Obstacles are the things that stop us from achieving our dreams. They can be something like a car accident in which we were not at fault; or more significant events such as losing someone close to you. The list goes on.
But don’t let life’s barriers discourage you.
Why? Because within every challenge lies an opportunity waiting around the corner.
If only we see it clearly enough (and put in a dash of committed work), overcoming obstacles will allow us access to new territories we previously thought were inaccessible.
6 STEPS TO OVERCOMING LIFE’S OBSTACLES & BARRIERS
Facing barriers and obstacles in life is a tricky part of the human experience. If you’re ready to tackle some of the things you feel are standing in your way, check out a few tips below to get started.
STEP ONE: IDENTIFY THE OBSTACLE
To overcome an obstacle, you must first identify what the barrier is. It may seem like an obvious and easy first step, but it can be tricky.
Pause for a moment to reflect on your life. Take note of any recent events or changes that may become a barrier. Name what that obstacle is in your life—write it out, say it out loud to yourself.
STEP TWO: DETERMINE HOW IT’S AFFECTING YOU
Once you have identified your obstacle, determine how it’s affecting you. Name the emotions you feel because of it and identify any physical symptoms.
Sometimes obstacles can feel like a massive undertaking to overcome, but knowing and remembering exactly how it’s affecting your life can help you stay motivated to create change.
STEP THREE: CREATE A PLAN TO OVERCOME YOUR OBSTACLE
Create a plan to overcome your obstacle. Do this yourself or reach out to a trusted loved one or even a professional to help you create this plan.
Make sure the plan is detailed and has specific steps to overcome your obstacle. Try implementing SMART goals, or in other words, goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based.
Here’s an example:
- Generalized Goal: I want to figure out what barriers impact my life and fix them.
- SMART Goal: Within three days, I will take one hour to reflect on my life situation and write down things I feel are standing in my way of feeling like my best self. Within seven days, I will write out a list of three actions I can take as I plan to map out the rest of my plan. As you make progress, you can build on top of these goals.
You’ll be more likely to stick to your plan if it is written down and has specific, attainable steps to meet.
STEP FOUR: FIND SOMEONE TO HOLD YOU ACCOUNTABLE
You’re more likely to stick to your plan if you have someone holding you accountable. It can be someone who created the plan with you or just someone you trust. Have this person check-in and ensure you are meeting the steps.
Be specific in the ways you want to be held accountable. For example:
- Ask your accountability partner to text you once a week to check in on your progress.
- Tell your accountability partner what type of motivation you respond to best and ask them to utilize when you require encouragement.
- Request that your accountability partner meet with you in person monthly, or perhaps quarterly, to have a more in-depth conversation about your progress.
Finding an accountability partner can be tricky, but it’s a great way to ensure success in overcoming obstacles. If you’re not sure who in your life to reach out to, try contacting a mental health professional—they’re great accountability partners!
STEP FIVE: REVISIT YOUR PLAN
Revisit your plan and do so often. If you need to adjust, do so.
However, if you make adjustments, check with either your accountability partner or the person who helped you create the plan and ask for their opinion on the adjustments you want to make. Brainstorming and seeking feedback can open our eyes to ideas we may not have realized.
STEP SIX: CELEBRATE YOUR PROGRESS
Celebrate your progress. Be proud of how far you’ve come and give yourself an appropriate reward for the positive steps you’ve made in overcoming your obstacle.
Make the reward special so that you look forward to it. Treating yourself when you’ve made a significant stride in your plan is something you truly deserve.
Change takes courage, commitment, and hard work. With a specific plan, an accountability partner, and a healthy dose of celebration, you can overcome any obstacle life throws your way, no matter how big.