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You can manoeuvre around your obstacles

inspiration:with Cynthia C Hakutangwi

When confronted with obstacles, problems and challenges, it is rather natural to become a little overwhelmed, especially when the circumstances are unfamiliar and seem a little threatening and urgent. However, no matter what life throws your way, it is important to keep in mind that there are always options available. There are always things you can do, actions you can take and decisions you can make that will keep moving you forward in the right direction.

Do not reinvent the wheel

In the place of duplicating efforts and expending current resources we should learn and borrow from best practice models designed by others. People who do not spend time studying the problems they are trying to solve are bound to reinvent something and likely not nearly as well. Instead of driving work teams into further brainstorming sessions, it would be wise to ask: Who else has tried to solve this problem? Can we learn from what they have done? The expression “reinvent the wheel”, is an English saying that is largely used to describe an exercise in futility. Many people will say, “Don’t reinvent the wheel” when they are starting upon a task, meaning that some foundational aspects of the task do not need to be changed or replicated, as this would be a waste of time.

Sir Isaac Newton, the English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, inventor and natural philosopher, is known to have remarked that: “If I have seen further, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.” In Wole Sonyika’s words: “The best learning process of any kind of craft is just to look at the work of others.” As we position ourselves to go further in life, it is important to understand that how we formulate our choices now becomes crucial to the quality of life we live in the future. It is important to identify those whose lives model the patterns we hope to build our life around and make them our role models and mentors.

As a personal development consultant, I often work with clients who are struggling to overcome personal obstacles. They don’t know what to do, where to begin or how to move forward. In such instances I will ask them a series of questions that help them gain new perspectives and understandings about their circumstances. As a result, they begin to unlock hidden resources they never realized they had.

There are three types of obstacles that you will likely face along your journey towards your goals. These include personal obstacles, environmental obstacles and social obstacles.

Personal obstacles
Personal obstacles are related to our psychology, behaviours and state-of-mind. They can include limiting habits, debilitating emotions, fears and beliefs.

These obstacles prevent us from moving forward towards the attainment of our goals and objectives because of the thoughts that we tend to dwell upon every day. These thoughts naturally prevent us from making effective decisions and undertaking the actions that will help us create the momentum we need to get to our end destination.

Some of personal obstacles that could be preventing you from moving forward in your life may include:

Lack of pain, lack of discipline, lack of knowledge, lack of inspiration, lack of desire, lack of skill, fear of change, fear of failure, feeling unworthy, procrastination, perfectionism, disorganization, pessimistic thoughts, too many time constraints, too much complacency, too much blaming of self and others, too many excuses, or too much complaining.

Identify if any of these obstacles are currently preventing you from getting what you want most out of life, and choose today to take control of your thought patterns and begin to make better and far more effective decisions.

Social obstacles
Social obstacles are related to people who either do not cooperate with you, sabotage you, or are simply incompetent and unable to fulfil the responsibilities assigned to them.

When it comes to social obstacles, it’s important to do a little forward planning, to make sure that you clarify your needs adequately, your knowledge thoroughly and your instructions carefully — ensuring that that the communication doesn’t break down at any stage. It also helps to develop good strong bonds and relationships with the people you rely on most.

You will go out of your mind if you try to control everyone’s behaviour, decision and action. Instead, try to subtly influence people and understand their needs, motives and desires. Only in this way will you successfully improve your chances of manoeuvring through the social obstacles in your life.

Environmental obstacles
Environmental obstacles are often unexpected conditions, occurrences and circumstances that you have very little control over.

Because these events and circumstances are unexpected, we are often ill-prepared and unable to deal with them effectively. However, if we do a little research and use some forward planning we may be able to predict and oftentimes influence these occurrences by setting into place contingency plans. To do this, begin by following Murphy’s Law, “Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong at the worst possible time, all of the time when you least expect it.”

So what are you going to do about it?

When you plan for the future, you gather a better understanding of the possible scenarios and consequences of your decisions and actions. Planning also gives you insight into additional resources you may need to help you overcome environmental obstacles that lie on the journey ahead.

Quite often the answers we need to help us overcome the obstacles in our lives can be found by simply talking to other people. There are other people who might have already dealt and successfully overcome the circumstances you find yourself in. It is wise to therefore seek out mentors, life coaches or experts to help you find the answers you need to move you forward towards your goals and objectives.

l Cynthia Chirinda is an organisational and personal development consultant, life coach, author and strategist. Her recently published set of books: You Are Not Damaged Goods, speaks to matters that position individuals to transition from tragedies to triumph, reboot, restart, blossom and flourish, to do great exploits beyond their worst experiences. Looking at improving your career, personal effectiveness, communication skills, relationships, focus, faith and happiness? Wholeness Incorporated Coaching offers you strategies you can implement today to review your progress and achieve your goals. E-mail: LinkedIn: Cynthia Chirinda. Mobile: +263 717 013 206. Website:

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