Do you see obstacles as a pain in the ass or an opportunity for growth?

Do you see obstacles as a pain in the ass or an opportunity for growth? I had the most profound experience at the beginning of last week. So astonished by what I was seeing that it renewed my vigor for tackling some tough times ahead.

I was standing by my kitchen sink putting the kettle on for my first pot of coffee of the day, looking out over the patio. To my delight I saw the first of the daffodil patches on my raised border standing tall getting ready to burst open adding a ray of sunshine to remind us winter is almost over and Spring and new beginnings are just around the corner. Normally I have two areas one either side of the steps leading up to the garden. The ones to the right were coming up nicely but what about the patch on the other side? As I looked I noticed a brown raised mound as if a small creature had burrowed their way in to keep warm. That’s strange I thought, normally the daffodils would be showing there too. Then it hit me! Last Summer the weeds were getting out of hand and I thought right I will cover up the patch of ground with strong black liner and then scatter some bark on top. At the time my overall plan was to remove the liner in Winter so that the daffodils could do their thing in Spring time but clearly I had forgotten!

Surely the daffodils are not able to grow under all that I thought? Worrying that there was indeed a small animal lurking under the mound, I decided to brave it and investigate. Wrapped up for the cold with my grubby pink garden shoes slipped on, off I went to see what was going on.

Sure enough as I peeled back the sodden black liner and bark – the daffodils were growing! They were at least 7 inches but growing laterally as they could not push through the lining. I could not believe that without sunshine they were actually able to grow! I was mesmerised and had to sit and take stock of what I was seeing. It really was like a miracle and I thought wow – you deserve to grow and stand tall blowing in the wind for all to see and I will do my utmost to help you.

In life we talk about resilience and facing our obstacles with the determination to overcome. To see every problem as a chance to grow and not a twist of fate to make us fail. In Learning & Development terms we use the GROW model (Graham Alexander) – a process for goal setting and overcoming obstacles in coaching people to succeed.

I have been reading a book on the subject of personal growth and what is our true purpose in life by Barbara De Angelis ‘Secrets about Life’ and on my post- it note above my desk I have written – ‘My purpose in life is to grow’. I have a number of obstacles to overcome and for each one I am visualising walking around them, getting under them, over them and asking others their opinions and expertise as research to help me make my own decisions. I am learning. These challenges are just that and I have discovered things that I never knew before not least about myself and my resilience to push forward.

And do you know what the daffodils have reminded me? Sharing your intentions with others will help get you where you want to be. Remember though to ask the right people; those that approach life with a ‘can do attitude’; those that have real expertise you can draw from and thirdly, those that really do care about you and want you to succeed. Like the daffodils it took a lot of strength to push up the bark and plastic so that I would take notice. Be visible in your efforts and be conscious in what you want and it will happen.

When you feel like you have a heavy black lining over your head and it’s a struggle to push back remember your purpose in life is to grow. Your mind and body are designed that way and that is the miracle of life.