Five ways of clearing obstacles to progress

“Obstacles, like obstacle course races…a whole lot of them one after another!” Sound familiar? That’s how one of my clients described her life.

Let’s get straight to the point, did you know you are in control of your own obstacles?

Yes. No. Maybe. Whichever you answered, it doesn’t change the fact that you are in control of your life. You measure your progress through thick and thin. Whilst you can’t change or prevent external obstacles, you can change the way you think about them…

As described by Kevin Daum on, progress can be hampered:

  • Habitually through embedding the habits of negative self-talk, pessimism and generally getting in your own way.
  • Internally through one-off things like cash flow issues or gaining new skills
  • Externally through things outside your control such as the weather, politics or physical limitations.

Think about that for a moment.

What are your obstacles and how can you control them?

Grab a pen and paper. Think about the obstacles you feel you are facing, now write down what you CAN control. Write down everything that comes up for you.

Compare your list to this one, WikiHow tells us you can control:

  • your attitude
  • the effort you put into your chosen goals
  • how you respond to situations and opportunities
  • diet, exercise, family and commitments
  • your mood and motivation through managing the above

What are the simple things you can do to overcome your obstacles?

My top five ways to clearing any obstacles you may have to progress your life.

Counting down, these have been useful not only in my life, also in most of my client’s lives too. Let’s see how they will work for you.

  1. Break down your obstacle into manageable chunks

Take your obstacle and break it down into smaller more manageable steps. This not only takes overwhelm away, it also helps you realise the obstacle is not as big and scary as you thought it was.

  1. Understand setbacks are inevitable

You can’t control everything. Life will happen, you have to accept that. What you can control are your thoughts on managing setbacks. See them as unbearable and that’s what they’ll be.

Choose to see them as manageable and that’s what they’ll be. Always your choice about which it will be.

  1. Do the most difficult task first

By doing the most difficult task first, science shows us this gives you the motivation to keep going. Yes, motivation happens after you take action – interesting.

Once the motivation kicks in, you will be surprised at how quickly a big obstacle vanishes. Get in there and get the hardest part out the way.

  1. Do the things you don’t like doing while doing what you love doing

How to get the hardest part done? Well, do something you don’t like doing while doing something you love doing. Huh?

If writing scares you, take your laptop to your local coffee shop. Order a cup and whilst sipping on your favourite beverage, allow the inspiration to flow. Yes, this helps to keep your creativity flowing.

  1. Keep track of progress by celebrating successes

Being aware of your progress helps motivation. And gives you a frame of reference to help with future obstacles – it’s the gift that keeps on giving.

When you celebrate your success it releases all the happy hormones. The more you release happy chemicals, the more your body will want them. Understanding that it needs to get going to get the ‘rush’.

Excellent isn’t it? I thought so too!

Try these pointers out and come back to tell me how it’s working out for you. I love hearing your successes and…

… Sharing keeps you accountable.

Cheryl-lya is a freelance Copywriter. Helping women around the globe plan, market and grow successful sustainable businesses & careers. She is London based and runs workshops alongside one-to-one coaching. Contact her: call UK mobile 07527 303 911, or visit her website Say ‘hello’ or share your joys via email:

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