Many of us are taught to believe that obstacles in our path are bad.

In business, we have competition, changing marketing conditions, client delays, limited resources, and a host of other pressures. There is always a series of steps between where we are today and the result we want to achieve tomorrow. Almost always, one of these steps becomes a choking point that determines the speed at which we complete our goals.

Consider how many times we let a situation make us angry, frustrated, or disappointed. Worse yet, consider how many times these thoughts eat away at us—slow and methodical, like a worm nibbling a leaf, giving away our power to a circumstance or another person.

It could be simple event like an email you receive that immediately makes you furious or it could be an emotionally charged situation you find yourself entangled in.  We have all been there. We can’t sleep, our stomach is in knots, and the situation is all we can think about.

Intellectually we know our reaction to any experience is our choice, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to control. When the voice in our head convinces us that a particular situation is totally bad, our human reaction is to defend ourselves or to immediately try to remedy the situation. I have learned that this only causes me to leak more energy and spiral further into the drama of the circumstance.

Here are three valuable tools I have shared previously that I encourage you to revisit:

Things are going to happen that we like and don’t like—it’s called life.

Both good and not-so good experiences are learning opportunities—sometimes blessings in disguise.

When things happen that you perceive as bad, your only job is to consciously recenter your thoughts and remind yourself  that every day you are growing—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Remind yourself that consciously or unconsciously, you are forever giving everything meaning, but you have the power to attach the meaning that is more helpful. If you dwell on your misfortunes, you risk overlooking tremendous opportunities to learn and grow.

You have the POWER OF CHOICE.

Obstacles can stand in your way or they can drive you to find a better way.