Obstacles 101: Detection and Identification

In this two-part series—the second part is Obstacles 101:  Reflection and Resolution—I’ll explore the process for resolving any obstacles you encounter along the way to fulfilling your dream.

Obstacle Detection

To resolve an obstacle, you must first be able to detect its presence.  Obstacles like to stay hidden, and they take many disguises to cloud your vision.  The key to detecting the presence of an obstacle is to notice that you’re stopped in the fulfillment of your dream.  If there are no forwarding actions happening, chances are high that there’s an obstacle in the way!

Are you stopped?  In your head?  Wondering or worrying about what’s next?  Feeling helpless and frustrated?  These are all classic signs that there is an obstacle or obstacles interrupting the flow of action towards dream fulfillment.

Once you’ve detected that you’re stuck and that there’s an obstacle in the way, the next step is to identify what the obstacle or obstacles are.

Obstacle Identification

Obstacles tend to be centered around one of two contexts:  Technical and personal.  Technical obstacles tend to take one of three forms:  1) capability, 2) resources, or 3) knowledge.  They sound like this:  1) I’m not capable of taking this action, 2) I don’t have the resources (money, time) to take this action, or 3) I don’t know what to do to take this action.  It’s possible to have all three obstacles happen multiple times on your journey towards fulfilling your dream.

Personal obstacles are about your feelings and behaviors.  Feeling inadequate, lacking confidence, lacking self-trust, and fear are often attached to a technical obstacle, and can significantly weigh down the process to resolve obstacles.  We will look at how to de-couple technical and personal obstacles and resolve them distinct from each other in Obstacle Reflection and Resolution.

To identify the obstacle, listen to yourself.  What do you hear yourself saying, usually to yourself, sometime to others as well?  What reason are you giving yourself and others that the action is stopped on your dream?  Categorize the obstacle as technical or personal, and then capability, resource or knowledge-driven.  List them out:

Obstacle: Description

  • Context: Technical or Personal
  • Form: Capability, Resource or Knowledge
  • Sounds Like: What you say to yourself or others

This will help in the next steps, reflection and resolution.

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