Obstacles to change and what to do about them


When we work on ourselves, there are usually stumbling blocks, which we encounter. The purpose of this post is to highlight some of these barriers and offer tips on overcoming them.

Too much, too soon

We’re into the New Year and you’ve probably got a number of goals for this year. You’re probably already making progress with these. If you’ve created goals properly then you’ve already taken appropriate steps.

However, if you’ve set yourself too many goals then you might have become overwhelmed. If this is the case, then stay calm and re-review what you’re doing at the moment. Chances are you might be trying to do too much, too soon. If this is the case then slow down your activities and make sure you’ve broken the activities down into small steps and just focus on achieving one step at a time.

Feeling you’re not worthy to change

If you have planned significant changes this year, where you will be making a big leap from your current position to where you want to be, then a barrier to your progress could me believing you’re not worthy of change.

It is best to ignore and completely re-frame such thoughts. All they are is old remnants of yourself, which are trying their best to hold you back and keep you where you are. It is best to observe such self-limiting thoughts and name and shame then as being false.

Feeling tired

Focused effort, which is done smartly always, pays off in the end. However, there is a risk of burning ourselves out in the process. Ensure you are taking regular breaks, resting your mind-body and doing things which you enjoy doing.

Take time out to do activities that will help you to rejuvenate yourself. This could be practicing yoga, talking a walk, having a regular workout, spending time with a friend or family members or reading a good book.

Feeling frustrated at the lack of progress

One of the greatest things I’ve learnt to do is try things out and learn from the experiences. If something doesn’t work out, then you can always have another go.

Indeed, life is short and this can be a powerful motivator to enable us to take action.

However, on a similar token it is useful to remind ourselves that even in this short life there is still time. Unless a person has reached a very senior stage of his/her life, there is still ample time to create change in your life.

Talk through your challenges

Sometimes a good chat with the right person can help us get unstuck. Talk through any stumbling block with an inspirational friend or family member. People who care for us and who know how to think outside the box can really help us. Selecting the right person for such a conversation is important.

Avoid discussing such issues with someone who cares but all they see is problems. There is nothing wrong with seeing problems, as long as the person can then help you to find solutions.

If you feel you need to, invest in the services of a coach who can work alongside you to help you achieve your goals.

Thinking too much

Usually when we create plans for new achievements, we think about what we want. We consider where we are currently and where we want to go. We think of what we need to do and become in order to achieve our goals. Thinking is a great ability we humans have.

However, at times what can end up creating problems is thinking too much. We get so bogged down with thinking, we end up creating anxiety for ourselves, about all that we have to do and in the process we become further overwhelmed.

Sometimes it is best to improvise and allow your intuition to take over and find answers to the problem you are trying to overcome. Doing so can seem risky at times. After all, by ceasing to think so much, people worry they will lose their identity. However, through improvising you will activate an innate wisdom, which is always there but gets hidden by all the thinking, most of which is unnecessary.

Worry about what others will think

Concern about what other people may think about your aspirations and activities is a sure fire way to prevent progress, especially if you let this affect you.

We all want to be accepted and appreciated. However, are you willing to do this by sacrificing what you really want in life?

If you’re not harming anyone through your activities, then you shouldn’t allow the potential disapproval of others to stop you. This is one example where the ‘life is too short’ principle really comes into play.

Do you really want to look back you on life when you’re elderly and regret doing one thing, which could have changed the direction of life completely for the better, because you were afraid of upsetting someone?

If you liked this post, then check out the latest posts from the blogs of the following awesome people:

Shorya Bist

Sapna Kumari

Aditya Samitinjay

My friend’s, it’s over to you:

How is your year going so far? Are you making progess with your plans?

Have you become a little stuck? If so, what are you doing to help yourself?

Please share your valuable thoughts in the comments box below, so that we can all learn from you.

Please also share this post on your favourite social networks.

Photo Credit: johntrainor

  1. Loved your tips Hiten!

    Yes indeed, obstacles are a part of each of our lives, and sooner or later we all have to face them. However, most of us tend to get buried deep within and it somewhere starts affecting us and plays on our health if nothing else.

    I too have always believed to not rush into things and take baby steps to proceed further, which are achievable – rather than trying to accomplish too much too soon. Oh yes…don’t we all need breaks and get-away to rejuvenate, and it does work wonders too. Ah…talks and chats always help, and communication is known to help, and so does sharing your feelings with another person.

    I agree, worrying doesn’t help in any way and only adds to the problem. Living in the moment and enjoying or taking each day as it comes is what I believe in and that’s how the obstacles pass by with ease for me.

    Thanks for sharing this with all of us, and for reminding us too. And yes, congratulations on the awesome books that I couldn’t help noticing on the right….more feathers in your cap. 🙂

    1. Hi Harleena,

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post!

