Problem Solving Skills: Overcoming Obstacles
Do you ever feel like something is holding you back and stopping you from reaching your full potential? Often, people find that the obstacles in their path are ultimately self-inflicted. Especially when under stress, a certain behaviour tends to manifest itself that impacts negatively on the work atmosphere. As a result, working together constructively is complicated.
A stressful situation – such as a fast-approaching deadline or an important meeting in which you have to represent your team – might lead you to do something drastic or insult others. It might trigger your defensive side and you may want to stay totally inflexible, even when you know that it is neither the time nor the place to behave in this way. It could also lead you to distance yourself from others or behave rather more selfishly than usual.
Learning to overcome your obstacles is particularly crucial in order to avoid adverse phenomena such as burnouts, sick leave, the wasting of resources and time, bad attitudes and poor quality performance. The key to becoming successful is to recognise the obstacles at play and take appropriate measures to deal with them.
There are seven obstacles or fear patterns that become apparent when you are under stress or afraid of something, namely sabotage, greed, self-deprecation, arrogance, martyrdom, impatience and stubbornness.
Characteristics of fear patterns
- Prevalence: Fear patterns are very common; most people suffer from them at some point in life. Usually, it is one or two of them (out of the seven) that affect you the most.
- Transparency: You are often blind to your own fear patterns – however, others can normally spot them with ease.
- Negative behaviour: Obstacles keep you from using your strengths; instead you act negatively.
- Intensity: Fear patterns can vary from mild to strong, depending on your circumstances. They are often at their worst when you are under stress and hardly visible when you are happy. At their extreme, they may lead to you losing it all, and even when they appear mild, they can still get in your way.
Obstacles are essentially defense mechanisms: Although they might have worked for you in the past, they are now getting in the way of your personal progress. As long as you allow them to control your life, you will turn against yourself instead of facing challenges constructively. Therefore, you need to learn to overcome your personal obstacles. It can be done – all it takes is some hard work and self-discipline.
Once you have gained control of your obstacles, you can put your talents to good use, communicate better and will be more successful. You will also notice the positive effects in your work environment: A substantial increase in productivity, sales, positive work ethics, creativity and productive decision making!