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How to Identify and Overcome Barriers

You will experience a variety of barriers in your life, both physical and mental. However, identifying and overcoming mental barriers can be a challenge, particularly if you have been dealing with one for quite some time.

Maybe you are unable to pinpoint what is holding you back, but you have identified that something isn’t right. Learning to identify barriers to goals and success, as well as taking steps to overcome those barriers, can put you on the fast track to success.


Things You’ll Need

  • Pencil or pen
  • Paper
  • Journal


10 Steps to Identify and Overcome Barriers

Overcome Barriers

Identifying Barriers

1. Stop what you are doing and find a quiet place to sit down.

Take a several deep breaths to clear your mind and focus.


2. Think back to the last time you struggled with an issue or decision.

Try to remember as many details as possible, focusing on why the issue or decision was so troubling. Ask yourself some of these questions: “What kept me from making a positive decision?” or “Why was this decision hard for me?” or “Who/What was stopping me from making the decision I wanted?”


3. Write down your answers to the questions, as well as any other problems you encountered in solving your dilemma or making a decision.

You can rank the barriers by how much of a problem they caused (1 being the most problem, 2 being slightly less, etc.) if you would like.


4. Ask your family and friends to identify any barriers you encounter when making decisions or sorting out issues.

Many times you will be unable or unwilling to acknowledge barriers holding you back, but friends and family provide an alternative perspective on the situation.


Overcoming Barriers

5. Accept the barriers you have identified as problematic.

You cannot overcome a barrier you refuse to recognize in your life. This includes people, places and things.


6. Review the list of barriers and determine which can be eliminated from your life.

This can include volatile relationships or people, destructive thinking and negative or avoiding behaviors. Mark those barriers you can or truly want to eliminate with a star or circle.


7. Avoid or eliminate those barriers you identified in Step 2.

You may need to end relationships with toxic people in your life or avoid prior hangouts or favorite places. Remind yourself you are eliminating these barriers to make yourself a better person, as it can be very difficult to do.


8. Promise yourself you will work toward eliminating barriers in your life.

As stated in Step 3, change can be extremely difficult to enact and adhere to. You can create a written contract with or without another family member, or you can simply commit yourself to practicing positive thoughts and actions every day.


9. Create a phrase or mantra to keep you focused on your goals.

Phrases such as, “I refuse to hold myself back” or “I will not be a victim of another person’s opinion” can be helpful to keep you from succumbing to a barrier.


10. Expect setbacks and mistakes.

Do not give up when things get tough. Many barriers have been in your life for a long period of time and will take many attempts to overcome. Move on from mistakes and remind yourself of your mantra to keep yourself going.


Tips & Warnings
Enlist in the support of family and friends. Important people in your life, especially those you may have asked for advice, can help keep you on track and avoid barriers.


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