Understanding Your Obstacles and Ways to Overcome

Everyone faces obstacles in their lives. It does not matter a bit what rung of the ladder in life you are on. We all have obstacles and need to work with them, ideally by identifying the obstacle and removing them. Are your obstacles related to your personal relationships, career goals, health, or any other aspect of life?

Identify and understand your obstacles

The obstacles we encounter can be both internal and external, and they can often feel overwhelming and insurmountable. However, if we want to make progress and achieve our goals, it is essential to understand these obstacles and find ways to remove them.

Are you feeling stuck?

What is in your way? Is it a physical or mental obstacle? Is it something within your control to change? Letting go is very difficult when we want to hold on. One thing I know for certain is we can’t let go and hold on at the same time.

The key to removing obstacles is to understand what and/or whom is in your way. If we are not aware of the things that are holding us back, we cannot take the necessary steps to overcome them. When we first figure out what our obstacle is and next understand what this obstacle means, we can settle down to make and learn the appropriate response and solution to whatever is keeping us stuck.

Definition of insanity

The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again expecting different results. It is for certain if we keep doing the same old thing, we will keep getting the same old results.

Shift into action

With understanding and shifts in our thinking we can identify the limiting beliefs, self-doubt, or negative thought patterns that are keeping us stuck. These are obstacles. If you want to create a roadmap for success you need to get rid of whatever obstacles are in your way. This sounds like a lot.

Moving forward is way easier though than remaining stuck. Often all it takes is a different perspective to see ones way clear of obstacles. Can you look at your obstacle with a new pair of eyes? Define your obstacle. Then understand and proactively search a way through the obstacle.

A way through the obstacle

There is no way around the obstacle only a way through it. My experience has shown me that I am going to keep having to deal with whatever obstacle keeps popping up in my life if I don’t deal with it once and for all. An example may be if you keep calling yourself negative names you will keep believing these negative things. This is a self fulfilling prophecy.

If you once and for all stop with the self deprecating talk you will remove this obstacle. Feeling negative toward yourself is a common obstacle.

What is your obstacle?

Is another person your obstacle? Deal with this correctly once and you won’t have to overcome this obstacle again. The obstacle, or person, may keep rearing its head. The difference is you will develop ways to easily deal with it.

Is your obstacle a deadline? Maybe procrastination is your obstacle? Is the idea you can’t do whatever the deadline is commanding, due to thinking you may not do this project perfectly? Maybe your obstacle is financial in nature? Are you the obstacle?

Use writing or journaling as a tool to answer your questions

I can hear you now thinking you don’t have time. Find the time would be my suggestion. The same obstacle will pop up again until you find what the obstacle is, hence spending more of your time. There is no way around this. Trust me. Get rid of the obstacle and start your next step, which is finding a path through the obstacle.

Writing or journaling is a tried and true formula to get you there! In fact if you don’t know where to start feel free to download a weeks worth of free writing prompts!

Examining the impact of physical and mental clutter on your life

What is standing in your way, what obstacle is preventing you from starting to declutter your space and/or your mind? Is it you? Is it another person? Often it is our thinking that gets in the way. Perhaps you have thought or said ‘I don’t know where to start!’ Well that is an easy obstacle to work through!

Pick up the first object your hand touches or your eye sees. Pick it up. One item. Should you keep this object or discard it? This is a simple yes or no answer. It need not be any deeper than that. Keep or toss? Pick one.

Is procrastination your obstacle?

I believe when we say ‘I don’t know where to start’ we are simply procrastinating. I say this because when I want something I can always figure out where to start. If I don’t care that much about it – not so much. Is procrastination your obstacle to decluttering and organizing your home?

If you decide to keep the object

If keeping the object is your answer – where does this object belong? Well, if it is a potato peeler and it was in my home the peeler would belong in the kitchen draw with the other kitchen stuff. Put the object where it belongs. Pick up another object and do the same thing.

If you find a lot of the same kind of stuff in your piles as you are sorting through make a pile of like things. At the end of your decluttering session take the pile to the room where it belongs. If there is a dish cloth, knife and 3 coffee cups in the den make a pile and then bring the pile to the kitchen to return to its proper space.

Is toss your answer?

If tossing your object is your answer ask yourself these questions. Should I throw this away in the trash or should I donate object? Is this object something I can sell? When I help folks declutter we start with 3 big contractor strength black plastic bags. One bag is for trash, one for donated things and the third is for salable items.

Pick up one object at a time, decide what bag it goes into. If toss is your answer I recommend removing the bag from the premises the same day so there is no room for second guessing. When your space is sparkling clean and organized we will deal with the other 2 bags containing donations and what you will be selling.

Unburying and processing obstacles through writing

I am a big fan of writing to get to my truth and to bring me clarity on any given subject. Writing is my magic when I need to better understand my thoughts. Writing is a powerful tool for understanding and overcoming obstacles.

When we write our thoughts and feelings down on paper, we begin to see and gain insight and understanding about the obstacles in our way. Writing allows us to explore our emotions, beliefs, and motivations in a safe and supportive environment, without fear of judgment or criticism. I have been writing for years and years to work out stuff. Writing is Magical.

I don’t know how to write

The good news is you don’t have to know how to write beyond forming a string of letters with a pen or pencil onto a blank sheet of paper. Alternately you can click the letters on a keyboard.

You know how to journal. This is the same thing. You don’t need to know grammar, punctuation or spelling. This stream of consciousness or free style of writing is for your eyes only.

