Strategies to overcome obstacles

5 Easy Strategies to Make the Most Out of Every Obstacle

Launching my Women Taking the Lead podcast really got me thinking about what it takes to overcome obstacles. We all face them, so I decided to put together a summary of five simple tips you can use to navigate the curve-balls life throws your way.

Whether it seems like your challenge is insurmountable – or you just need a little pick-me-up to get you going again, these easy strategies will send you on the right track.

1. Mind your mind. We’ve all heard people say “Things never seem to work out for me” or “I guess it’s just the way it is; there’s nothing I can do to change it.”

Think about the woman who says she just can’t find Mr. Right. In fact, she keeps meeting Mr. Wrong over and over again, and it’s happened so many times she begins to believe she’s a magnet for men who disrespect and maybe even abuse her. With this mindset, she becomes a victim to her beliefs and actually shapes her future relationships negatively.

When an obstacle makes its way into your life (and believe me, it will!), you have a CHOICE. You can choose to approach it with a negative mindset and a limiting set of beliefs that you might have used in the past, or you can tackle it with a confident, powerful mindset that sees an opportunity for learning and growth instead.

2. Practice self-discipline. Or, as my friend Maritza Parra says “Focus, focus, focus!” Staying focused is a big challenge for many people, and for good reason. In a world where it seems like you’re constantly being pulled in a million different directions, it’s more important than ever to keep your eye on the ball.

Yes, there will always be fires to put out, different opportunities to consider, and new strategies and tools vying for your attention. The object of the game is to hold yourself accountable and commit to eliminating the distractions that block you from focusing on your goal.

This may be easier said than done, but if you have an obstacle that is keeping you from achieving a big goal, make it Priority #1 to conquer it.

Success starts with self-care3. Put fear in its place. Queen Latifah once said, “Fear can be good when you’re walking past an alley at night or when you need to check the locks on your doors before you go to bed, but it’s not good when you have a goal and you’re fearful of obstacles. We often get trapped by our fears, but anyone who has had success has failed before.

Everyone has that internal voice that rears its ugly head sometimes. It’s the little gremlin that tells you that failure is inevitable, that you should stick to playing small or wait until the time is “right”, or that you should just give up altogether.

By maintaining an awareness of your inner voice, you’ll be able to keep fear in check, take necessary action, and bust through that obstacle.

4. Get a fresh perspective. You know how it is – when you hit a roadblock, you get so involved in trying to figure out how to solve the problem that you lose sight of the bigger picture. Your mind becomes caught up in the “what if’s” and the endless wondering of “How am I ever going to find a way out of this?

As tough as this sounds when you’re trying doggedly to tackle an issue, take a time out. Pretend you’re a third party observer – make no judgements, just freely examine the situation with no attachments to it. You might be surprised how a change of perspective leads to a solution you hadn’t even thought of before.

5. Begin with the end in mind. When you embark on any journey, you usually begin with the end in mind, right? Working through an obstacle is no different, so when the going gets tough, keep your mind rooted in the destination.

Think about your target, your end goal. Give it a name and a description.  What will life be like when you reach that place? Get specific about what you want to accomplish.

Having a mental picture of what your aim looks like makes it easier to stay on target. In fact, it can mean the difference between conquering an obstacle – or letting the obstacle conquer you.

Whether you’re stepping into a new career, working on a relationship, planning to start your own business (or maybe getting ready to launch a podcast!), it can feel like you’re diving into the unknown.

Obstacles are a reality no matter who you are or where you’re at in your life, but in the words of Michael Jordan,

“If you’re trying to achieve, there will be roadblocks. I’ve had them; everybody has had them. But obstacles don’t have to stop you. If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.”

So, what are your favorite tips for busting through life’s obstacles? Share your comments below!


  1. Maritza Parra

    Congratulations on launching your show and how it’s climbing to the top of the charts! These points are all so important in staying the course to reach your goals, big and small – and you’re such a great example of that. One of my ways to bust through goals is to find someone kind and strong who will keep me accountable. At different times it’s been different people, but it’s helped me to tell someone I respect what I’m planning, get their loving accountability!

  2. FireStarters

    I learned many decades ago about the 80/20 mindset and it’s been a life changer for me ever since. 80% of the things we worry about in life never happen and the 20% that do, we can deal with. It’s so true! Thanks again for another highly inspirational message Jodi. Your blog continues to be one of my very favorites!

  3. Hey Jodi, thanks for the reminders. Mind your mind is really important. Sometimes, our minds can just wander off easily. Stay conscious and really “hearing” yourself speak is key.

    For me, my favorite tips for busting through life’s obstacles is practicing gratitude. One day which I been doing for a while every morning is to write down 3 things that I’m grateful for. No matter how tough life is or how challenging our obstacles are. There always something to be grateful for. So I love to remind myself that before I go out and meet the world. 🙂

  4. Thank you Jodi! You blogs always pack meaning and punch, and deliver in a empowering and insightful way!

  5. Frank

    Wow. Focus is so important for me to remember. When I have focus, I can plow through anything. When not, well, let’s just say it goes not so well… Great post!

  6. Rebecca Jorgensen

    Love this topic Jodi, and these are great tips. I ran up against some obstacles last week during an international tour where I was facilitating a lot of workshops. My old friend fear, accompanied with the self-critical voice, popped up in a new and demanding situation. Fortunately I recognized it for what it was, embraced the fear (of course I’d be nervous in this new situation) and challenged the critical voice by recalling voices of encouragement and remembering successes in similar situations. Happily the situation turned out better than I could have imagined.

    Thank you for this great post – all these points are important.

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