Dream Success: 4 Ways to Overcome Obstacles

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What we do when a setback appears that makes all the difference in whether or not we achieve our dreams. Many people just up and quit when obstacles appear, or when the dream gets boring, stale or too difficult.

Dream achievement is like this – we go along working little by little on our dream, then there is a setback. Sometimes we are tempted to give up when this happens. But not if you are an active member of 8 Women Dream, and not if you want to end up regretting that you quit from now on.

It’s not whether you get knocked down; it’s whether you get back up.

I injured my knee while training this week, and have been taking it easy to make sure I don’t make the same mistakes I made when I participated in the triathlon 5 years ago.

Below are 4 ways to overcome obstacles

1. Get more information about the obstacle you are facing.

One of the first items I found was this video below on running injuries:

Desert Series Episode 23 — You’re injured, now what? from Joe English on Vimeo.

2. Ask an expert who has already accomplished your goal.

A chiropractor I know advised if knee injury pain is on the outside edge of a knee, then it’s likely that it is one of the most common knee complaints: iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS). The recommended cure for this is Walt Reynolds’ ITB Special is an exercise that mimics the running gait and strengthens the iliotibial band.

Instructions for how to do this exercise can be found here.

3. Seek Inspiration.

I found quotes to remind me why I should stay with this dream and placed them on my refrigerator:

  • Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else. ~ Brian Tracy
  • It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. ~ Confucius
  • Perseverance is a great element of success. If you knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

4. Re-frame the obstacle.

Maybe I am not meant to run this year’s Bay To Breakers, but instead to power walk it. This doesn’t mean that I cannot run in next year’s Bay To Breakers, it just means I need to look at all my options and consider them without attaching emotion to the outcome. Walking a marathon is fine – I just need to allow myself this option and be proud that I am even entered to be in a marathon at my age!

What about you? Are you staying with your dreams, despite the obstacles? How do you overcome your setbacks?

I’ll be over here icing my knees and continuing on.


Veronica rotated off 8 Women Dream as an accomplished dreamer in December 2010 after successfully completing two dreams.

  • Veronica

    We would be honored and appreciate a comment for the fabulous 8womendream.com.

  • Just remember in your dream search that quality questions create a quality life. Successful people ask better questions, and as a result, they get better answers. “Questions provide the key to unlocking our unlimited potential.” – Tony Robbins. Great site ladies.

  • In his famous book The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho touches on this topic as well. One of my favorite quotes from this book is:

    “Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe. It’s your mission on earth. And when you want something, the whole universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.”

    And as true and inspiring as this is, Coelho also says that before you can reach your dream, you will be tested by the very same universe. And besides that test right before reaching his dream, there were many obstacles on the way of the shepherd Santiago as well.

    You might want to pick up the book and see if it helps you get through this period of time when you are overcoming obstacles. Good luck!

  • Veronica

    You are an inspiration to me…..thank you so much.

  • Mmmmmmmmm, ice cream….

    Since I can’t drive at the moment, I’m safe.

    The swing dance I do is something of a childhood dream. I maybe didn’t always know I wanted to do that specific kind of dancing, but there was some dancing I’d see in movies, and wish I could do it. I was over 25 when I saw a T.V. news piece about the lindy hop revival, and I got all excited when I saw it: “That’s what I want to do!” It took me until I was 40 to get over all the reasons I couldn’t do it, and actually give it a try.

    By that time, I had chronic knee pain, and the dancing I did in the following 3 years has almost certainly made it worse. On top of that, I got an injury dancing, which, 2 years later, I hadn’t completely recovered from.

    As I’ve mentioned, I had extensive knee surgery almost a month ago. Today, I took my crutches outside and walked for a half block out & half block home. I expect to be able to walk without crutches within a week or two, now. But it will be another 5 months or so before I’m back on the dance floor on a regular basis. Next week I plan to talk to the doctor about how soon it will be safe for me to work with a trusted private instructor.

    But I’m content that this surgery was the right thing to do, so I’ll be able to dance longer. I’ll be getting physical therapy for the other knee as well, and spend some training on having good form, in the hopes that will spare me some pain & give me extra years before the eventual knee replacement. It’s been a setback in terms of my immediate activity level, but I have high hopes it will mean I can do more in the future than I’d expected.

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    I am always here for all of us and for you – sometimes silently watching over like the clouds that pass over on a sunny day.

    We need our next meeting. I can feel it. Then we will all be back together and on track again.

    Resistance to change is as normal as the air we breathe, we just need to see that it it happening and know it is normal.

    You are normal and Ben and Jerry are hard to resist. I have had a ton of bananas this week trying to resist the sugar calling my name. I also wanted to have a glass of wine Friday night. I just brushed my teeth and had a big glass of water.

    I am with you.

    Love, Cath

  • Catherine, Site Admin

    I know this knee problem thing all too well. Bicycling doesn’t hurt at all. I am about to test if it is better tomorrow by hiking Spring Lake with an old friend who got himself back into shape and is willing to help me and my knees.

    I’ll be thinking of you.


  • Veronica

    Well Cath we ran into each other last night about 12:30am and I was feeling quite defeated after my dear friends Ben and Jerry came to visit last night. But thanks to you I am right back up today, walking not running.
    love you