When overcoming obstacles, how you define an obstacle equals how you overcome it.
Overcoming obstacles begins with having SMART goals.
These are goals that are Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Realistic, and Time-based. You specify the goal and then you clarify the actions it will take to meet the goal by a particular time. As long as you take the necessary action steps, in all likelihood you will meet your goal.
Frequently in coaching, I will ask a client, “What’s your next step?” as a way to make sure they keep moving forward toward their goals.
But what about those really BIG changes, the ones that require a total shift in consciousness or a complete letting go of the way things are? What are your choices when faced with a “twenty-foot chasm?” This is what we mean by overcoming obstacles.
Here are a few choices; maybe you could add a few more to this list:
- Stay where you are. When faced with a huge obstacle on life’s journey, many of us do just this. We refuse to change or we may even turn around and go back “home.” We make the “safe” choice.
- Wait for a helicopter. Those of us who wait to be rescued may be waiting a very long time.
- Climb down into the chasm. Some of us choose to venture into the depths, no matter how harrowing the path or difficult the climb, in order to get to the other side.
- Build a bridge. Of course, this requires teamwork. You don’t have to go it alone. Who might be willing to support you through the most difficult challenges of your life? Who do you want to have on your team?
What will you choose?
When overcoming obstacles. How you perceive the obstacle makes an impact on your approach to overcoming it.
For example if you feel discouraged or angry after perceiving an obstacle you may be dissuaded from attempting to overcome the obstacle. On the other hand you may perceive an obstacle as a project that needs solving or an opportunity to learn new solutions. If overcoming the obstacle is seen as the measure of success it seems obvious which emotions, or perceptions have a higher likelihood of success.
Try some or all of these self-help techniques when confronted with overcoming obstacles.
- Pause. Take a step back and become the witness observer.
- Accept things as they are. Try to view the situation for what it is, without passing judgement on it. It is neither good nor bad, it is just the way it is. Obstacles are part of achieving any goal.
- Welcome your emotions. They are part of your humanness and they arise for a reason. Take a deep breath and connect with your witness observer. Understand how you were triggered. Try to see a pattern if there is one.
- As the witness observer try considering other options or being creative about solutions.
- You may even try having a sense of humor about the obstacle. Or viewing it as a learning experience. In some ways disqualifying a bad idea is just as useful as discovering a good one.
- Seek out experts. Everyone is good at something, and no one can be good at everything and we’re all here to offer what we know and be in service to others. If you’ve reached an impasse and it’s creating an obstacle, ask for help from someone who knows more about the obstacle than you.
- Take time to acknowledge small victories. Sometimes we forget to be grateful for the positive steps we have made, though we may be prone to highlighting negative setbacks. When we look at the positive steps we have taken, even if they are small, it sometimes helps us see a general trend in that direction.
As you read about these steps, observe your feelings towards each. Which do you resonate with? Which feel uncomfortable? Depending on your obstacle, the solution to overcoming it may vary.
Here’s to being your most productive self!