Clearing the Path to Success: Identifying and Overcoming Self-Obstacles

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Did you know that negative thoughts and feelings can derail you and make you the obstacle in your way? Harnessing your emotional intelligence will help you clear the path to success by identifying and overcoming self-obstacles.

Empowering Change: Overcoming Self-Limiting Beliefs and Obstacles

Did you know that you have approximately 50,000 – 80,000 thoughts popping in and out of your mind daily?

Marshall Connects article, Clearing the Path to Success: Identifying and Overcoming Self-Obstacles

It's our powerful brain at work. We all have negative and positive thoughts, but here's the thing; there's a special connection between what you think and feel physically and emotionally. We learn to navigate our success as we develop and increase our emotional intelligence (EI). Much of my work is directly connected to emotional intelligence because it is a life-changing superpower. You can find a great deal of information about emotional intelligence and how to overcome obstacles in my book, The Power of Emotion.

All of our thoughts can become obstacles if we let them. I experience thoughts of regret, guilt, worry, and anxiety, which affect my emotions. Likely you feel them too; presumably, they're holding you back. These are stagnant feelings. They do nothing except prevent us from moving forward like a vehicle spinning wheels in a ditch. These thoughts waste our time by encouraging us to overthink and potentially create issues that don't exist.

Thoughts that Cloud Our Decisions

Do you ever find that sometimes what should be a relatively easy decision isn't? This state occurs when we are thinking in circles. Words like "But what about that," "I feel so bad that I didn't," or "What if?" are obstacles that cloud our judgment and erode our confidence.

How to Identify and Remove Obstacles

What if those thoughts weren't there? Then what would your message be? What would your next move be? What if your thinking was positive, trusting, and moving you forward, not static? 'We need to play 'devil's advocate.' 'We need to protect ourselves. Those feelings prevent us from being positive and trusting in ourselves and others. Due diligence is critical – logical and positive thinking, including positive self-talk, will reduce these obstacles.

As we increase our emotional intelligence and become self-aware, our emotional awareness expands, and we self-manage much better. The results are phenomenal. Remember to retain a positive attitude; negative self-talk is an obstacle that will derail you.

Overcome Obstacles with Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence can help us overcome the obstacles we create. Here's how it can contribute to personal growth and overcoming self-imposed barriers:

  1. Self-Awareness: EI fosters self-awareness, recognizing our strengths, weaknesses, patterns, and behaviours. By understanding ourselves better, we can identify the specific ways we might act as obstacles to our progress.
  2. Identification of Limiting Beliefs: EI enables us to identify and challenge our limiting beliefs—the self-imposed thoughts or narratives that hold us back. We can recognize negative thought patterns through self-reflection and introspection and replace them with more empowering and positive beliefs.
  3. Emotional Regulation: EI equips us to regulate and manage our emotions effectively. This skill includes developing strategies to handle stress, frustration, and self-doubt, which are often obstacles that hinder progress. By cultivating emotional resilience, we can navigate challenges more effectively and avoid self-sabotaging behaviours.
  4. Improved Decision-Making: EI enhances decision-making by integrating logical reasoning and emotional insights. It helps us consider the potential emotional impact of our choices and make decisions aligned with our long-term goals rather than being swayed by short-term impulses or fears.
  5. Self-Motivation: EI encourages intrinsic motivation, allowing us to tap into our inner drive and passion. By connecting with our values, setting meaningful goals, and fostering a positive mindset, we can overcome procrastination, self-doubt, and other obstacles that hinder progress.
  6. Building Resilience: EI helps us develop resilience, the ability to bounce back from setbacks and persevere in facing challenges. It enables us to reframe failures as opportunities for growth, maintain a positive outlook, and keep moving forward despite obstacles or setbacks.
  7. Improved Relationships: EI is essential to building and maintaining positive relationships. By enhancing our interpersonal skills, empathy, and communication, we can foster support networks and collaborate with others, providing valuable guidance and assistance in overcoming obstacles.

Are You the Obstacle in Your Way? 

To answer this question, I challenge you this week to try the following:

  • Change the words: always or never into 'this time' or 'sometimes.' 
  • Consider each situation as unique, separate from others. Be careful not to transfer one mistake to all cases, or you may make your problems more significant than they are.
  • Use factual comments like "I made an error or mistake" instead of judgmental words like "I'm an idiot. We want to use accurate and objective statements that help us concentrate on what we can change.
  • Accept responsibility for your actions, and don't blame others. You always want to apologize and move forward when you make a mistake. It's equally important not to take on someone else's error or burden if you're not responsible.
  • Become more self-aware by developing your emotional intelligence.

Remember, we believe the story we tell ourselves each day! You can reduce obstacles by not letting negative thoughts and feelings derail you. Instead, find success by investing in yourself through EI training. Marshall Connects offers Emotional Intelligence Assessments and Coaching to enhance skill development in all areas. When it comes to your success, EI is imperative. Without it, you will be the obstacle in your way!

This article was originally published on March 5, 2017, and has been updated (July 2023).

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