Obstacle Busting: Life Getting in the Way

Life getting in the way

You know what it’s like – there’s so much to do, you’re so very busy and important. Week after week after week you find you ran out of time to do anything with anything…and 3 weeks later you have zero recollection of what you were doing in all that ‘very important busy work’. How on earth can you make time for creating the life you want when life just seems to keep getting in your way?

But wait, the first thing you need to check is that you’re not practicing some kind of avoidance strategy. “Life getting in the way” is another great disguise for other obstacles – and rather than see and deal with the real obstacle, we dodge it, get super busy doing not much and avoid our dreams for a while.

If you find that week after week ‘something’ gets in the way…but nothing memorable, then you need to sit down and work out what’s going on – is there some avoidance going on? (You know yourself well, you’ll know if you’re avoiding even just a little bit.) If so, what’s the real obstacle? Why are you putting life in the way?

And if you find that you have been avoiding, and putting life in the way, please don’t beat yourself up – it is what it is. Once you can see what’s really going on, you can deal with it. There’s usually a positive intention behind our avoidance strategies – we want to avoid fear or failure, we don’t want to take on too much, we’re protecting ourselves from disappointment, we’re believing old scripts that people like us don’t have dreams come true.

So be kind to yourself. Beating yourself up over something like this is totally counter-productive. I had a client who had created a bad association with her dream, because every time she thought about it, she gave herself a hard time about not having done anything with it. So she started to associate the dream with getting earache from herself. Who would want to spend time on their vision when it means stress and self-criticism?! Not me.

Be curious, get out your magnifying glass and your Inspector Clouseau hat, find the clues and when you do, shout ‘aha’ and sort out whatever the problem is…no self-criticism is required.

So you’ve found some ‘reasons’ that life’s been getting in the way, maybe some other obstacles that were dressing up as ‘life getting in the way’, perhaps an excuse or three. Now it’s time to make a decision. Is your vision for your life important enough for you to rearrange your life to accommodate it? Like you have to do when you go from single to coupled-up, or from having no kids to being a parent?

It’s your choice. You get to choose whether you spend another 5 years letting life get in the way (when nothing much is actually happening, rather than a seismic change in life – that’s a different obstacle altogether) or whether you change something. You get to choose to keep living the way you have been or to adjust and make space for what you want to create.

Once you’ve made the decision to make it a priority to work on creating the life you want, book in that time. Behave as if this was deeply important to you (it is, right?) and find the space and time for it. It’s easy to say ‘when I have time’ or ‘at the weekend’ or ‘next week’ or ‘when I’ve retired in 50 years’ time’, but why wait that long? Also, when you’re that vague about the when, it’s really easy to ‘forget’.

I know that I want to spend more time with my friends…but if we say ‘let’s get together soon’, months and years pass before we catch up. When we put a date in the diary, we meet up. It’s as simple as that. So put the time in your diary. You’ve decided to make your dreams a priority, now decide when they will get your time. And please don’t complicate this by deciding you need 80 hours of clear time…that never happens!

Do what you can with the time you have…and a funny thing will happen. When you make time for your dreams, time expands. One of my clients decided her train commute time would be her time for planning her big dreams, and taking what action she could. Within weeks, she had also ditched the lunchtime gossip-fests with colleagues 2 or 3 days a week, and stopped watching a soap opera she wasn’t that interested in.

She went from ‘life getting in the way’ all the time to working on her dreams for 8+ hours every week without feeling as if she’d lost anything. It’s amazing what happens when you make a decision and back it up with some time, space and action. Life will get in the way sometimes, it’s the nature of life…but when it’s happening all the time and you don’t know what’s happening, it’s time to take the reins and lead life where you want to go.

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