How to Overcome Obstacles in Life

Whether you just got a severe medical diagnosis or you’re trying to save up to buy a house, some obstacles can seem enormous. You might not think you can get through those things and that you have to stay where you are. However, you can overcome obstacles in your life.

Almost everyone has faced an obstacle at one point, and many people face multiple ones. Obstacles can come in many shapes and forms, from small amounts of credit card debt to reaching lifelong career goals. If you face a struggle, you can take small steps to learn how to overcome obstacles in life.

What Are Obstacles?

Before you attempt to overcome some of your hardest obstacles, it’s important to understand what those look like. Over your life, you can encounter multiple barriers, and they could be of different types. Understanding how each one could make things harder can help you know how to tackle it head-on.

According to the Cambridge Dictionary, an obstacle is “something that blocks your way so that movement or progress is prevented or made more difficult.” An obstacle could be as simple as encountering a large boulder that makes a road impassable. On the other hand, it could be something like the fear of failure, which might keep you from pursuing your goals.

Everyone will encounter an obstacle of some sort at some point, but not all barriers are the same. To overcome an obstacle in your life, you have to consider what type of obstacle you’re currently facing. That way, you can take the right steps to get past it and live a successful life.

External Obstacles

One type of obstacle is the external obstacle, and this refers to physical or emotional roadblocks that come from outside of yourself. You could face external obstacles when you have unsupportive family and friends, or it could happen because of a physical thing. If something else is preventing you from reaching your goals, it’s probably an external obstacle.

  • A lot of examples of this type of obstacle come from the weather. If you have a lot of rain, that can keep you from taking your regular walk or jog outside.
  • Cold weather can also make it hard to get outside, even to run errands if the weather is severe enough.
  • Physical limitations can also post an obstacle, be it your height or weight, or something unrelated to your body and more toward the thing you want to achieve.
  • If something is blocking your progress that you can’t control, it’s an external obstacle, and it can be incredibly frustrating.

Odds are you’ll probably come across an external obstacle at some point if you haven’t already. They can be hard to overcome since it involves changing more than your mindset or lifestyle. However, overcoming these obstacles can be all the more fulfilling.

Internal Obstacles

Another type to consider is the internal obstacle, and this has much more to do with yourself and your current situation. While you can blame external constraints on others or your environment, that’s not the case here. Of course, some internal obstacles might have external origins, but you have more control when it comes to overcoming them.

  • An internal obstacle tends to be a single thing that you can easily fix or get through. One good example is having debt, which you can work to pay off, even if it does take a while.
  • Being busy can also be an internal obstacle since you can make changes to how you use your time. That way, you can make room for time to work on your goals.
  • If you need a particular skill to land, say, your dream job, not having that skill is another internal obstacle. You can take a course or spend time working on that skill so that you can land the position.
  • Back to money management, having a period of less income can also be an internal obstacle. If you lose your job, you’ll have to work to make that up to get over the hurdle.

Internal obstacles can be frustrating because it seems like you don’t have much control over them. However, if you play your cards right, you can easily overcome this type of roadblock. Be it saving some extra money or sacrificing a night out to work on your goal, you don’t have to wait for a change in the weather or environment.

Habitual Obstacles

While internal and external obstacles can both be hard to overcome, almost nothing is as terrifying as a habitual obstacle. These obstacles relate to your habits and behaviors. The best way to get over these obstacles is to change your habits so that you can make a lasting change.

  • One popular habitual obstacle could be your eating habits, either when or what you eat. If you want to get healthy, you may need to give up junk food or save it for a special occasion.
  • Drinking coffee or energy drinks could also act as habitual obstacles to getting enough sleep each night. You will have to minimize your intake so that you can comfortably fall asleep at the right time.
  • In the world of technology, another potential obstacle would be an addiction to your phone or computer. It will take work to get over those habits.

Whatever your habits are, some of them could be acting as habitual obstacles in your course toward a good life. It may take time and practice to change your habits and replace them with new ones. However, the work you do will be worth it, assuming you make changes for the better.

Everyone Has Obstacles

One of the hardest parts of overcoming obstacles is that it can feel isolating. Especially with social media, we tend only to see the good parts of other people’s lives. You may feel ashamed to talk about your obstacles, and that can make it even harder to tackle them.

Even if you don’t know anyone struggling with the same thing, it can be helpful to remember no one has a perfect life. You don’t have to tell everyone you know about your problems, and you may not want to. However, it can be helpful to talk about struggles with close friends and family.

That way, you can understand what they’re going through, and they can understand your struggles. From education to careers, many people face struggles throughout their life. Considering these struggles can help you feel less alone, especially if you’re facing the same obstacles.

Educational Obstacles

Growing up, one of the biggest struggles facing students is their education. Whether you grew up in an area without access to good schools or you can’t afford to go to college, going to school can be hard. Even if you have access to good schools and colleges, schooling and classes can require a lot of work.

While it’s not accessible to many people, college graduates have a lower unemployment rate than high school graduates. Low unemployment rates can make getting a college degree quite desirable, but that doesn’t take away the cost or time it takes to get one. Students from low-income areas can have a hard time getting into a school and paying for it.

