Get Out of Your Own Way!

One of the more popular topics here at Ego Friendly and around most websites and groups and such that deal with inspiration and personal growth is that of obstacles. Discussing obstacles is always safe because everyone can agree that they are bad. Not everyone agrees on how to get around them or what/if you can learn from them, but at least they can come to a consensus that they are a detriment.

What some articles do, though, is forget the fact that sometimes an obstacle is only a symptom of a much larger problem. Many of the obstacles we face are really self-created. Many of the difficulties that arrive in our lives can be traced back to mistakes, habits or attitudes that we have which lead directly to issues and confrontations that we need to deal with later on. Don’t know what I’m talking about? How about when you stayed up for “one more chapter” and finished the book, slept only two hours and zombie-shuffled through the next day. “OK,” you might say, “but that’s a choice, a decision you make, it’s not a real obstacle.” We can go one better- Your big project (see, and project works for school, work and home-life, so good luck getting out of this one) has been on the table for two months; you’ve looked at it, thought about it, mulled it over but for some reason or another you haven’t started working on it until now, the night before it’s due. Sound familiar? I thought so.

Part of the problem with labeling life’s little road bumps as “obstacles” is that sometimes people feel that this entails them to complain about the unfairness of them or to not take responsibility for them. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Recognizing that something is in your way is in no way an examination of the thing. Admitting that there is an obstacle is only the first, relatively easy, step to finding out how to deal with and, hopefully, overcome it. The best way to overcome an obstacle, by the way, is to make sure it never comes into being.

So many of the little annoyances and snags that catch us, unravelling the sweater of achievement as we ferociously try to knit it to completion, are due to our own mismanagement of time, disorganization and general lack of “togetherness.” Clearly the problem of showing up five minutes late or running out of coffee doesn’t compare with the obstacle of a sudden car failure or an attack of ninja zombies but they are still avoidable issues that get in our way, they are still things we can use to learn about ourselves and our mistakes in managing our lives. They are still obstacles. Think on this, if you remove half of the “little obstacles” that interrupt your day you’ll probably free up anywhere from fifteen to twenty minutes of time you thought you didn’t have and lower your stress level significantly. And all you have to do is tackle some bad habits.

Bad habits are tough. They’re ingrained (that’s why they’re called habits) but they are not part of your genetic code. If you just can’t imagine going to sleep before 3 am, then try to makes sure you’re actually in bed at three! If you just don’t feel like vacuuming the floor, make sure you invest in good ant traps and an exterminator. Choosing what you do to avoid the creation of obstacles is up to you, all we wanted to point out is that far from being sudden eruptions of adversity exploding in your face, some obstacles are usually fairly easy to sense and avoid, tremors that should amount to nothing.

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