      Indeed, as you say, obstacles are a part of life and can have an adverse effect on us and our health. We can definitely help ourselves by changing the meanings we give to ‘obstacles’.

      As I was reading your comment, one word which really sprung out at me, was ‘worry’. It made me wonder just how much time we can waste worrying about things. Does worry allow us to enjoy the journeys we are on? It certainly doesn’t. For me, life is just so much more fun without worrying about what will happen. Of course, it can be easier said than done, but one can learn to cease worrying so much.

      It reminded of time when I was in Kerala some years back and was speaking to a family friend out there. He was in his late 60’s at the time and looked around 50. He told me his secret to looking so young was daily meditation and the fact that he didn’t worry.

      Thank you very much for commenting and adding so much more to this post! 🙂

      I also appreciate your comment about the books! Many thanks for your continued support.

  2. Hi Hiten

    First time here. Great points to follow.

    Last year I made too many plans and did not expect some of the “hiccups” in my life. This year I have decided to focus on three things only and if there is time for other things then I will take the time out to do it. There is no deadline, I will just try to follow on the plan, unless I see it no longer serves the purpose of what I am aiming at. Started all this on the 31st and so far, so good.

    Let’s see, I have 350 days left for the year! Okay with that in mind I should see quite a bit accomplished. Will I be where I would like to be…don’t know for sure, but if I do nothing I surely won’t .

    Have a great year.


    1. Hi Mary,

      Welcome to The Empower Blog!

      Thanks very much for sharing your plans for this year and how you learnt from last year. You’ve added a great, new and fresh perspective on how to make plans for the year. I love your idea of focusing on three things, aiming to get these done and then focusing on other things if there is time.

      I use a similar approach to you. Although I do aim to create specific goals at the beginning, once I get into activities, I try and remain flexible about how and when I will get them done. And as you said, if the goals no longer serve the purpose, then we can get on with other stuff instead.

      Thank you very much for leaving your brilliant comment and adding so much more to this post. I loved the way you ended your comment! You’re right. If we do nothing, then we’re guaranteed to not be where we would like.

      It’s a pleasure to meet you! Have a great year, too!

  3. Important message you have right here Hiten. Many of my clients and others that I know have encountered the same problems. You have done well
    be good to yourself

    1. Hi David,

      I’m so glad you appreciated the messages in this post. Your clients are lucky to have you coach them! If ever I needed coaching, then I think I’d come to you!

      Most of these types or problems are usually based around old attitudes, habits and ways of thinking, which try to hold us back. The great thing about such problems is they can always be overcome and a person can continue to make great progress.

      I appreciate you comment and showing your support, my friend.

  4. Hi Hiten,

    Great advice here. This line spoke to me – “However, at times what can end up creating problems is thinking too much.” I have at times overanalyzed a situation and realize that sometimes it’s better to just go for it, than to worry about all the “what ifs.” Life is short and we don’t want to have regrets over what we didn’t do. Change is my word this year, so I will definitely save your post to refer back to it. All the best!

    1. Hi Cathy,

      I’m really glad you found the advice helpful!

      Overanalysing is something we all do and instead of doing this, as you said, it is better just to go for it rather than regret it afterwards. The ‘not wanting the feeling of regret’ is a powerful motivator and I’ve had much success with it. It is something I could use more of myself.

      I love your word for the year! Change also happens to be one of my favourite words!

      Thanks so much for leaving your comment and sharing your experiences, Cathy.

  5. HI Hiten

    Firstly, thanks for mentioning my blog. It’s a matter of great honor to be placed on your blog along with Awesome writers.

    Coming on to your point, I would say there are obstacles everywhere, in every sphere of our life. At times we endure them and at times we are able to overpower them. Strong beliefs in ourselves can help us to overcome those. As you have pointed out “Thinking too much”, I belong to that breed and at times I keep on thinking and end up doing nothing.

    This year I have tried to do few things differently and consistently and let’s see how the things will shape up. I will audit my performance against the set goals at the end of 2 months and if required will make the changes accordingly.

    The Key point which you have mentioned about Stop worrying about what others are saying, I’m trying to work on that as well and this is the most sound advice for me I feel.

    Thanks Hiten for sharing this great info, I really appreciate that.


    1. Hi Sapna,

      You are very welcome about the mention! 🙂

      I’m the same as you, Sapna. I too come from a ‘thinking too much’ background. I was actually thinking (pun intended) the other day, how much my thinking has gone done over the past few days.

      I believe my mindfulness meditation practice has definitely contributed to this and I know I’m all the better for it.

