Obstacles seem to make us stand still; and keep us from getting where we want to go.
What if obstacles weren’t as bad as you thought?
What if what you’re looking at is not so much an obstacle, as an opportunity?
Here are 10 steps to change how we see obstacles:
- Take a Minute
Whatever you’re doing when you hit the obstacle Stop. When you stop, you give yourself time to consider the options without all the emotions flaring up. You guard yourself against acting impulsively in a way you might come to regret later on.
- Accept Where You Are
Realise obstacles happen. The more you fight them, the worse they’re going to seem. It’s the struggle that pulls you down. So, take a minute to tell yourself this is a natural and healthy part of the process.
- Flip the Switch
Take a step back and look at the obstacle from an outside point of view. That means looking at it as if you were a stranger standing on the outside of your life looking in. What would they see right now? Question your assumptions to find a unique solution.
- Get Creative
Start examining the alternatives. Be as creative as possible and don’t discount anything offhand for being ‘too silly.’ When you consider new possibilities, you start to get unstuck and often will get energised to try something new. Use this energy to fuel you toward the next step.
- Embrace the Lesson
Every obstacle holds something from which you can learn. Ask yourself what you gained in facing the roadblock. How are you looking at the world differently? What can you share with those around you about your experience? When you cannot only ask these questions but also answer them, you’re discovering the meaning in the encounter.
- Break Things Down
How can you break down your goal into smaller steps? By focusing on these more modest goals, you’ll find it easier to move ahead and not be as overwhelmed by the big picture.
- Admit You’re Only Human
Everyone makes mistakes. By acknowledging you are only human after all, you’re able to admit when you are wrong and to move on. What’s more, you’ll be better able to accept when you make mistakes again in the future, because after all, you will. We all do.
- Reconsider the Goal
Sometimes the obstacle comes because you’d made a shift in what you were trying to do. Have you somehow changed your goal midstream? It might be you need to rethink your plan of attack entirely. When this happens, your obstacle has instead become an opportunity to move in a direction that suits your purposes better.
- Don’t Forget to Celebrate!
It might seem odd to be thinking about celebrations when talking about obstacles but consider this: When you celebrate your accomplishments, you embrace the journey you’ve been on, barriers and all. Even if you’ve stalled out completely, you can celebrate the progress you made and the work you put into the project. These are all worth getting excited about, and the emotions here are worth embracing.
- Ask for Help
When you’re facing an obstacle, it’s okay to ask for help. Do you have friends, co-workers, or relatives who can support you and allow you to bounce ideas off of. There’s nothing wrong with seeking advice from a counsellor or coach if you find you’re overwhelmed and unable to proceed.
By embracing the obstacles you meet in trying to attain your goals, you’re adjusting your mindset to one of success instead of failure. You’re accepting there are different ways to do things, and that the things standing in your way are more often new opportunities than a true stopping point and looking at life in a way which allows you to go places you never thought possible before.
Obstacles can overwhelm us or be an opportunity – its our choice which path we travel.