Facing obstacles throughout your life is inevitable, and the obstacles you overcome can define who you are as a person. Not only will this build character and self-confidence, it will show others how strong you remained and inspire them to overcome their own challenges.
But overcoming obstacles is no simple task. Most obstacles are incredibly hard and testing. Yet, by overcoming them, you will come to understand why they are important. The significance of overcoming obstacles in life is to make you more grounded, courageous, and wise. For me, one of these life-altering obstacles emerged during my undergraduate years.
I had a serious fear of public speaking. There were times where I would struggle with presentations and in-class discussions. When these sessions would take place, my fear built up in a pressure cooker of discouragement and convulsive anguish. I felt humiliated before my teachers, partners, and most of all, my close friends. I soon realized, however, that the same people who seemed to be the source of my fear became my lifeline, their inspirational words filling my mind and heart with positive thoughts.
Seeing my struggles, my peers tried to build me up, to increase my confidence in myself and convince me that anything, including overcoming my fear of public speaking, could be accomplished with enough enthusiasm and belief in oneself.
The obstacles we face in life can distort how we see ourselves and cripple our ability to face our fears. By facing these conflicts head on, though, we can completely flip their effect on us, transforming them into experiences that strengthen our resilience and push the boundaries of what we think is possible to achieve.
Taking everything into account everything I’ve learned from this experience and many others like it that I’ve encountered in my life, it’s clear that obstacles are impossible to avoid, and when you do encounter them, you must view them as learning opportunities. You might just surprise yourself at how easily you overcome them.
This post was written by Duke TIP’s outgoing Marketing & Communications intern, Christina Gordon. Christina graduated from North Carolina Central University in the spring of 2020.