That doesn’t mean that college shouldn’t be a consideration, but it is difficult. Once students get to the classroom, they’ll have to make sure to keep their grades up. Of course, that means going to class, completing any assignments, and studying for and taking exams. All of these factors can make college seem difficult, if not impossible, to achieve.

Career and Professional Obstacles

Once you finish your education, you can face obstacles in your career and professional life. From getting a good job to working your way up to a higher position, it may seem like the obstacles don’t stop coming. Worrying about losing your job or getting demoted can be frustrating, but it’s something you can overcome.

Losing interest in your job can also be an obstacle you have to tackle, either by changing jobs or remembering what you liked about it before. Of course, in this case, you may not want to take a new job and risk not liking it. However, risks are an essential part of growth, both in your career and in life.

Since many people spend the bulk of their adult lives working, it’s not uncommon to experience an obstacle in your career. Luckily, you can overcome many common professional barriers, like any other problem. It may take some self-reflection and time, but you can do what you set your mind to.

Personal Obstacles

Outside of school and work, you probably have a personal life filled with friends and family. You might have a few hobbies or interests, or perhaps you want to improve your health. In any case, personal obstacles are another common type of obstacle you may have to confront in your life.

When it comes to personal obstacles, a lot of it stems from not having the time. A busy work schedule can make it hard for you to make time for your personal life. Research shows that being busy can keep people from reaching their health and wellness goals.

You can apply this logic to other hobbies and interests, be it reading, playing games, or going to concerts. If you find that you have a personal obstacle, you may have to work a bit harder to manage your schedule. That way, you can find time to do what you love and spend time with the people you love.

Determine What Obstacles You Have

Now that you know what some common types of obstacles are, it’s time to determine what obstacles you’re currently facing. That way, you’ll know some of the steps you can take to tackle the situation head-on. It can be hard to determine your obstacles at first, but the more you’re able to spot them, the easier it will get.

While you don’t want to have multiple obstacles, you can start to know what signs to look for. If you already know what obstacle you’re facing, you can skip these steps. However, there may come a time when you don’t see the obstacle.

In that case, you may have to take a bit of time to reflect. You can also ask for help from your loved ones who might be able to see what you can’t. After some time, you will have a better idea of what you’re struggling with.

Remove Yourself from the Situation

When you’re struggling with an obstacle every day, it can be hard to look at it in different ways. That’s why if you have an obstacle, you should try to remove yourself from the situation as best as you can. Then, you can get a better idea of what the problem is and how you can solve it.

Perhaps you’re facing a lot of personal debt, and that’s been a significant obstacle. Living your life every day, you’re used to your spending habits, so they seem normal. However, taking a step back and looking at your habits from the outside can help you determine what might be preventing you from paying off debt.

If you forget to pay your credit card on time, that can cause you to rack up debt. Eating out every single day or for every meal can also keep you from saving money that you could put toward paying off your card. When possible, try to be as objective as you can when looking at your obstacle and the cause so that you can find a solution you wouldn’t notice otherwise.

Ask a Friend for Help

If you remove yourself from your obstacle and still can’t figure out what might be causing it, ask a friend or family member. They are already not in your situation, so they can give you their input on the cause or a possible solution. A friend or family member may even have experience with your current obstacle, and they can share how they got through it.

Assuming you talk to a close relative or friend, they can also give you insight into yourself and the obstacle at hand. If your friend knows you could organize more, they can help you determine how that’s affecting you and your obstacle. While talking to a therapist can help, they won’t know some of the details of your life that your friends and family know.

Even if your friend or family member can’t give you advice, they will have an outsider’s opinion. Of course, it’s your life, so you have to decide if you want to take their advice or thoughts. However, you have to live with the decisions you make, so take advice with a grain of salt

Be Open-Minded

As you take a better look at the obstacle you’re facing, be open-minded to potential solutions. No one wants to think they’re the problem, but it can be hard not to feel that way when you have an obstacle. However, keep your eyes, ears, and mind open to things you can do to get over the obstacle.

Whether a friend offers their advice or you come up with solutions, give them a try. Of course, they may not work out, but they might be the perfect option for you. It can be difficult, but keeping an open mind is essential.

How To Overcome Obstacles in Life

Now that you know what hurdles you have, it’s time to learn how to overcome obstacles in life. That way, you can get back to living your best life, and you can minimize or get rid of unnecessary stress. While some obstacles have unique problems that require specific steps to overcoming, some steps can apply to almost anything.

Whether you’re struggling with something small or something that affects your entire life, you can do a few things to get through it. You can use some of the previous steps to realize what type of obstacle you have, and that can help you determine what other steps might be necessary.

Obstacles are never fun, but they’re a part of life. The more obstacles you have and can overcome, the more you will grow and learn. You can then take that knowledge and apply it to any future struggles you have to face.

Break It Down

Some large obstacles can seem impossible when you look at them all at once. For example, earning a college degree is expensive, and it takes a lot of time. However, you can overcome such an obstacle by breaking it into smaller steps.

