How Overcoming Obstacles Hurts Motivation

Staying motivated to reach your goal can be difficult. Often the overcoming obstacles can be downright discouraging. Maybe it’s not the obstacle, maybe it’s the motivation that’s the key!

So we want to achieve a goal, and it’s a pretty lofty one! Our goal is to finish our online NLP Practitioner Training. We try to work on it but often get distracted by other things.  The things we get distracted by are not the obstacles. Allowing ourselves to get distracted is your obstacle.

Ok, so we have an obstacle. No big deal.

The usual way someone might stop being distracted is to tell themselves they need to stay focused and keep on track. So, each time they begin to get distracted, they focus on not getting distracted. They are always fighting the distraction (the obstacle), instead of focusing on the goal.

What if there was another way to not get distracted which had nothing to do with the distraction itself?

What if the distraction wasn’t even considered or relevant to accomplishing our goal?

Overcoming Obstacles with VAC

Again, we are usually focused on overcoming obstacles when we attempt to stay motivated to achieve a goal. This causes the obstacle to seem so big that it takes all our effort just to overcome it.

To start, let’s focus on the obstacle. If we focus on the obstacle, it might shed some light on why we aren’t staying motivated.

To do this, we will think more deeply about the obstacle – in this case, distraction.

Let’s ask, “How does my distraction feel?”

The answer might be, “Tight inside and anxious.”

Let’s ask, “How does my distraction sound?”

The answer, “You’re such a loser because you can’t stay focus. Get it together!”

Let’s ask, “What does my distraction look like?”

The answer, “Chaos – stuff flying all over the place.”

Okay, so when we focus on the obstacle when trying to achieve a goal, it is full of negatives words such as ‘anxiety’, ‘loser’, ‘chaotic’.

Basically, I am beating myself down with the distraction. Therefore, how would I ever achieve my goal working from that direction?

Let’s Flip It

To do this we will focus on the goal itself – completing my NLP Practitioner Training.

We are going to ask ourselves the same questions.

Let’s ask, “How does completing my training feel?”

The answer, “Relaxing and rewarding.”

Let’s ask, “How does completing my training sound?”

The answer, “I hear myself talking with clients and friends and helping them work on their problems. They sound excited.”

Let’s ask, “How does completing my training look?”

The answer, “I see a certificate with my name on it and new business cards.”

So now, if we put all those things together we get inspiring words like ‘relaxing’, ‘rewarding’, excited’, ‘proud’.

Motivation and Overcoming Obstacles

How can I use this new knowledge of my feelings, sounds, and visuals to make accomplishing goals easier?

Each time you are focused on the VAK (visual, auditory, kinesthetic) of your obstacle, instead, simply switch them and refocus on the VAK of your goal.

Replace the auditory of the obstacle with the auditory of the goal. Then, do the same thing for the visual and the kinesthetic.

The goal is to get rid of the idea that you can be motivated to achieve your goal by staying focused on overcoming obstacles. It is much easier to be motivated by your VAK of the goal instead of your VAK of the obstacle.

So, next time you are feeling unmotivated, take a moment to check in with your VAK on your obstacle and your goal. Then, choose the VAK that inspires you to keep moving forward!

To learn more about VAK and online NLP Practitioner Training visit