Navigating Obstacles

It is hard to believe that we are already in the 3rd month of 2023! How are your goals and intentions going so far? Research shows that people’s compliance to their goals and intentions drop off as the months go by. Why? Obstacles inevitably emerge.

Call it “life” getting in the way, or more likely, we get in our own way. Our initial motivation can wane as these external and internal obstacles stack up. As a health/wellness and transformation coach, helping clients work through obstacles is a big part of my role. Read on for some pointers for how to navigate these roadblocks.

Personally, I set an intention to increase my physical strength. Obstacles, in they form of injuries, have come up that prevented me from doing that so far. However, these obstacles have given me an opportunity to increase mental strength and emotional agility as I was given a lot of time to practice what I preach!

“Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse. If you are comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

Most of us have had experiences that have been difficult or disappointing and with time we get through it. Through these challenges, we can learn key lessons and skills or discover strengths we didn’t realize we had. One day perhaps we can even be grateful for these unexpected setbacks or challenges. We realize they were actually necessary to get to where we are right now.

If these obstacles are an inevitable part of life and necessary for growth, how do we maintain that “growth mindset” in the moment before we are taken too far off course? 

  1. Tend and befriend yourself – research on self-compassion shows that people who befriend themselves continue to take on risks and challenges more so than those who beat themselves up.
  2. Radical acceptance – being honest about where you are and what challenges you face is the first step towards taking new action.
  3. A fresh start – reconnect to your intention at the start of each month – we naturally get more motivated at the beginning of something – a new year, or a semester for example. Perhaps you need to recommit every month, week, day, or hour!
  4. Meditate or develop a mindfulness practice – developing the awareness muscle helps to catch the distractions, negative mental self-talk, fatigue, early signs of a challenge emerging before they derail you.
  5. Pivot and reframe – look for the opportunity to learn something. Pause and ask yourself, what is this moment for?  What is this setback or challenge forcing me to do or trying to teach me?  That million-dollar question always reveals the point of balance or necessary lesson that was needed.


I have never seen such resolve as when my kids were little and they wanted what they wanted and I said no.  So, I wish you the persistence of a toddler! It is time to compassionately reassess and recommit to your heart-felt intention for creating something in your life that you feel and believe is worth the time and effort required.

Follow that original nudge that motivated you in the first place. Find that ‘why’ again and create a plan that starts small, and is fun, specific, realistic, and measurable. Research shows we maintain motivation when we can measure our progress and also realize we still have a ways to go before we realize our vision.

I’m excited to be offering a 2 part series on Navigating Obstacles. We will be looking at the 3 types of obstacles we generally face; external, habitual and internal. You will learn how to approach these from a resilience and growth mindset while you learn to befriend and shift internal aspects of you that can get in the way of moving forward. Click on Courses to register. 

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