Challenges and obstacles are part and parcel of running a business, just as they are part and parcel of anything worth doing! To quote a man called Frank Clark, “If you find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.”
The journey is never going to be totally without blocks and bumps in the road and you’re bound to come up against obstacles along the way. Some will be minor potholes that you can step over with a bit of a stretch…. and some will be large enough to temporarily block your path completely.
Obstacles of the larger variety are often the focus of the Clarity Calls I have with clients. These obstacles can be anything – money, knowledge, experience, confidence, strategies, tools and websites – each one causing someone’s dream to come to a sudden halt.
STOP: Obstacles Ahead!
Perhaps you can identify with some of the recent ones:
• Turning a passion into a business without lots of money to invest.
• Trying to work on a new business when your job takes up most of your time and energy.
• Creating a new website but at a complete loss as to what to actually say on it.
• Having multiple ideas and not knowing which one to progress.
At the time, each of these things represented a barrier blocking the way forward and impeding all progress. And of course, what happens when we find ourselves stuck in this type of situation? Our pesky ‘friends’ Doubt and Fear arrive on the scene making the obstacle appear even bigger and further undermining our confidence in our ability to get over it!
But obstacles such as these need not halt your progress for long when you know a way to get around them. So I wanted to share a technique I learned from Barbara Sher that gives you a very simple way of re-framing your challenge to help you get around it.
State your challenge in a wish/obstacle format:
“My wish is: [name your idea, dream, project or goal in one or two sentences] and my obstacle is: [state as specifically as possible what’s getting in the way for you]”
“My wish is to write for Psychologies magazine and my obstacle is that I don’t have any contacts to help me get in there.”
“My wish is to sell products from my website and my obstacle is that I only get 10 visitors a day”
The human brain is a problem solving machine when we allow it to be and this particular way of framing a problem seems to unlock our problem solving creativity in a way that the more usual kind of “How can I do X or Y?” question doesn’t.
I’ve seen it work best as a brainstorming technique where you present your wish and obstacle to a group and ask for their solutions but sometimes, just phrasing your challenge in this form results in your own answer dropping out of nowhere, clearing the way ahead along with a boost of energy and creativity you need to move forward and bring your idea life.
So now, over to you…
What do you do when faced with a challenging obstacle? The Wish-Obstacle technique is just one of many – it’s all about finding something that works for you, so please feel free to share in the comments below.
Want some help to clear an obstacle that’s keeping you stuck?
Go here now and apply for one of the limited number of complimentary Clarity Calls I offer each month.The session is completely free of charge and without obligation and is the perfect place to clear the current obstacle blocking your path!