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How to overcome obstacles: a proactive framework

smiling woman leader

Maybe you're familiar with the D.A.R.T. Method®:

You've set your goal.

You've made decisions and know who is accountable by when.

You can articulate exactly why the decisions you made actually get you closer to your goal.

And there are still obstacles that can get in your way.

Instead of being surprised and unprepared, applying Aurelian Coaching's proactive framework for how to overcome obstacles has been essential to leaders who use deliberate planning to see around corners.

In the same way the D.A.R.T. framework asks WHY a decision makes sense for you, this proactive framework helps you surface WHY NOT - why it might not come to pass - and address those potential obstacles more proactively.

Here's how it works:

STEP 1. Brainstorm possible obstacles you will face as you implement the D.A.R.T. Method toward your goals. (BE HONEST here - there are many types of obstacles, and some may include your own fears, insecurities, uncertainties, or perceived likelihood of success.)

STEP 2. Organize these potential obstacles by two sets of variables: whether the obstacle is external or internal, and whether the obstacle is tolerable or intolerable.

External refers to a factor truly beyond your control.

Internal refers to a factor within your control.

Tolerable/intolerable is a personal evaluation, as everyone's boundaries are different.

STEP 3. Use a 2x2 matrix to determine how you can proactively address these obstacles:

proactive framework for overcoming obstacles

Let's go over each box a little more closely:

When you yield or accept, you recognize that whatever internal obstacle you have - whether it's your mindset, your bandwidth, your health, etc. - is something that is not so intolerable that it MUST be addressed or eliminated for the purposes of executing on this decision you've made. Whatever lands in this box is subject to your PROACTIVE determination... which means you shouldn't go around griping and complaining about it as though these obstacles are somehow sabotaging you. Yield. Accept.

When you categorize an obstacle as something external - completely outside of your control - but also not so intolerable that it MUST be addressed or eliminated, then you have the opportunity to find workarounds or compromises to mitigate the negative effects of the obstacle.

If you find that your internal state is really holding you back from achieving what you want, and you no longer want to accept these limitations, that's where coaching, mentorship, or therapy might come into play. (For the differences among these, click here.)

Finally, if there are external circumstances that you know you can't control (someone's behavior, geographic or financial limitations, etc.), and you will not accept those external obstacles any longer because they negatively impact your mental, emotional, financial, or physical well-being, then you have an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal: setting (proper!) boundaries.

This proactive framework might be used in cycles to help you define and refine how you characterize your obstacles and which strategies to deploy so that they don't come back to bite you unexpectedly!

Implement the effective D.A.R.T. Method of deliberate planning with a coach. Schedule a consult today.


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