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Top Three Obstacles in Life Everyone Must Face

Top Obstacles in Life

obstacles in life

Not everyone consciously confronts the following three obstacles in life, but we all encounter them in one way or another. In other words, if you are not consciously aware of these life obstacles, they still affect you.

1. Emotional Transition to Adulthood: Are You Lagging?

As human beings, we all mature physically from childhood to adolescence and then into adulthood, but our emotions lag behind.
~ Bernard Sumner

You know the saying: Everyone gets two chances in life, one in childhood and one in adulthood. The theory is if you had a bad childhood, you can turn it all around with a new lease on life in adulthood.

Seems simple enough, right?

Why, then, do so many people struggle to make the transition to adulthood? Why is this one of the biggest obstacles in life? You have to consider the emotional lag of childhood to understand this one.

Signs emotional lag is an obstacle in life for you:

• You behave immaturely

• You feel helpless, powerless, etc…. even though you do have choices

• You can’t control your behavior

• You get into arguments, etc…when they are avoidable

• You blame others for your behavior and feelings

• In short, when you consistently act immature and don’t take responsibility for yourself

These are signs that, even though you’re the age of an adult, emotionally you are still clinging to childhood. In other words: your emotional age does not match your chronological age.

If you feel you have work to do to become an emotional adult, that’s good to know – and you are not alone. You might begin to study how to grow yourself up.

2. Other People: Are They Obstacles in Life?

Hell is other people.
~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Many of our relationships leave in their wake a trail of resentment, anxiety, jealousy, resentment and overwhelm. This is damaging. In fact, a bad relationship can slowly kill you. Among the most common obstacles in life, difficult relationships are often all about boundaries. When we don’t know how to set clear boundaries, we take things personally, can’t say no, give our power away, and remain frustrated where other people are concerned.

Healthy boundaries typically clear all this up. We could essentially redefine this obstacle in life as simply the challenge of setting boundaries. Unfortunately, learning boundaries is more or less an individual pursuit, as most parents don’t consciously teach their children how to set them, or anything about the concept.

When you have clear boundaries, you can:

• Say “no” when you want or need

• Not take things personally

• Show compassion for others

• Give and require respect from others

• Honestly assess what you’re capable of doing

• Control your own emotions

• Stop worrying about things outside of your control

And so on….

Getting to the point of having clear boundaries is a process that takes time, study, and patience with other people who have grown used to your fuzzy boundaries. They’ll need to adjust.

Boundaries resource: Where To Draw the Line.

3. Self-Sabotage: The Universal Obstacle?

You can’t imagine just how much believing in negative thoughts is affecting your life…until you stop.
~ Charles F. Glassman

Getting in your own way; your own worst enemy; looking for trouble; there are lots of ways to casually define self-sabotage. This may be the universal cause of human suffering; the most pernicious of the obstacles in life, as most of what makes us feel bad is self-inflicted.

When you feel rejected, most often the person rejecting you did not intend to hurt you.

When you feel left out, most of the time you do have a viable opportunity to connect with someone.

Feeling empty on the inside can be shifted to fulfillment by doing something you love – or simply remembering to be grateful for what you have.

The problem is, we are quick to interpret the negative and hang onto it. We stew in it. We can’t just let it go. While this is far from necessary, it is habitual. Why?

How come we make the wrong choice so often, even when better options are available. Many of us even fear the right choice, as if something bad would happen if we did what’s in our best interest.

For example: You’re in a group of people and want to speak up and make your opinion known. This is a problem for you – keeping quiet and letting others determine the direction of conversation or agenda. Yet, when you would like to speak up, you are seized with fear, or shut down, almost as if you’re protecting yourself. In the end, you feel as you typically do, powerless or helpless or not involved.

This is how self-sabotage works. The feelings involved are often so familiar that we fear stepping out of them into a more empowered place. Self-sabotage is a comfortable place. Some people call this sticking with the devil you know.

Leaving these kinds of self-sabotaging patterns behind requires learning how self-sabotage works in the unconscious so you can own the process and make new choices. This free and enlightening video is a good place to start.

Thanks for reviewing these three obstacles in life. To keep up with all my writing, like my Facebook Page.

Top Three Obstacles in Life Everyone Must Face

Mike Bundrant

Mike Bundrant is the author of Your Achilles Eel: Discover and Overcome the Hidden Cause of Negative Emotions, Bad Decisions and Self-Sabotage and co-founder at The iNLP Center which offers online certification in Neuro-Linguistic Programming and life coaching.

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APA Reference
Bundrant, M. (2016). Top Three Obstacles in Life Everyone Must Face. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 15, 2020, from


Last updated: 12 Dec 2016
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