As we journey along the path of life, barriers, challenges and stumbling blocks are inevitable. These stumbling blocks come in all shapes and sizes. Some come out of nowhere catching us off-guard while others are anticipated; therefore, we can prepare. Some challenges are put in our way by other people, but others we create or invent ourselves. It’s the latter that present our greatest learning opportunities.

As any good personal development program can tell you, it's the challenges in life, during the difficult times, which present us with our greatest lessons. When looking back over their own experiences, most everyone can see evidence of this truth. These challenges should remind us of the power that comes when we step up to the challenges that come our way.

Of course, emerging on the other side of a life challenge as a stronger, wiser and hopefully better person is directly proportional to our willingness to step into the unknown with courage, confidence and faith of conviction. It is important, however, to remind ourselves that overcoming challenges is a skill that has to be practiced in order to be perfected. Otherwise, the barriers we come across will thwart growth instead of encouraging it.

Unfortunately, we can all think of someone we know who hasn't been able to get beyond a particular hardship or obstacle, and has suffered for it one way or another. It takes courage, determination, creativity, optimism and confidence to face challenges head on and move beyond them, and it's not always quick or easy. In the end, however, the barriers we conquer are our greatest teachers.

Think about it.