The Beauty of Obstacles and How to Turn Them into Strengths

All too often, we stop short of our goals because of obstacles that often have their origins in prior events or previous generations. And yet obstacles are actually clues to the future we want and desire. They are actually pivot points to our strengths, rooted in our family system’s desire for change and evolution.

An obstacle is an invitation to refocus and stop seeing an obstacle—to look with curiosity and see it as an opportunity to turn sickness into health, poverty into abundance, and limitations into liberation.

For example, nobody in Paul’s family has a degree. The family ethic is all about hard work. He is really good at sketching and wants to be an architect, but his unconscious loyalty to the family’s work pattern makes him hesitant to venture into an arena he knows nothing about. This becomes an obstacle.

Now, obstacles are often solutions that have outlived their usefulness. Paul’s family emigrated from Puerto Rico. No one in the family spoke English. Blue collar jobs were the only option and that kind of work kept the family afloat. Then “blue collar” became a fixed pattern that couldn’t allow growth. 

It is when Paul focused on his passion and deep desire to create beautiful buildings, that he could see a different path forward. His desire outweighed the old pattern. 

When he is able to look at his heritage and can see the steps that led to who he is, he finds himself filled with gratitude and acknowledgement. Understanding that his desire to add to the family system is rooted in gratitude enables him to focus on and fulfill his own dream. Thus, he turns the obstacle into a strength. 

Once we understand what an obstacle is trying to show us, we very quickly realize that it is trying to grow the system through us and then we can shift the pattern.

While the system’s most important goal is to survive, its highest ideal is to thrive. We don’t want to stall out at the point of our parent’s success. We want to soar beyond it, growing the system and expanding its opportunities. Thinking about obstacles as portals to possibility aligns the head, heart and gut in a whole new way. When these three are aligned, there is no confusion, and everything is focused and invested in a single direction.