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Overcome obstacles with NLP

Overcome the Two Primary Obstacles in Life with the Following Formula

There are two kinds of obstacles that prevent success.

1. External obstacles that can stand in the way of success.

2. Internal obstacles that can sabotage success.

In this short post, I’ll go through the formula for handling both of them.

The two kinds of obstacles. 

The first are real-world, external obstacles.

External obstacles are obstacles that do not come from within. They are simply facts.

As an example, let’s say that you want to start a business and that’s going to cost $55,000, but you do not have $55,000. This is a real-world obstacle – a fact that stands in the way of moving forward.

Then there are internal obstacles, which usually involve emotions. Fear, anger, self-loathing, impatience and various insecurities and inner conflicts can sabotage your efforts to move ahead, irrespective of if there are any external obstacles.

Identify and overcome these obstacles

Get a piece of paper and a pen. It’s time to create a new direction for you.

1. Write down your goal. (See goal setting for tips about creating a great goal)

2. Ask yourself, “What stops me from achieving this goal?

Tip: List the external obstacles first. Then list the internal obstacles.

3. Create a plan for overcoming the external obstacles, while resolving the internal obstacles.

The interesting thing to note is that the vast majority of external obstacles are actually internal obstacles in disguise!

For example:


Goal: To start my own business.

What stops me:

External: I don’t have the $55,000 investment.

Internal: I realize I’m not allowing myself to commit 100% because I am afraid of failure.

Here’s the point: If to 100% commit, I have to overcome my fear of failure. This is internal and something that I can fix Once I’ve done this I can think about addressing the external block. I may be able to get a loan. I may be able to find an investor. I may have assets I can sell, I may need to save money for a while towards my goal. Etc…

Without 100% commitment, I really have no business getting the 55K, right? Without commitment, I’m certainly not going to find a creative way to go about it.

There is almost ALWAYS a way around, over or under external obstacles!

Yet, if you do not have your internal game aligned, the external obstacles won’t budge. In fact, if you are not aligned for success on the inside, then be grateful for the external obstacles. They may be saving you from a more costly self-sabotage scenario.

Overcoming inner obstacles is the name of the game.

And you need inner resources to do it. Without the right inner resources:

  • You may lack the creativity to find solutions.
  • You may lack the drive needed to get things done.
  • You may lack the patience to get there.
  • You may fear success or failure.
  • You may talk yourself out of every good decision.

To recap:

  1. Set your goal.
    2. Identify your external and internal obstacles.
    3. Address those obstacles – realizing that the internal obstacles are almost always more important.

The framework here is an example of NLP in action. Setting up scenarios for clear and effective problem-solving is so important! This is where NLP really shines.

Would you like to know more?

Our blog page has many more articles for you to read.

Alternatively, head over to our NLP glossary where you can find a list of NLP terms with lots of links to articles.

Thanks for reading!


ABNLP Trainer
Founder: Insights NLP
Phone +62 (0) 812 3895 2053


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