5 Ways to Overcome Any Obstacles

Physiological Response to Obstacles

When confronted by an unexpected obstacle, almost everyone will react with some degree of shock and dismay.

Even if someone doesn't consciously admit or acknowledge the problem, their bodies will still respond in ways that make them less capable of bouncing back. E.g. scientists have found that testosterone, a key hormone in motivation and the drive to push forward, actually drops measurably in people who run into unanticipated problems.

This chemical change is a cue for the body to move into a defensive mode, and as a result, we feel the impulse to slow down or stop whatever it is we are doing.
Think of this as the opposite to the standard 'flight or fight' response that pumps your body full of the testosterone and adrenaline required to take decisive action.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans show a similar response in the brain. The areas of the brain that are responsible for action and risk taking become less active, as do the pleasure centres, reducing the motivating effect of any reward.

Our bodies are designed to be enthusiastic and energized when things are going well and as anticipated. But when problem arise, they are programmed to retreat.

These are deeply ingrained instincts we developed in order to survive the many life-threatening situations such as famine, extreme cold, and attacks by predators that our ancestors would have found themselves in.

And though these evolutionary responses are even today necessary for survival when the problems are life threatening, they work against us when the challenges are less serious. If you can remember ever feeling momentarily defeated by problems that later turn out to be solvable, this is why!

Change Is Possible

The good news is that there is plenty we can do to defeat our negative thoughts, feelings, and responses. We can train ourselves, in other words, to overcome just about anything if we learn certain skills -- skills that tell the body and mind, "This is something I can handle. In fact, I look forward to the challenge."

5 things you can do to prevent the 'retreat' response

1. Understand which obstacles are truly inevitable or insurmountable. Bear in mind that actually very few are. Know the difference between unexpected changes that you absolutely can't control and those things you can overcome.

2. Recognize that the biggest threat to you is almost never the actual problem itself and almost always how you react to it.

3. Don't let yourself become emotionally defeated by inevitable change. By asking yourself, "Where is the silver lining?" and not stopping asking until you find one you can reframe your experience. There is always a silver lining and usually, there are lots of them.

4. Talk with other people who have experienced the same or similar problems. Don't go to them to complain about your lot, and don't go just seeking comfort. Look for practical knowledge you can use to improve the situation.

5. Understand that if you give in to the problem, your body will begin to shut down. Once you body has gone into this 'retreat' mode it will deny you the energy you need to move on and succeed. Energy is the key, so do everything you can to keep yourself energised.

And 1 fool proof strategy to keep you feeling happy in the face of any obstacles.

Happiness is both the easiest and hardest goal to accomplish. What it does take is the willpower to reject your body's natural tendency to shut down when you run into problems. In the first place you'll need to follow that old cliché; 'Fake it 'till you make it'. With practice this will train your mind to accept reality and move on, energetically, to accomplish new goals.
It is important to remember whenever you run into some sort of difficulty, you always have a choice. You can allow yourself to get frustrated, or force yourself to adopt a positive mental attitude and push forward. Just pretending to feel positive about a problem will often lighten your mood.


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