3 Steps to Overcoming Your Biggest Internal ObstaclesNone By Homaira Kabir
When aspects of our lives frustrate us, we tend to set goals—grand visions of an optimal self in a beautiful relationship with others, with work, or with our bodies.
These goals excite us, motivate us and make us feel hopeful and energized. In a fit of momentum, we even break them down into specific action steps that are both realistic and achievable. Or so we think when our long-term focused conscious brain is running the show…
But Here’s the Not-So-Little Hitch…
When obstacles arise along the way, it’s the emotional brain that rushes to the rescue, determined to steer us away from potential disaster and ensure our survival.
We’re now in a battle of brains—caught in the turmoil between a deeply desired goal and the risk of pain, difficulty, failure, and yes, rejection. How successful we are in achieving our goals depends on which brain we listen to.
Which Brain Tends to Win Out?
Given that the vast majority of us never achieve our goals, it appears that we often succumb to the emotional brain. This isn't surprising, given that it’s far quicker and louder than the conscious brain, which is, by nature, lazy and quite satisfied towing the line of the emotional brain.
When you face obstacles, this is what plays out in your mental quarters:
Emotional brain: “Obstacle!! RUN—it’s going to destroy you!!”Conscious brain (way at the back): “I agree—it does seem rather daunting from here.”Emotional brain (hyperventilating): “Why are you still around? Run—QUICK!!”Conscious brain (wanting the saga over with): “Yes, you’re really not capable/qualified/likeable enough…”
As this mental chaos continues, the fear of not being "enough" attaches itself to subconscious beliefs and gathers momentum. External obstacles soon become internal obstacles that feel like the truth, stopping us in our tracks.
Achieving our goals is about getting the conscious brain to wake up fully and take its role seriously, rather than feeding into the fears of an aroused emotional brain. A technique that’s very helpful is to think of the emotional brain as a scared little child in the car, desperate to shove you off the driver’s seat in order to steer the two of you towards safety. What are you going to do?
Reclaim Your Power
First things first: the child needs to be i