Obstacles Exercise

Even when we a clear vision on our way forward, we can still find ourselves a little lost or stuck on how to move forward.  If so, this exercise might help you gain some insights into what’s holding you can and get you moving again.  Don’t forget, you don’t have to go it alone and you can always schedule your complementary clarity if you’d like to talk in more depth.


What you’ll need

 In order to give this exercise the best chance of success, you’ll need the following: 

  • About 40 minutes of time where you’ll be free from interruptions and distractions. 
  • Somewhere that is away from where you normally work – so rather than sitting in front of the computer, move to a different room.   Maybe go outside to a garden or park if it feels safe and comfortable to do.
  • A pen and post-it notes
  • A timer – use your phone but ensure you put it into flight mode first so you’re not distracted or disturbed

 When ready, get comfortable and let’s begin.

Step 1 (5 minutes)

Set a timer for 5 minutes.  Grab a handful of post-it notes.  Start to write out all the things that are stopping you from moving towards where you want to go or from what you’re trying to achieve – put one obstacle on each post-it.    Some will be obvious and others less so.  Also consider what you might be believing about yourself or your abilities which might be stopping you as well.

Step 2 (5 minutes)

In order to fully connect in with your head, heart and gut, we want to leverage your breath to access and calm your autonomic nervous system.  Take a comfortable seated position and simply breath in a steady and calm manner.  Focus on having your ‘in’ and ‘out’ breaths equal in duration – like a sine wave rising and falling for a slow count of five, breathing in and out through your nose.   Do this for about five minutes until you feel confident you’ve got it.   Try and maintain this balanced breathing throughout the remainder of the exercise.  If you feel you’re losing the rhythm, simple pause for a moment to reconnect with your breath.

Step 3

Place your hand on your heart and ask yourself, “what is it that my heart truly values about where I’m trying to get to or in what I’m trying to achieve?”.  Take a moment to continue your balanced breathing and let whatever answers emerge naturally.  Don’t force it and focus on letting your heart, rather than your head, answer this question.

Step 4

When you intrinsically feel you have an answer, move your hand to your head.  Feel the connection and ask yourself, “What does my head really think about where I’m trying to get to?”.  Again, take a moment to continue your balanced breathing and let whatever answers emerge naturally.

Step 5

When ready, place both hands on your belly to connect in with your gut.  Feel them rise and fall with each balanced breath.  Now ask yourself, “what does my gut deeply hunger for about where I’m trying to get to or in what I’m trying to achieve?”.  Give this a little more time and let whatever feelings emerge naturally.

Step 6

Return your hand to your heart and feel the warmth of the connection.  As you do, once more ask your heart, “What now does it truly value about where I’m trying to get to or in what I’m trying to achieve?”.  Again, allow the answer to naturally emerge.

Step 7

Finally, return to your post-it notes.  Evaluate each one in turn and reflect on some of these questions:


  • Which obstacles did I put in my own way? Am I prepared to remove any of these?
  • Which obstacles can I simply move around by going a different route?
  • Which obstacle is stopping me the most? Can I break this down into smaller pieces that will make it easier to overcome?
  • What’s the first step?Am I prepared to take it?  What would that look like?  When will I do it?

As you reflect on these questions, rearrange, group and order your post-it notes in a way that feels natural to you.  Notice any patterns or common themes.  Remove any that are now no longer relevant and break any large ones down further.   

When done, create a new post-it for the first step that you have chosen to take.  Place this somewhere visible such as on your bathroom mirror so as to remind yourself of the first step you’ve committed to taking.

This is simply a starting point; depending on how you got on, you may have gained greater insight into the obstacles getting in your way and identified the first step to moving forward.

If you’d like to explore it further, why not schedule your complementary clarity call and talk with me today?  With a clear vision and a plan to move forward, you’ll be able to avoid looking back with regrets, having taken back your control, and started to live the life that you so rightly deserve.   What are you waiting for?