How to use your Blockers to your advantage

When pursuing something that matters deeply to you, you’ll encounter not only the negative and uncomfortable emotions; you’ll also identify real, tangible challenges and obstacles standing before you. We call these Blockers.

They include a myriad of things like: lack of time; lack of money; fear (of failure, of the unknown, and so many other things); loss in status, reputation, money; financial woes; perceived risk; lack of skills, knowledge, confidence or support; challenging relationships and difficult conversations; “not knowing exactly what I want”; and other such demons.

Instead of using Blockers as an excuse to stop (or never start), use them to your advantage.

Here’s a 5-minute challenge for you:

Exercise: Write down your Blockers.

  1. What are your Blockers – the real and perceived things standing in your way? Write down at least 3 and at most 10 blockers.
  2. Rank your Blockers from 1-10 (1 = biggest blocker, 10 = smallest).
  3. Circle your top 3 Blockers.
  4. Turn your top 3 Blockers into To-Do’s.

For example if a Blocker is “I don’t have the skills to do XYZ,” how can you retool and obtain the skills you need? Or hire someone who has those skills to help you?

If a Blocker is “my parents will be disappointed if I leave my safe job,” it’s likely that you need to have some honest conversations with your parents. (Who knows…maybe your parents just want you to be happy, not miserable in a job you hate?)

If a Blocker is “I don’t have enough money to take a career break,” your To-Do might be to create an Escape Fund, decrease your outgoings and/or increase your savings to give yourself the freedom of time away from work.

Will any of these things happen overnight? Not likely.

Can you deliberately chisel away at your Blocker To-Do list over time? Absolutely.

Of course, addressing Blockers is far from easy. It’s tempting to let them stop you dead in your tracks. But that will only keep you stuck. Instead, allow them to be a helpful reminder of the real things you need to address in your life.

If a direction scares you, it’s likely it leads to what excites you most. Don’t settle. Use your Blockers as a guide and keep making small steps forward.

We delve deep into Blockers and the many different ways of dealing with them in our Tribes programmes (designed to kickstart your career-change or launch your own business). For more information and details of how to apply, click here.


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