Back in 2003, I was diagnosed with skin cancer. Thankfully, it was the ‘best’ skin cancer there is – basal cell carcinoma. After my dermatologist had explained to me what the diagnosis meant and the procedure that he would do to cure it, I had a moment of relief and then panic.
My face was about to become scarred. Here is what I’ve learned about my injuries and overcoming obstacles in life.
4. Overcoming Obstacles Takes Practice
Yes, I was 29, and that is where my thoughts immediately went to after the relief that my years of no sunscreen on the Gulf Coast were not going to toast me yet.
Fast forward more than a decade and at another dermatologist in Florida.
As she handed me a mirror, she asked me if I wanted her to laser it to make it smoother.
In those years, I had grown not to notice it until she pointed it out.
I’ll keep it. It’s a mark of something. It’s a mark of life experience.
She looked at me like I was weird and when I got back to the car I ended up staring at it in the rearview mirror.
Now knowing that my scar was not devastating, I can keep things more relative as those pesky obstacles rear their ugly heads.
It took a lot of practice over the years to learn to overcome obstacles in life. What’s the first question I ask myself?
What is the worst case scenario of this situation?
This is an approach that I learned early in life as I waited for my first flight alone. If I know the worst case scenario, I can gauge progress along the way. More importantly, I plan for the worst case scenario in all ways including emotionally and psychologically. This is one of the most critical components to overcoming obstacles – reduce your reaction to and the overall fear of failure.
3. Scars Transform to Be Stronger and Represent Overcoming Obstacles in Life
More than ten years before, there was a gaping wound where that scar would eventually be. What grew from that wound was the toughest skin on my face.
Since then, I’ve come to love my scar. Whereas I forgot about it before, I know to give my scar a wink-salute while I am shaving.
It reminds me that regardless of what ‘wounds’ me in a day, a career, a relationship or life, that injury will be replaced by something stronger and tougher.
However, there’s a catch.
2. I Had to Nurture the Wound to Build the Scar
More than ten years ago, I had to change the bandages on my face, put various ointments on the wound, wear a hat even when it was covered and rest for a bit.
I had to help the scar along. Had I not nurtured the wound, it would have become larger, infected and the scar may never have gotten the opportunity to fill its place.
Yes – the key to overcoming obstacles is to face them and support the solution without trying to react in a moment of fear. Do not assume the obstacle will fix itself. Assumptions – and complacency – can be devastating to your results.
Always have a plan for overcoming obstacles.
1. Do Not Forget Your Responsibility to The Scar
Albeit cliche, but every hurt, wound, obstacle and devastation you’ve encountered has in some way – at times profound at times barely noticeable and never in the moment imaginable – left you stronger. Scars teach us that. Each obstacle you overcome shows you this.
You did something to nurture the wound. You did something – strategically or unconsciously – to be successful at overcoming obstacles.
It didn’t just heal by itself. The obstacle did not fix itself – ever.
Never forget that.
You must nurture the wound to heal and build something stronger to fill its place.
It will happen if you remember your responsibility to – and role in growing – the scar.
Now grab a mirror and start loving on your scars! Remember – they are a sign of you successfully overcoming obstacles in life. Each one has grown you – and your thick skin.