How to Use Intentions to Overcome Obstacles

With the right intentions, you can take your past and use it as the foundation for your future

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

During this pandemic, like so many others, I have had the chance to reflect on previous challenges and setbacks I’ve faced over the last decade. Thinking on how I have overcome past challenges is a good way to tap into skills that were buried away like old recipes found in the junk drawer. 

The more I think about past events and past relationships, the more I realize the learning lessons hidden in past relationships that have evolved throughout different stages of my life. 

Unfortunately, I have come to the conclusion that the most predominant relationship has been the troubled one with myself.

I have realized that:

  • I am the one who is first to discredit myself.
  • I am the one with the inner monologue of “glass always half empty.” 
  • I am the one who helps others before I help myself.
  • I am the one who let critical comments from others drag me down.
  • I am the one who validates myself only when the external world does.

Maybe all this is because I feel like the world around me desperately wants to marginalize me.  

Or maybe because I tried to change my self perception so I wouldn’t ruffle any feathers.

Regardless of what the reasonings are, I feel this is the time to change. And I am convinced that this change is best facilitated by one small change at a time. 

Now is a time to not be the victim of my own relationships. It is time that I can write my own story. It is a time I can manifest new goals and be intentional about them. 

I remember listening to Oprah saying that whatever you focus your attention on, expands. She shares that principle that rules her life is the principle of intention. She doesn’t do anything, including her show without intention. 

So I’m going to make the intention of acknowledging that I am a human with flaws, and use that as a new tool to work on my intentions. I am going to take what I have realized that has not gone right, and match each with a new intention to help me overcome my self imposed limitations. 

I am renewing my commitment to: 

  • Be intentional to learn from the many mistakes I’ve made, seeing my experience as the roots of my expertise..
  • Be intentional in paying attention to the way I talk to myself. 
  • Be intentional about taking care of myself to enable me to better care for others.
  • Be intentional about walking with my head up high.
  • Be intentional about finding value from within.

In conclusion

When you take the time to reflect on your past relationships, you might find it easy to focus on what went wrong. Accept that things will go wrong, that you are human, and focus on what you can control. You can’t control others, but you can work to better control your own thoughts. Don’t forget to reflect on the very valuable relationship you have with yourself. And when you do, set your intentions to work on being more gentle, patient, and kind, to yourself. 

Nothing is going to change what has happened in your past, but with the right intentions, you can take your past and use it as the foundation for your future. 

Are you inspired to use this time to reflect on your life, and make new intentions? If so, Tweet them to me at @reyzanshali!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


“Imagine If Every Time We Saw A Kate Spade Bag, It Would Prompt Each Of Us To Talk About Mental Health”

by Yitzi Weiner

15 of My Favorite 30-day Challenges

by Jessica Dowches-Wheeler

How to Set Yourself Up to End the Year Strong

by Taylor Somerville

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.