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Obstacles. Roadblocks. Excuses. Barriers. Adversities…


“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


Last month on the blog, I introduced you to the 5 Step Productive Environment Process. This kicked off my new blog series, starting with Step 1: State Your Vision. This process is instrumental in developing a roadmap for my clients’ success. I use it most often for organization or productivity projects, but it can be used for any goal you’d like to accomplish - big or small.


In fact, with my virtual clients, we’ve used it for everything from starting a side business to weight loss!


The Next Step


In Step 1, you stated your vision. This step involving brainstorming, imagining, and forming a vision can feel extra exciting. Maybe it’s that “oomph” you needed to outline your goal. But what about when those looming doubts start to creep in? What do you do when you come up against an obstacle?


Some doubts (or obstacles) are real while others are mental. No matter what type of doubt or obstacle they are, they all need to be identified in


Step 2: Identify Your Obstacles. Before diving into your project, it’s necessary to take a good, hard look at what is preventing you from success or what has done so in the past. Let’s talk about the two types of obstacles that can make their way into our process.


Mental Obstacles

Mental obstacles are beliefs you have about what you cannot accomplish. These are often rooted in past attempts and failures. These obstacles may feel more overwhelming than “real” ones because they bring up fear. Mental obstacles live in your subconscious brain and bring up a range of feelings from vague procrastination to panic.


The best way to combat these barriers is to bring them to light.


Brainstorm on paper all of the things that you feel are stopping you from success in this area you’ve selected. While Step 3 will formally address them, the act of writing them out is sometimes enough to illuminate false beliefs.


For example, I worked with a client who thought for years that she couldn’t ask for certain things in her work environment because she had less education than others in her department. The simple act of writing “no advanced degree” as one of her obstacles caused her to immediately think of examples of similar employees who were not letting that hold them back. Her lack of a graduate degree was a real thing, but in this case the only obstacle was a mental one.


Think about your mental obstacles…what belief is holding you back from chasing your goal?


Real Obstacles

These “real” obstacles will differ from person to person. These are things like time, money, a resistant person (such as a spouse or coworker), lack of space, or lack of knowledge (such as not knowing what records you need to keep). These obstacles are “real” because they are potentially standing in the way of you meeting the goals you set when you stated your vision.


It’s important to think through what these are, or could be, for you. Write them down the same as you did your mental obstacles so that you can get them out of your head and visually see what they are.


The key in Step 2 is brainstorming everything you think will get in the way. Don’t censor yourself and write it all out. Put all doubts, fears, and frustrations about reaching your goal on paper. If you realize that some are not “real,” you can cross them out as you go. It’s important to look deeply at what roadblocks exist before planning.


I promise we will turn this around in Step 3!


Thanks for joining me today as you work through Step 2: Identify Your Obstacles. I hope that this was helpful for you as you move forward through the 5 Step Productive Environment Process.


Stay tuned for next month’s post on Step 3. Until then, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’d like to talk through your obstacles or your vision. I’m here to help you every step of the way as you accomplish whatever matters most to YOU.

Kerry Thomas

Conquer the Chaos