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Are These 3 Odd but Common Obstacles Standing in the Way of Your Success?

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/grrphoto/ / CC BY 2.0

“Obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”
Michael Jordan

Basics such as motivation, setting goals and taking action are vital to get the success you want in any area of life.

But there are also other factors that play a part. Inner and outer obstacles that can stand in your way and make things harder than they need to be.

Today I’d like to explore three such things and how you can overcome these obstacles and make success easier.

1. Drama.

Drama can be a bit annoying. Both when it pops up in me and in other people. It’s annoying because it’s pointless, counterproductive and at the same time can be addictive.

When you are in drama-mode you make mountains out of molehills. You construct elaborate and huge problems based on some little thing that is often misinterpreted in dramatic and negative fashion to ignite the drama.

The drama in your mind can steal so much energy and time from you. So why do we do it?

Well, frankly I think it is sometimes just because people are under stimulated. Nothing much fun happens in the daily life. There are no real exciting goals to work towards.

The drama can not only add spice to your life but also be emotionally addictive. It brings you attention from other people. Instead of doing something that is actually hard and gaining admiration and attention that way it’s easier to just create drama.

So what do you do to decrease the drama within yourself? The answers are already above. You get a life and fill it with doing things that are important and fulfilling for you. You remain aware in your daily life so that when you are creating drama you can tell yourself that such thinking is silly and will just make everything seem bigger than it is and thereby make it harder to take action. And the less you accept drama from yourself, the less you will accept or be rattled by drama from other people.

By doing that you will realize that things are often simpler than you may think and that few things are that big of a deal really. You’ll be cooler and more levelheaded than you used to and you’ll focus on working on what you want. Because in the end that is more fun and fulfilling than creating drama to fill a void.

2. Small invisible barriers.

Why don’t people get regular exercise? One invisible barrier that I know comes up again and again is simply that they have to get to the gym. That takes effort. You have to get up from your couch, pack your gym bag and perhaps take a bus or drive to get there. And then you have to ride/drive home again.

After a long day at work or in school it’s very easy to go: “Eh, I’ll do that tomorrow instead” and remain on the couch.

And so you may get to the gym once every week instead of three times a week like you were planning on back during the holidays.

So you need to find ways to reduce or remove those barriers. I do my workouts right here at home. I lift weights and I do body weight exercises on my living room floor. This has eliminated that invisible gym barrier and helped me to be very consistent and work out three times a week.
Other ways to reduce the barrier would perhaps be to get exercise by going out running or going out biking. This will at least remove the hassle of getting to and from the gym.

Think about the small barriers that may be stopping you from doing things on a consistent basis. And find solutions.

Bonus tip: You can use small barriers to your advantage too. I did for instance remove the websites I got a bit too fond of from my bookmarks in Firefox. Now I have to type in the address or google for websites. This extra, very small barrier has helped me to check the websites far less than I used to. Oftentimes I forget to check them for many days and realize that they weren’t really that important after all.

3. You fall back into old patterns, thoughts and behaviors.

It is easy to fall back into your old patterns. If you have, for instance, been looking for problems in different parts of your life for years but adopted a more optimistic outlook lately it is still easy to snap back into that old, familiar place. Sometimes you start looking for problems just out of habit.

This can be an obstacle. It can make things messy as you one day feel optimistic and the other day are not so optimistic anymore. Sure, there are natural fluctuations from day to day. But there are also things you can do to reinforce your new self image and to prevent the old stuff from coming up or holding you back.

  • Be aware during your day. When you become aware of a moment when you are slipping back into your old ways first accept that. Then let it go. This can help you let go of such things as soon as they appear and before they start to spiral and become bigger.
  • Review and reexamine your past. If you are falling back into worrying for example, look at your past. How many of your worries in the last 3 years have actually come into reality? Sit down and really go through this past period. You will probably realize how little of what you feared and worried about that has actually happened. By doing so you can start to release that old thought habit more easily when it pops up because it has been really inaccurate so far.
  • Get more experiences that support your new self image. This is the most important ingredient. To change and strengthen your new self image you mind needs proof. The proof is the experiences you have had. So if you really dive in and immerse yourself in something like fitness and work out every other/every day, read a lot about it all and are eating healthy stuff in a conscious way you change a lot about your day to day living environment. Expanding your comfort zone like this will be uncomfortable and a bit draining but it will quickly give you a lot of new experiences. This helps to you make a quicker change, gives you a stronger new self image and so you will more rarely slip back into those old thought patterns and behaviors.
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Comments on this entry are closed.

  • pretty amazing post i must say. A few of those barriers have stood in my way to success. But i no longer am going to let them. Before i used to take time to do things. Saying i’m going to do them tommrrow and eventually never get to doing so. I’m glad i read this post to remind myself that i do not do that anymore.

  • Anicca

    There’s a new book called “Looking Good Naked”. I think it could help a lot of people overcome an important obstacle- loving their bodies. The book promises to be a guide to healthy living and looking you best. I hven’t read it yet, but I’m excited for it.

  • zac

    Really gud post by motivational.
    Motivation in life is truly essential to be successful. I really read it and got motivated by your powerful words.

    Thank you for such a nice post.

  • Hiro

    I have been working hard at turning around some aspects of my life that needed it, for a while now. Everything you mentioned is so true, and I’m still struggling with them regularly (especially the 3rd point). This is gold. I’ll be reading daily.
    Thank you.

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