• Coach Kate

Design Your Year: Overcoming Obstacles

As we are fast approaching the end of January (I know - slightly mind boggling that we are already nearly a month into 2022) I thought it was high time we had a check in with ourselves to see how we are faring with our Annual Goals & Action Plan.

Get out the gold stars if you are still on track and merrily beavering away at becoming an even better version of yourself - nice work and keep going.

If you have become a smidge stuck then don't put those stars back in the bottom drawer just yet. Today we are going to delve into the obstacles we are likely to face as we continue to grow, to develop and work on ourselves.

It can be hugely frustrating when we feel we are making little to no progress or that we are being stopped at every opportunity, that each path we choose is more and more taxing, that we are alone in the wilderness trying to improve things but taking 3 steps back to every step forward.

Taking Back Control

You may be faced with a multitude of blocks in your way and often the amount or sheer volume can be overwhelming.

Breathe. It's going to be ok.

Let's break this down and pull out the priority ones to tackle first - choose your top 3 that if these obstacles were removed your life would be much easier. Got them? Great - let's begin by asking the following Block Busting questions to those top 3:

  1. By resolving this one issue how would the entire situation improve?

  2. If it was easy to solve - what would need to be done?

  3. Where can you take back control with this issue?

  4. Who else needs to be involved and how?

  5. What is the first, small step you can take to begin to resolve it?

  6. In an ideal situation; how would you solve this issue?

And now the nitty gritty questions - hold onto your hats folks because this is where you need to bite the bullet and start taking action:

  1. What needs to be done?

  2. By whom?

  3. How can you help/encourage them to do it?

  4. What must you do? By when?

  5. What are the repercussions if you don't do this?

Interestingly, often there a few, if any, repercussions or they are so small we begin to see the issue as something we have blown out of proportion and it is no longer such a large barrier.

Photo by Bradyn Trollip (Unsplash)

Our Internal Obstacles

That brings us neatly onto our internal objections when we block ourselves somehow. This may be through our negative thought patterns - the stories and lies we tell ourselves from the simple "I'll start my exercise regime on Monday" through to "You can't do that, you are not confident/capable/experienced/skilled/[insert your own limiting word here] enough"

In coaching terminology we call them limiting beliefs and they are pesky little buggers (our LB's). They crop up at the most unhelpful times - the times when we need a flood of positivity, when we want out self esteem to be firing on all cylinders and when we want one, just one, thing to go right.

Our LB's can be tamed though as we can bring back control with our thought patterns and our emotional responses. Just like we can with our stress response - but I digress - another article for another day.

How can we get a firm grip on our LB's? Let's start with a bit of self-acceptance and blow our own trumpets for a moment. Eurghhh! How excruciating!! Bear with me folks - you can do this.

Let me be the one to say: You. Are. Good. Enough.

Say it again to yourself. Now say it out loud. Keep saying it to yourself. Write it down and put it somewhere you will see it. Every day.

The first time I said that out loud was in a room full of around 200 people on a coaching course and, folks, it took every atom in me to stop me full on ugly cry. I never thought I was good, let alone good enough.

Sometimes you have to say it to begin to believe it. You may not believe it fully (or even partially) initially but you will begin to see where you are good, good enough, great, awesome and frankly superfragilisticalidocious (Thanks Mary P!)

Now we've reminded ourselves of our awesomeness we can look objectively at what we are doing and this is when pull out one of my all time favourite coaching questions:

How are you getting in your own way?

Once you can see how you are stopping yourself from moving forwards the floodgates will open.

Perhaps it is because of your negative inner mind chatter telling you will fail, or that whatever you do won't be perfect so don't bother, that it will be too hard, take too long, it's easier, safer, comfier to stay where you are etc.

Really examine what these thoughts are saying - are they those annoying LB's we looked at earlier or is this a pattern of imposter syndrome thoughts?

A shameless plug here folks, but this is where a coach can really help you take these destructive thought patters on and reframe your mindset, your inner beliefs and your reactions to situation.

In the meantime (before you give me a call) ask yourself:

How can you get out of your own way?!

It's easy to say "oh just stop thinking so negatively" but very hard to do it.

If, like me, you tend to get stuck in a cycle of doom-laden thoughts that just keep going round and round your mind then write down those thoughts to tell your brain that you have 'captured' them as it were so it doesn't have to keep reminding you of them.

Note down every solution possible from the obvious to the ones you have done a million times over to the ones that are ludicrous and you could only do if you had inexhaustible means.

Keep going, get creative, go mad with it. Something will suddenly occur to you and boom! You are off and running towards a resolution.

If you are being plagued by procrastination then check out last week's article Keeping It Going or if you are struggling to get a plan together and get started then have a read of Taking Action

Our thought patterns and cycles can keep us trapped so if you want to break free from your mind's chains; to think more positively and see you cup as half full rather than half empty, to approach issues, obstacles, stresses with a more open mindset and a rational approach then consider speaking with a coach like myself to help you transform your negative inner mind jibber jabber into your voice of reason and allow wise words to flow.


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