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I'm looking for a more original way to say "to overcome obstacles," preferably something figurative. The synonyms I found don't quite cut it.

Partisan politics are at the heart of these problems and should be the first obstacle to overcome in fixing our democracies.

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    Please explain why they don't quite cut it -- otherwise you will inevitably get more suggestions that don't fit. A good method is to provide a sample sentence that has a gap where the expression would go. That way we have something to work with. Oct 12, 2015 at 20:48
  • If the obstacles are personal or internal you might go with "to face/beat/overcome one's demons"
    – DyingIsFun
    Oct 12, 2015 at 20:51
  • I'm looking for an image, a metaphor. The context is to overcome political obstacles. Oct 12, 2015 at 21:18
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    "steep hill to climb", "first hurdle to cross", "the first step in a thousand-mile march", are all metaphors for tackling a large issue or problem. Oct 12, 2015 at 21:26
  • @KristinaLopez post them as an answer! Oct 12, 2015 at 21:35

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Three relatively common metaphors for overcoming obstacles using OP's example sentence:

  • "Partisan politics are at the heart of these problems and should be the first hurdle to cross in fixing our democracies."

  • Partisan politics are at the heart of these problems and will be a steep hill to climb in fixing our democracies.

  • Partisan politics are at the heart of these problems and should be the first step in a thousand-mile march toward fixing our democracies.

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