A warm greeting to all my readers
‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ — Frank A. Clark
Have you ever experienced difficulties and challenges before achieving one of your goals?
Have you ever appreciated something that came easily to you? Or did you appreciate it more when you sacrificed and made a real effort to achieve your goal?
Have you ever heard of the lottery winners who are worse off today than they were before they won?
They squandered their winnings because it held no value for them, they didn’t have to struggle through the obstacles, challenges and problems that self-made millionaires face, as a result even though their dream had materialised they weren’t able to hold onto it. As the saying goes ‘Easy come, easy go.’
It’s not so surprising when you think about how you feel when you achieve your goals easily or when you achieve them by overcoming obstacles.
Which process gives you more satisfaction?
I recently experienced a tough period achieving my goals; I overcome these by working on my mindset which led to this article.
I hope it helps you to deal with the obstacles that you will likely face as you progress along your journey towards the attainment of your objectives.
To commence, setting goals is the first step… achieving them is the second step… and surely, it is at this second step that most of us stumble. We stumble not because the goal is unachievable, but rather because of unexpected obstacles and challenges that arise along the journey that make the goal seem unachievable.
It is important to understand that every goal we set naturally comes with a plethora of landmines that are attached to that goal which show up in our lives as a set of hurdles, tests and problems that we must surpass in order to get to our end destination. In fact, unless we successfully manoeuvre through these difficulties and overcome them, then we will fail to learn the valuable lessons that are required to help us grow towards each stage and most importantly keep our goal when we get there.
There are three types of obstacles that you will likely face.
Firstly, personal barriers, which are related to your psychology, behaviour and state-of-mind, include limiting habits, debilitating emotions, fears and beliefs that prevent us from moving forward because of the negative thinking, inhibiting our ability to make effective decisions and undertake appropriate action that would help us create the momentum we need to get to our desired outcome.
Secondly, environmental difficulties, these are unexpected external occurrences and circumstances that we have little control over and we are usually ill-prepared to deal with these effectively. However, if we research and set in place contingency plans, we stand a greater chance of pre-empting potential pitfalls and even influencing the outcome.
To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law:
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time, all of the time when you least expect it.
So what are you going to do about it?
When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that you could face on the journey ahead.
Thirdly, social obstructions are related to people who either do no cooperate, sabotage you, or are incompetent and unable to fulfill the responsibilities assigned to them. Again it’s essential to forward plan and ensure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully. It also helps to develop strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most, safeguarding any future breakdown in communication. However don’t confuse this with trying to control people’s behaviour, decisions and actions. Instead subtly influence people and understand their needs, motives and desires. Only in this way will you successfully improve your chances of maneuvering through the social obstacles in your life.
TAKE ACTION NOW: Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin making far more effective decisions.
As a coach, I often work with clients who are struggling to overcome personal and business obstacles. They don’t know what to do, where to begin or how to move forward. In such instances, I will ask them a series of questions that help them gain a new perspective and understanding about their circumstances. As a result they begin to unlock hidden resources they never realized they had.
I have listed below the ‘8 Steps Process to overcome your obstacles’ and integrated them with specific questions which will help you overcome your obstacles too:
STEP 1. Question the Problem
What are the indications that this is a problem for you?
How do you know this is accurate?
STEP 2. Question the Origins of the Problem
How did all this start?
Who or what perpetuates this problem?
STEP 3. Identify the Details
When did it happen?
How did it happen?
Where did it happen?
STEP 4. Determine the Consequences
What would happen if you ignored it?
When could it become a bigger problem?
What could lead to this specific outcome?
How does this affect you?
How does this affect others?
How does this affect your external life?
What other problems might be caused by resolving this obstacle?
STEP 5. Take Control
Whose behaviour do you control?
What aspects of this problem can you control?
What aspects of this problem can’t you control?
How must you respond to what you can’t control?
STEP 6. Identify the Positives
What is happening that is good?
What would you like to have continue to happen?
STEP 7. Gain Perspective
What are your assumptions about this?
How are your assumptions contributing to the problem?
What is another perspective you haven’t considered?
Who has successfully overcome this problem?
What can you learn from this person?
STEP 8. Expand Your Options & Take Decisive Action
What could you do differently?
Who could assist you?
Where haven’t you looked for a solution?
What action can I take to solve this obstacle?
How will you know when this problem has been resolved?
What is your criteria for success?
Remember, obstacles are just ‘things’ that are there to teach, strengthen and fortify you for the journey that lies ahead. We must therefore not view them as insurmountable problems that will prevent us from achieving our goals, but rather as small, and sometimes large, stepping stones that are mandatory ‘lessons’ we need to pass in order to obtain our Ph.D. in Goal Achievement.
And finally, it is important to remind ourselves of the indispensable lesson that many former Lottery winners have found out the hard way, that there is only one thing worse than being poor, and that is ‘being rich and then being poor once again’.
During the past years, this is the lesson that I have most appreciated, as I have learnt it by paying the most expensive price:
‘Take time to learn the lessons that life throws your way, because these lessons will be critical to your success as you move forward into the future.’ Viv
‘If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.’ – Frank A. Clark
To successfully overcoming your obstacles!