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  • Diana Gogan

The Princess Approach to Obstacles

It had been a while since my horse Princess and I been on one of our quiet walks off property together and so off we went to explore. When we reached the gate to come back into the yard, Princess confidently reached out to the latch with her lips to open it. She gave the gate a good push with her head and walked on in.


I never get tired of watching her work her magic. It was while watching her that something I needed to hear came through loud and clear.


You see I'd been thinking about a goal I've set for the coming year. You know, one of those BIG goals that moves you beyond your comfort zone. A goal that brought to light limiting beliefs, obstacles I wasn't expecting.


All this was on my mind as I watched the process Princess went through to open the gate, navigating the obstacle between her and her goal. I marveled at the confidence she did it with. There was never a moment of hesitation. She KNEW what she wanted, had complete faith and trust that she could get there, and did it. A closed gate, an obstacle in her path, wasn't about to deter her. Here is what I saw that day…



It was after seeing this that I realized the nuggets of wisdom she'd just shared with me. Nuggets that each of us with dreams and goals can benefit from.


1. KNOW what you want – You've likely heard this one before, yet this simple step is the most important. There came a point in my walk with Princess that I knew she was ready to go home.


How many times have you spent time, energy and/or money to do, achieve, or get something only to discover it's not what you wanted in the first place? Or, you've gone with the flow, went with someone else's idea of what you should want/have, and ended up with something you never really wanted in the first place?


How do you know if its really what YOU want? Think of something you know for certain. Like the sun rising, or your favorite food, or your best friend. Know with that type of certainty that this (whatever it may be) is what you want. Only when you know with this type of certainty should you proceed.


2. KEEP MOVING – Princess only slowed and stopped when we were right in front of the gate.


How often do you know where you want to go, but when an obstacle appears (real or perceived), such as a gate, you stop or turn around?


As we approached the gate, not only did Princess keep moving I dare say she picked up a little speed when her goal was in sight. She only began to slow her walk when she got right in front of the gate and came to a stop.


3. TOUCH and TEST – Once we reached the gate Princess reached out and tested the latch. She's accustomed to chains being on all gates, and when she found this one to be chain-free she didn't hesitate to proceed.


Touching and testing the obstacle will let you know how solid and real it is, as well as provide information you'll need to navigate it.


Obstacles are funny things. Sometimes they are completely 100% made up in our minds. Other times they are not as formidable as first thought. Some will require additional resources – time, money, knowledge, etc. And then there will be those times when the unexpected comes up and you'll have to learn to dance with the obstacle and circumstances surrounding it to navigate thru it.


4. GO FOR IT! – Once Princess knew the only obstacle between her and home was the chain-free latch she wiggled and jiggled it with her lips until it she heard it slide open. She had to find the right combination of pressure and movement, and kept trying until she found it.


Have you ever stopped trying after only a few attempts? Or maybe you never even tried because you perceived the obstacle to be greater than you?


5. GO DEEP – Once the latch slide open Princess nudge the gate open and boldly walked thru, reaching her goal. But, she didn't stop there. She kept walking.


Why? Her favorite spots to hang out, sleep, eat, and play are not just inside the gate. She knew that to get to the really good stuff she needed to not just step into her goal, she needed to go deep within it.


Once you've entered into the perimeter of your goal KEEP GOING. The best and juiciest parts of arriving in your goal aren't on the perimeter, they are deep within. It's deep within this space that your goal no longer is separate from you, it is an essential part of you. It's where your life and the way you engage and interact with the world changes. Its the place where you evolve into a more empowered version of you!


It's amazing how much a horse knows about obstacles and reaching goals when you really stop to listen. How can you apply a little Princess wisdom to help you achieve your BIG goals?


"Sometimes closed gates aren't meant to keep you out. They're designed to see how much you want something and the effort you're willing to put into getting it." ~Diana Gogan

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