  • The first step to get into college could be choosing schools to apply to that you want to attend and can reasonably afford with some financial aid.
  • Next, you can apply for those schools and fill out any scholarship or grant applications they have.
  • Assuming you get into a school, you can choose to go there and enroll in your first semester.
  • Each semester after that, you can enroll in a new set of classes until you fulfill all of your requirements.
  • The final step would be to finish your last semester and graduate.

When you break down a big obstacle into smaller steps, it’s easy to see that it’s not as scary as you might think. You can take the obstacle, whatever it is, and break it down into more manageable steps. Then, you can complete each step and use that as motivation to keep going so that you overcome the obstacle.

Learn From Your Mistakes

If you make mistakes along the way, you might feel tempted to stop overcoming the obstacle. You may think there’s no point in continuing after you make one small mistake. However, you have another option.

Instead of taking your mistakes as a sign not to continue, use those mistakes as learning opportunities. Maybe you didn’t get into your dream college because you missed a step on the application. In that case, take that experience and use it on other applications so that you complete every step.

It can be hard to bounce back from mistakes, especially since we tend to think the mistake was bigger than it was. However, being able to learn from your mistakes can keep you going as you overcome an obstacle.

Keep At It

After you learn from your mistakes, the next step is to keep at your goal of overcoming your obstacle. Continue taking baby steps and breaking your goal down into parts. That way, you can keep your motivation up so that you’ll want to make progress.

If you ever get frustrated, it can be helpful to take a break. That way, you can come back to your obstacle with a fresh mind. Of course, some physical obstacles, like while driving, don’t allow for that.

However, if you struggle with applying to college, you can take a break from your applications. Set a goal of one or two applications per day. Once you complete that goal, you can focus on other tasks until you go back to applying to schools. Just keep at it, because you can do whatever you set your mind to, including overcoming just about any obstacle.

Take Some Time

As you work to overcome obstacles, you may want to take some time to reflect on the situation. Of course, a break from working on your obstacle is always nice, but it can be helpful to think about how you feel about the obstacle. Thinking over how it makes you feel and why you’re stressed is an excellent way to understand the problem.

You don’t have to take a lot of time to think about things, but you should do what you can to maintain your health and well-being while you make changes. That way, you can see your obstacle as a positive thing, and you can learn about yourself in the process.

Accept Your Feelings

In most cases, you’ll start with negative feelings toward the obstacle at hand. You want to go to college but can’t seem to get in anywhere, and that can be frustrating. Or perhaps you can’t seem to land a good job despite sending off dozens of resumes.

While it can be hard, remind yourself that it’s normal to feel this way about struggles. Stress and negative emotions are a part of life, and it’s okay to feel bad at times. However, you want to balance the negative feelings with some more positive ones.

The more you accept your feelings toward the obstacle, the better you will be able to overcome it. You can see the obstacle as a challenge rather than something that you can’t manage to get through. Accepting that you won’t always feel upbeat and happy can also make it easier to deal with negative emotions since you will know they’re part of life.

Accept That Obstacles Are Natural

Along with accepting your emotions, it’s nice to remind yourself that obstacles aren’t uncommon. Almost every successful person has had to face something negative, and they’ve managed to overcome that. Of course, some hurdles are bigger than others, but you can also overcome the struggles you have.

Facing obstacles is a normal part of living, whether you have obstacles in your education, career, or personal life. You don’t have to feel ashamed of having them, and getting over that shame can even help you feel more prepared to overcome whatever you’re facing. Being able to accept an obstacle for what it is can help you realize that it doesn’t have to ruin your life.

Instead, you can make the changes necessary to overcome that obstacle. Then, you’ll be able to overcome the next obstacle that comes your way. Of course, change is hard, so it can help to consider what might happen after making a decision.

Don’t Rush Into Major Decisions

As you work to overcome an obstacle, you may realize that you have to make some big decisions to make a change. Whether that’s reducing your spending considerably or changing your eating habits, it can be a lot. Of course, those changes can work out for the better, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think through them.

  • Don’t rush into any decision regarding your obstacle. Take a few minutes to a day or two to think about things.
  • Consider how easy or hard it will be to make the change, and if it’s even possible. If it’s not possible, break it down like you would your obstacle itself.
  • If you can, talk it out with a friend. Or write down your thoughts on paper so that you can see what is going through your head.
  • After some time, you can make the decision that is best for you and that situation.

Whatever decisions you have to make to overcome your obstacles, you have to think critically about them. Rushing into a decision won’t always lead to regrets, but it doesn’t help. If you can take a bit of time to think things through and consider both sides, you’ll be able to make a decision either way.

You Can Do It

At first, you might feel terrified of overcoming an obstacle, especially if it’s a huge one. If it involves doing something new, you may not have the courage to try it. However, by determining the type of obstacle you have to face and taking the right steps, you can learn how to overcome obstacles in life.

Doing so will result in a lot of growth for you as a person, and that makes dealing with the stress of an obstacle worth it in the long run. Plus, you’ll know what to do the next time you have an obstacle in your life.

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