not even on the radar!
So I can, at least, begin to understand others with disabilities and their own struggles in overcoming obstacles. You and I may not have the same problems, but one thing that I do know is that the there are some tried and true methods that I have found that can help you as well.
First, I had lots of support. I was blessed to have a family that wanted my best and they sent me off to various schools/programs whereby I would learn to talk well. That took about 15 years! If you don’t have the support from your family, don’t despair. There are many other ways to get the support.
- look online for ‘support groups’
- talk with your doctor about your desire to improve your life
- talk with your friends
- Call the local social agencies
Support is invaluable, and can be much less inexpensive that counseling or medications, both of which are not necessarily to be shunned!
You can not forge ahead unless you really want to move. Unless you ‘own it’, you won’t go far. Don’t measure your progress in years, but narrow it down into smaller chunks of time. For me, overcoming the obstacle of differentiating between my ‘th’ and ‘t’ sounds was the first goal. Under the direction of my first speech teacher, my parents made me say table grace for each of our meals. This grace had a lot of “thank you, Lord’s”. At first, I struggled and the food probably became colder than I realized because it took me so much time to get through the grace. But I made it.
Today, I talk a lot, and people really have a hard time believing that I was ever shy. Well, overcoming this obstacle was not done for others, but for me, because I know that I have a message to share with others, and I will not allow a speech impediment to stop me.
Perseverance is important, but you have to know why you are hanging in there! So, what is your goal, your reason in overcoming obstacles in your life? My goal is to continue to help people with disabilities live life to the fullest.
For the past couple of years, I have been keeping the principle of ‘beginning with the end in mind‘ (Steven Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) before me. It has not been easy. Rather my journey as been akin to swimming upstream against some pretty strong current; it has, though, been very rewarding.
The Bible, too, addresses the importance of goals:
Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:12
I would recommend that you have a long term goal, but also mini goals/ mileage markers as you press in on your journey of overcoming obstacles in your life.
I have created a worksheet, SMART Goals, that you might want to get. It is designed to help you become realistic with your own goals as you continue to work on overcoming obstacles in your life.