When I think about mental, emotional and physical roadblocks, I am reminded of the weight loss TV shows where a physical trainer intimidates, pushes, cajoles and then orders the overweight person to do yet another mile on the treadmill. The contestant whines, cries, goes into full-blown hysterics and, before he knows it, he did the mile and ends up feeling euphoria of kicking butt and going past the exit sign.
Life is weird that way: We look back at the loss of loved ones, illness, anxiety, depression, financial hardships, relationship dramas and the like and yet we still say "I can't do this," when faced with a new obstacle.
But we are always capable of a bit more....
There's a few ways we get through that threshold -
Self-Bullying: Sometimes, the way to get us through a tough spot is to bully. We might call ourselves a baby or a wimp or simply say "you don't rest until it's done!" or "buck it up!" Sometimes to get through something really hard, keeping one's butt on fire is the only way out - emergency mode. If you show yourself compassion, you might just cave. You remind yourself repeatedly, "I'll feel this later."
The movie "Facing the Giants" is a good example of this -
Self-Bargaining: Creating milestones and incentives is a healthy way to deal with an obstacle. You might decide "today, I will not drink soda. If I make it to bedtime and I didn't drink soda, I will take a long hot bath and read a book as a reward." Sometimes the bargains are come to with God, sometimes promises we made to loved ones (both living and gone). Bargaining helps us to go one step at a time, believing there is payoff. It can also be called by some as "faith." In other instances, it is simply a motivation of fear of disappointing others. We are so worried about a job we must do, a duty we must undertake and failing in front of others who count on us, that we live up to the moment of challenge.
"The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" is a good example of this -
Self-Compassion: Upon occasion, we get through something by recognizing, "yup, this sucks right now, but I've been through worse and if I get myself through this, I will have even more pride in what I'm capable of." We become understanding that the pain is an expected part of the process and giving ourselves credit for being able to pull up more gumption from deep within. We might look for the one thing in the situation we can control, and before we know it, we're fully engaged in the process.
The book and movie "Under the Tuscan Sun" is a good example -
Self-Confession: Getting real with yourself and carrying on a dialogue is sometimes the only way through a situation. Shifting your perspective to that of an observer/archivist is sometimes the only way to handle a hard time. It's telling yourself that you will recall how it felt, what you thought, what you did for down-the-line where you look back with pride. Instead of saying "impossible" and "can't," you simply take out of the fear and become a detached observer, chronicling, trying not to label the experience, simply following a to-do list, methodically. This person is most likely to journal the experience.
The book and the movie "Wild" are a fine example of this -
Self-Fear: There are occasions were, to stay where we are presently is so horrifying that we never ever want to be there again! This is negative reinforcement and it works for some, especially addicts. There comes a place where a person says, "I never want to be in this bad place again!" And, they begin to dig out and avoid anything resembling that experience.
The 1984 movie, "Karate Kid" is a good example of this -
Any way we handle life's obstacles, one thing is for certain; pain is temporary, but quitting is forever.