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Do You See The Obstacle Or The Goal?

By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
April 09, 2012

Where does your mind generally go - to the obstacles or to the goal? You CAN change your mindset if it is stopping you from having what you want.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal. ~Henry Ford

What happens for you when you get a great idea about something you want to do—a new business, a creative project, a vacation and so on? If it really is a great idea for you, you likely feel a sense of excitement about it. I’ve learned that my feelings of excitement let me know that this idea is a good one for me—that it is on the right track regarding what is in my highest good.

What often happens next?

One of two experiences might occur:

  • Thoughts and images pop into your mind of all the obstacles—of how hard it will be to accomplish what you want to do.
  • Thoughts and images pop into your mind of how to achieve what you want—regardless of any challenges that might come up.

Which one most often happens for you?

Focus on Obstacles

Does the part of you — your wounded self, who is afraid of mistakes and failure - take over? What does this sound like?

  • I don’t have what it takes to make this happen.
  • I don’t want to make a fool of myself.
  • I don’t have the money to make this happen.
  • It’s too much work. I feel tired already.
  • It’s too hard.
  • I will never find the time for this.
  • It will never work—it’s a bad idea.
  • What if I fail—then what?
  • Who am I to think I could do this?
  • Other_____________________________.

How do you feel when you tell yourself these things? What happens to the excitement? Do you end up feeling down and discouraged? I’ve learned that feeling down and discouraged is my inner guidance letting me know that my thinking is off course. I’ve learned not to pay attention to negative thoughts—to say to my fearful wounded self, “I’m not listening to you. You don’t know what you are talking about.”

Focus on the Goal

As I said, when I’m excited about an idea, I know that this is my inner guidance letting me know it is a good direction for me. I trust my excitement, and I also trust that my inner guidance lets me know I’ve gotten away from what is in my highest good, when I focus on obstacles and feel down or discouraged.

Focusing on the goal, and the excitement about the goal, is what opens me to the ideas of how to get there. In my experience, it is this excitement and openness that help me find the way to do it. Some call this “The Law of Attraction”—that like energy attracts like energy. I have found it to be invariably true that focusing on my excitement about an idea brings me what I need to carry my idea into fruition.

My inner thought process, instead of focusing on possible obstacles, goes something like this:

“I REALLY want to do this! What do I need to do to make this happen? How can I learn what I need to learn to achieve my goal? Who can be of help to me?”

Once I see a direction, then I often pray for the people and situations to come into my life to support me in my goal. I have complete trust that this will happen—and it always has. However, it’s rarely instant. I have to stay focused on the goal rather than on the obstacles, and maintain my level of excitement about the idea, no matter how long it takes.

Henry Ford faced many obstacles before he invented the Ford. He went bankrupt before he was finally successful. We all know what would have happened if he had allowed the obstacles to stop him.


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