      I love the approach you’re taking with doing activities this year. That’s what it’s all about. We can spend some time doing things in a certain way, review how we’ve done and then change accordingly, if needed.

      The point about worrying about what others are saying was a biggie for me personally and that’s why I wanted to include it in this post. It’s great to hear you’re working on this.

      Many thanks for adding so much more to this post! It’s great to see you here.

  6. Hiten — Happy New Year my friend! Sound advice as always. Particularly liked your section on “too much, too soon.” Tony Schwartz, a performance expert who specializes in managing energy instead of time, has noted that our brains are simply not wired to make more than one big change at a time. We need to stick with it for several weeks or months to create a new habit, and only then should we think about other changes. The good news is that means we can still make several very substantive changes in just one year! We just need to be patient about it.

    1. Hi Stephen,

      Happy New Year, my friend! Hope you’ve had a good start to the year and wishing you and your family much happiness and success this year.

      I’m really glad you liked the post and thanks so much for you comment about Tony Schwartz. What he says makes so much sense. Indeed, change just does not happen that quickly. It’s like our minds are already wired to do things and behave in certain ways. Learning new behaviours involves new rewiring, which is bound to take some time.

      Indeed, as you said, we can definitely make substantial changes in a year. Patience is so important. I really am beginning to see the truth that good things come to those who are patient.

      Thanks very much for comment and adding some great insights to this post, Stephen!

  7. I think baby steps are a greta way to get over the obstacles. I know that I get overwhelmed and tired when I set too many, over the top resolutions at the beginning of the year. I take time out to rejuvenate as you mentioned, too. I’m working on balance this year, and so far, I think I’m doing pretty well!
    Great post Hiten!!

    1. Hi Betsy,

      I’m really glad you enjoyed the post!

      Indeed, as you say, setting too many goals is a quick way to become overwhelmed, exhausted. This then leads to frustration as we become confused as to how to cope best. Slowing down, while still ensuring we take little actions is fine. We will get to where we want to eventually!

      It’s great to hear about your focus on balance this year and the progress you’ve made so far!

      Thanks so much for commenting, Betsy. I appreciate your support.

  8. Hey Hiten,
    Who’s the attractive girl in your confidence with women ad? 😉
    I work extremely hard on my goals and I definitely get tired on the way. I have developed a system for keeping my energy and health up so I don’t run out of steam while climbing the mountain of success.

    Take Care.

    1. Hi Justin,

      I have to admit, I don’t know who the girl in the cover is! 🙂

      I think it’s great how you have got a method in place to help you get over the tiredness you experience. This is a brilliant example of good planning and catering properly for challenges that will arise where making changes.

      Many thanks for commenting!

  9. The moment we want to do something, the initial enthusiasm propels us forward to accomplish as much as possible. As with any fast start, the energy wanes…and keeping it up becomes an effort if we don’t give it time to recoup. 🙂 Breaking down the big dreams into long term and short term goals is always a great idea. I find that making a time-table for the day (an old school habit) always helps as we can prioritize and end the day with satisfaction. The good cliche – fail to plan-plan to fail sticks in my mind here. We are tuned to focus on something that excites us.

    Great post, Hiten. The tips are excellent. “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but won’t get you anywhere!”

    How is 2013 looking for you? Hugs!

    1. Hi Vidya,

      Indeed as ever, you described what happens at the experiential level when we initially decide to create change, quite brilliantly! As you say, energy levels do come down after an enthusiastic beginning.

      There is also a risk of abandoning what we are doing if one doesn’t expect from the start that things will take some time. By breaking the goals into smaller steps, reviewing progress and what work and what didn’t in an objective manner, and adapting accordingly, really can make the change process enjoyable.

      I love the way you described how you use a time-table. This is one old school habit which can help us for our whole lifetime!

      2013 is looking good so far, thanks for asking. After an over enthusiastic start myself, I too have slowed down (one of the reasons why I wrote this post!) and am making good progress.

      How has your start to the year been? Hope you and the family are doing well and Hugs to all of you! 🙂

  10. Good stuff Hiten. Definitely 2013 is a year to take those ideas I had and put them into action. For one, I have already written 3 guest posts this year where as I think I wrote 3 guest posts all of last year. this year is about me taking more intelligent risks in my business life.

    Take Care.

    1. Hi Justin,

      It’s great to hear you’ve written 3 guest posts already! I’m aiming to write 5 this year and I’ve done one so far. I love the point you made about taking more intelligent risks this year with business. You and me both! 🙂

      Thanks for sharing your experiences here, Justin.

  11. Hi Hiten,

    First time on your blog and thank you for that lovely post.

