As we journey along the path of life, it is inevitable that we are presented with challenges, stumbling blocks, and barriers which come in all shapes and sizes. Some come out of nowhere and we are unprepared to confront while others are more predictable and are easier to overcome. Some are put in our way by other people while others are created or invented by ourselves.

As any good personal development program can tell us, it is the challenges in life, the difficult times that present us with our greatest opportunities, as well as our greatest lessons. Looking back over your own experiences, you can probably see evidence of the truth of this.

Maybe it was when you left home for college or when you took a new job in another state or country.  This may have been the first time to be away from home, family, and friends.  In those first few months away from home many experience the loneliest and most challenging times of their lives as they face many moments of self-doubt before settling in their new surroundings.  Eventually, though, you figured out how to get rid of your fears and conquered your homesickness. Eventually you started to enjoy the tremendous opportunities all around you.  

When thinking about many of life’s challenges, I'm reminded of the power that comes to each of us when we step up to the barriers that come our way. Certainly, emerging on the other side of a challenge as a stronger, wiser, and hopefully better person is directly dependent on our willingness to step into the unknown with courage, determination and faith.

It is important to remind ourselves that overcoming challenges is a skill that has to be practiced in order to be perfected. The barriers, otherwise, we come across will inhibit growth instead of encouraging it. Unfortunately, all of us can think of someone who hasn't been able to move beyond a particular challenge or obstacle, and has suffered for it. It takes courage, determination, optimism, and faith to face challenges head on and move beyond them.  While it's not always quick or easy, in the end the barriers we overcome become our greatest teachers.

Think about it.