Let me repeat this. These writings like your private journal are for you only to see. Writing is your tool to dump your thoughts on paper to work out what is holding you back. The more we dump our thoughts on paper the more honest we are able to be with ourselves. You will find what action step(s) needs to be taken to get through your obstacle.

This is how writing helps.

Writing helps you identify patterns and beliefs. Sometimes long held beliefs when considered from another angle, may change. Often, our obstacles are rooted in deep-seated beliefs and patterns of thinking that we may not even be aware of. By writing regularly, we can identify our patterns and obstacles.

Self fulfilling prophecy

Many folks believe they are not capable of achieving their goals. Well I disagree with that idea. Surely you have had many wins in your life. You have accomplished many things. You just are not considering the long list of things you do without even thinking about it.

One at a time list these accomplishments. Then read your list. You will find this list contradicts your belief that you can’t do anything right. When I learned this exercise about 150 years ago I was in disbelief of all the things I am capable of.

My list of wins

Years ago I was prompted to do this writing exercise . I was sure I was only capable to do a few things For 30 years I have been a small business owner. I melt glass and make stuff for a living.

A smart friend once told me to write down all the things I have to do to support myself through the revenue generated by the sales of my art. Wow! I learned I could do a whole lot of things! When I added this list to the list of things I do without even thinking and the list of things I do for pleasure, I learned I am close to a genius!

Pay attention to your list of accomplishments

By writing a list of wins over the years I saw irrefutable evidence I know how to do things I never even thought of! I also stood a little taller learning this. You never know, you may find a new career path. I did!

As a self supporting artist I get stuck from time to time. I must have been in this state of being creatively blocked when I started to think negatively, that downward spiral where your head tells you you are this and that and neither are positive attributes.

In a moment of clarity I pulled up one of my online platforms and looked through some of the hundreds of 5 star reviews I had received.. I decided they couldn’t all be wrong and I needed a break. This was a simple way through that obstacle.

Writing helps you process emotion

When we write about obstacles be prepared to feel a wide range of emotions. You may feel frustration and anger or sadness and fear. By putting your feelings into writing, you can process them in a healthy way. It will become clear to you what or whom is holding you back and how they are affecting your thoughts, behaviors, actions and inactions.

If you suffer from severe trauma or find difficulty looking at your stuff please consult a professional. Some of this is just too hard to process alone. No shame. Please never feel shame.

If you are feeling frustrated because you keep hitting roadblocks in your career, you can write about this frustration and explore where it is coming from. You may find that you are actually afraid of failure or worried about what others will think if you don’t succeed.

You may believe if you are practicing law for example, all you really want to do is weave baskets and people will think less of you. Maybe they will. Who cares? What you think of you is all that matters. By processing these emotions through writing, you can begin to address them and move past obstacles.

Brainstorm, through writing, your way to solutions

Once you have a better understanding of your obstacles, you can begin to brainstorm solutions and strategies for overcoming them. Writing can be a powerful tool for generating ideas and exploring different options.

Do you have support?

Find a support system. I promise you you are not alone feeling the way you feel. Talk to your friends. Put out a call for help. I once wanted to try the exercises I read about in a book. Writing exercises. I wrote and posted this on Facebook and a group was formed.

This was one of the best experiences in my life! Yes, I am still friends with the brave women that showed up to the home of a person they did not know. We did the work through writing. What we accomplished was amazing!

Here a few practical tips from personal experience

Now that you understand the benefits of using writing or journaling to understand your obstacles, here are some practical tips for getting started

Schedule writing

Set aside time to write every day or whatever pattern you choose to write. When I was working more jobs and hours than seems possible I set my alarm to 4:45am, 20 minutes earlier than I needed to get to work on time.

This allowed me time to wrote 3 pages on lined 10 x 8 pages in my cheap spiral bound notebook. I knew I would likely not make time during my busy day to stop and write. This assured me I would get the job done. After all this was my future I was talking about.

If you can’t write 3 pages every day aim for 1 page. If you think you can’t manage 1 page, write a sentence. For me when I start to write I can’t write or type fast enough to keep up with my thoughts! Try it!

Writing Prompts

If you don’t know what to write about answer the following questions.

If I was not afraid what would I do today?
What is my goal?
What action step can I take to get me closer to my goal?
What obstacle is blocking me from my goal?
Am I self sabotaging myself? A common answer is yes. Write it out to understand this.

Challenge yourself

Are your beliefs your own? Have they changed over the years? Are these beliefs influenced by others? Do you need more information to make your own informed beliefs?

By using these writing prompts, you can gain deeper insight into your obstacles and develop a clearer roadmap for moving through them. Remember to be honest and open with yourself as you write your private thoughts. Don’t be afraid to explore difficult emotions or beliefs. And remember these writings are just for your eyes.

Using journaling to learn how to overcome your obstacles is a magical process and will put you on your path to living your dream!

Marj pic

Marj Bates is a life long ridiculously organized declutterer and artist. Less is more are words Marj lives by in everything she does except collecting dogs. “Dogs are like potato chips! Can’t have just one.” says Marj. Marj wonders if growing up with a fanatically clean Jewish mom means her decluttering and organizational skills are in her blood.

For more Declutter Buzz & Freebies check out our safe and private Decluttering community on our Facebook page. We are a safe and private space of like minded folks tackling this all encompassing clutter thing once and for all. No shame allowed! We will have a few laughs too!

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