    Its true obstacles are there in every sphere of our life but real success lies in overcoming those obstacles. As you mentioned in the blog, I fell into the category of “thinking too much”. I do a lot of thinking and end up doing nothing. But all that changed when Rafi, my better half and a certified NLP Master Practitioner came into my life. Timely intervention and guidance from Rafi and his NLP guru Mr.Ashok Subramanian(http://www.shinota.com) helped me to overcome the obstacles I faced.

    NLP training created a self awareness and help me discover my true potential. Also I practice yoga and meditation to keep my mind focused . Today Rafi and me are successfully moving towards our purpose of life to help people lead a happy life through our blog http://www.inspiringcitizen.com

    Thank you once again Hiten for sharing this information. This is really gonna help a lot of people.

    1. Hi Sareena,

      Welcome to The Empower Blog! It’s great to see you here and I’m really glad you liked the post!

      Indeed, I loved what you wrote in your comment about how you found you were doing a lot of thinking and ended up doing nothing. I know just what you mean and have experienced the same.

      It’s very inspirational to hear that NLP has assisted you in creating self-awareness and has helped you to discover your true potential. Again, I can totally relate to this experience!

      I found that practicing yoga and meditation only helps further in increasing our self-awareness.

      Thanks for letting us all know about Mr. Ashok Subramanian. I think I came across him when I was looking for NLP training opportunities in India some years back. He works with Sue Knight, right?

      It’s great to connect with you and Rafi and I’m glad to meet people on similar journeys of growth and development.

      Many thanks for leaving your brilliant comment! 🙂

      1. Hi Hiten,

        Thank you for that reply!!! Indeed we are also happy to connect with you 🙂

        you are right!! Ashok works with Sue Knight and must say he is a person with high energy. and enthusiasm.

  12. Appreciating the hard work you put into your website and
    detailed information you offer. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed material. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

  13. WOW!! I really like the new look of your blog. I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t stopped by in a long while so the change may not be so “new”. 😉

    And look at all the ebooks you’ve written!! My goodness. Do you EVER sleep?!

    I want you to be honest with me, Hiten …
    Were you using mental telepathy when you crafted this post? E.S.P. ?? Any super powers?!

    As I moved down the page, leaning in on every word after wonderful word, I kept thinking, “This post was written with ME in mind. How did Hiten know his timing was perfect and that I SO needed to hear these things?”

    This post really hit home!
    I’m about to embark on a brand new (and scary and overwhelming and BIG) adventure in life. I’ve made the decision to make a long distance move to another state. You know … leave everything I’ve known and have become comfortable with for the past 39 years. Yikes! I’m not joking when I say every one of the obstacles you’ve highlighted are issues I’m facing.

    These lines jumped off the page at me:
    ” … slow down your activities and make sure you’ve broken the activities down into small steps and just focus on achieving one step at a time.” If you’ve ever moved far away, you know the list of “steps” is about a mile long … and they feel more like “endless”.

    ” We get so bogged down with thinking, we end up creating anxiety for ourselves, about all that we have to do and in the process we become further overwhelmed.” At the moment, I not only feel bogged down, I feel like a hippo is sitting on my head! 🙁

    “Concern about what other people may think about your aspirations and activities is a sure fire way to prevent progress, especially if you let this affect you.” This one is a BIGGIE for me … the one hurdle I can’t seem to jump over. I have one close friend, for example, who keeps telling me I’m making a huge mistake. My friend’s viewpoint is definitely impeding my progress.

    Thank you for this post, Hiten. I really, really, REALLY needed a dose of your wisdom. 🙂

    1. Hi Mel,

      It’s great to see you here, my friend! 🙂

      I’ve had this particular theme for a while now, but I keep changing the home page! I used to have the blog page as the main home page, but I’ve gone back to having a separate home page again!

      Yes, I have gone on an eBook rampage recently! I’m aiming on hitting 50 titles by the end of the year. We’ll see how it goes…

      I’m so glad this post reached you at the right time. It’s similar to how your most recent post was just what I needed to see. Isn’t it great how we can be experiencing a challenge and we head over to the blog of a friend and see a perfect post to help give us a lift!?

      Wow, your move to another state sounds real exciting and I can totally appreciate the emotions you are experiencing.

      I loved what you wrote in your comment about feeling like a hippo is sitting on your head! That was quite funny!

      I can relate to the point you make about your friend being concerned about your move. I’m sure the intentions of your friend are spot on and he/she is doing what a concerned friend would.

      How about if you asked yourself what will you not do, or what will not happen if you don’t take the plunge and make the move? Such a question can help put things into perspective.

      A post I read by David Stevens today got me thinking about it:


      I wish you all the best with the move. Take it one step at a time as much as you can and although it doesn’t seem like it at the moment, these steps will become less and less.

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