Overcoming Obstacles

Obstacles are opportunities for success if you accept their challenge. Here is an excellent method for dealing with them and winning success. This will help you to reach your goals.


Living well is a process; it's not a state. Obstructions are opportunities. All valuable processes require perseverance past obstructions. So surmounting an important hurdle or obstruction is living successfully.

Think of it this way: life has given you an opportunity.

Life is saying to you, "Pay attention. You are out of balance. Please center your life."

When the pain of remaining in difficult situations outweighs the pain of changing, you'll accept the challenges.

Getting over hurdles


If you make good use of the physical, psychological, and spiritual tools presented here on this free website you will soon be more effective in getting over the hurdles and making progress.

Becoming centered results in achievement.

Becoming centered is a major challenge. Good! Then major benefits may lie just around the next bend.

So, accept the challenge with enthusiasm! The challenge will help you to reach your goals.

It initially seems strange but the idea is to welcome obstacles.

Use mental focus


Our most important freedom is our freedom of mental focus. We control and are responsible for what we think about and how we think about it. This does not mean that we cause or create obstructions. Many, perhaps most, important obstructions are beyond our control; the universe seems indifferent to our human needs and wants, doesn't it?

Becoming grateful for obstructions forces us to increase our contents and, sometimes, to expand our contexts. It changes focus.

What's the right approach to overcoming obstacles? We don't know. It depends on the individual. Here, though, is a good method that we try to use in dealing with them. At least it helps us regain a winning attitude with better focus. (This formulation benefited from Blair Singer's SalesDogs.)

The method


1. Notice the obstruction.

2. Notice the flash of emotion based on your egocentric evaluation.

3. Notice how you begin to talk to yourself, your habitual inner dialogue.

4. Within a moment or two, override that dialogue by examining the situation more clearly. Ask yourself, “What am I saying to myself right now?” This forces perspective.

5. Identify the real emotion. Ask yourself, “What emotion am I actually experiencing?” Sometimes, it isn’t easy to identify it. When you have identified it, say it out loud: “Ah ha—it’s frustration [or anger or fear or disappointment or whatever]!’

6. Now notice your habit of using a general descriptive word (such as ‘always’ or ‘never’ or ‘all’ or ‘every’). For example, ‘Why does this always happen to me?’ or ‘I’m never going to get this right.’

7. When you spot the universal word, smile! Think: “There it is!” Identifying it means that you are already most of the way recovered.

8. Internally correct the universal word by being specific. For example, use ‘this time’ or ‘in this particular instance’ or ‘it just happened that.’

9. Now notice the internal directive referred to by ‘I’ or ‘me’ or ‘my fault’ or ‘what is it about me?’ or ‘why me?’ and so on.

10. When you spot it, smile again! ‘There it is!’ Then find some way to place the blame or fault externally or just chalk it up to happenstance. Make it fun: ‘If I had hair like that, I’d be having a bad day too!’ or ‘My competition got lucky this time’ and so on.

11. Then rationalize that thought: invent evidence to support the idea that it wasn’t your fault. Make up reasons to believe what you just told yourself. ‘Well, I was just tired today because I didn’t happen to sleep well last night’ or ‘Obviously I was distracted: anyone would be if the airline lost his luggage’ or whatever. (It doesn’t even matter if it was your fault: again, your mind can’t tell the difference!)

12. The critical step: Ask yourself, ‘How do I REALLY want to feel right now?’ Answer with some positive feeling, and then try actually to feel that way. If you can’t manage it directly, at least think of something else that will make you smile -- some experience you’ve had or funny episode in your life.

Then keep holding that feeling as long as you can while your grin turns to a big smile. Then watch the magic! Don’t try to figure out why it works. Just do it. Hold it for a few more seconds and then get back to anticipating your next act.

13. Tell yourself something good will happen soon. Expect it to happen. You’ve just transformed a losing attitude into a winning attitude. In about one minute, you’ve turned your attitude, your life, your focus, around. Good for you!

14. Heartily congratulate yourself! Remind yourself that one small step at a time is all it takes to begin or continue ANY journey.

Test this overcoming obstacles method for yourself. It may take a while to use it well.

Test the method


Test for yourself the above method for overcoming obstacles. It may take a while to use it well. Why don't you test it thirty times? Keep count.

There is a learning curve; if you haven't practiced it thirty times, you may not be good enough yet at using the method to be giving it a fair test. If you use it 30 times and it still isn't working (which would surprise us), then simply choose some other method that will work for you.

Let's now turn our attention toward overcoming obstacles that may arise as you implement the suggestions from this website. When progress slows or you are stuck, it's important to know how to get unstuck. Over time, progress always comes with obstructions, especially plateaus or sticking points.

What else might be used for overcoming obstacles? For more ideas, see our page on releasing a psychological trap. The link is given further down this page.

Web pages to help you further

In this the psychology section of our website we have the following pages:

  • 1. Psychology for Weight Loss (main page)
  • 2. Emotional Eating: How to Cure It
  • 3. Meditation for Weight Loss and Tranquility
  • 4. Meditation Techniques
  • 5. Releasing a Psychological Trap
  • 6. How to Build Self-Esteem
  • 7. Overcoming Obstacles to Weight Loss
  • 8. Breathing Exercises
  • 9. Visualization for Weight Loss
  • 10. Behavioral Weight Loss
  • 11. Commitment and Weight Loss
  • 12. Goal Setting for Weight Loss
  • 13. Learning for Weight Loss
  • 14. Positive Attitude and Achievement
  • 15. Stress Making You Fat
  • 16. How to Sleep Better

You will find the direct links to those pages on our site map/index.

Meanwhile, here are two of those pages to get you started:

Psychological Trap

Positive Attitude



Our recommended books for this topic


Here are some initial reading suggestions:

  • Singer's SalesDogs
  • Tracy's Eat That Frog!
  • Prochaska, Norcross, & Diclemente's Changing For Good


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