Everyone faces barriers to success and their progress at some stage, and how you deal with them makes a significant difference in your life as a whole.
Some people feel overburdened and hide away from making difficult choices; some spend all their time fighting against barriers and spending far too much time and energy on sorting out problems.
Neither of these approaches works very well. If you ignore or hide from problems they nearly always get worse, and regardless of what it is, it will fester in your mind and be a constant source of worry.
If you get overwrought trying to overcome setbacks, you can get yourself in a state where all your time and energy is being spent on issues that may not be as bad as you believe, and could easily have been sorted out with less aggravation and inconvenience.
That then leaves the middle line, where you take care of issues that arise but in a timely and sensible manner.
Money is a cause of worry for many people, in fact, there are few people who don’t worry about money to some degree. If you’re constantly worried about money and paying the bills, your best bet is to go back and crunch some numbers first of all.
Have a look at your income and outgoings and look for expenses that you could reduce or remove altogether. For example, perhaps you donated regularly to charity, and the direct debits are still in place.
You could spend hundreds of pounds a year that’s going out as just a few dollars here and there per month, and not realize the impact those small payments are making on your finances.
Cancel the direct debits for now, and when you’re back on your feet, you can start them up again if you wish. Also, look for:
- Obsolete direct debits – cancelled subscriptions or other regular payments you no longer need
- High costs on regular bills like energy, broadband, and mobile phone – look at switching to a cheaper plan.
- Lump sum payments that put a big hole in regular outgoings see if they can be paid in instalments to make them more manageable.
- The interest rates you’re paying on credit cards and loans, to make sure you’re not paying more than you should.
When you’re appraising your outgoings, just bear in mind there might be penalty clauses if your contract is still in operation, so see how paying the penalty compares to making the switch before taking action. Another way to ease money worries is to look for alternative or additional sources of income.
You should also check your real credit score to make sure all the information held by credit bureaus is correct and up to date. A mistake on your credit report could result in you being unable to find reasonable credit facilities and rates.
If you find an error or anything you don’t recognize on the report, contact the credit bureau concerned for an explanation and if necessary, a correction. You can find advice on how to deal with credit bureaus online, to make it easier to sort any problems out.
It’s not just money worries that form barriers to your progress in life; it could be health and fitness challenges, psychological woes, and career choices too. If you want to overcome these kinds of barriers, you have to tackle them head-on before they get any worse.
You have the ability to overcome pretty much anything that’s thrown at you if you try hard enough, so if your mind is telling you that you can’t do something, look at why – what’s causing the barrier in the first place?
If you blame lack of time as a barrier to your progress, look at how you’re spending your day at the moment and whether you could improve your use of time by being more efficient or rearranging your schedule.
Could you, for example, cycle to work each day rather than driving to work and then going out for a cycle ride in the evenings? Time is one of the few things you can’t alter or have more of, so the only way to free uptime is to use what you have more effectively.
You may need to invest some time now to free up time for the future, so for example if you regularly spend a couple of hours looking for lost items around the house, then investing a day or two to reorganize and clear out the clutter will in the long run save you far more time than the couple of days you sacrifice now.
If you blame lack of support or motivation, there are literally millions of articles and resources available that provide you with diet plans, weight loss support, psychological support, and anything else that’s causing you problems in your life.
Look at what’s on around you and actively search for helpful tools to give you a boost in reaching your goals, and instead of worrying about, say, the effect on your health of inactivity, start making some changes.
If you can’t find the motivation to help yourself, it’s worth having a health check-up to see if there’s an underlying medical reason that would explain the way you feel. If you get the all clear, then it’s just a case of finding the method that works for you.
Whatever is behind the barriers you’re facing, you’ll find support in your local community and online to help in overcoming life challenges and difficult times.
It’s far better to look for help when you’re struggling because if you don’t, you could end up making yourself ill, and you’ll find it very tough to achieve what you want.
Sometimes you’ll encounter barriers that are harder to shift, despite your best efforts. You do have limits, so maybe you’re just being overly ambitious, or you might need to take a look at your priorities and cut down the time you spend on a less important activity.
You can break down or climb over the barriers in your life, so don’t feel there’s nothing you can do to help yourself. You’ll be amazed at what you can achieve if you give yourself a chance.
About the author:
Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in the U.S. in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organisations.