Who left that pile of crap there? The 6 ‘R’s of dealing with obstacles

Stuff happens.

It doesn’t say anything about who we are.

You’re driving on the freeway, and a car nips into the space in front of you, forcing you to slow down to allow it in.

That didn’t happen because you’re a bad person. But in your mind, an attitude appears, then a storyline develops.

“What the _______!” Bloody dangerous thing to do. Now I’ve got to slow down to let him in, and that’ll make me late for my meeting. When the boss finds out I was late, she’ll watch me like a hawk from now on. Bang goes that promotion, I’m screwed now. When the wife find out, she’ll be pissed at me again. No snuggle time for months, can’t believe it…that guy drives like a maniac, cutting off everyone…”

…and so on.

Sound vaguely familiar? Change around the circumstances to fit your latest escapade, and you’ll recognize most of us don’t do too well with perceived obstacles in our way. When we’re restrained from doing what we want, anger often arises.

Anger is like throwing a hot coal at someone, we burn ourselves first!

Virtually all the time, obstacles are not chosen, and their appearance has little to do with us.

The 6 ‘R’s’ of dealing with obstacles.

1. Recognize Firstly that you’re dealing with an obstacle! Seeing it for what it is is the first step. Sounds obvious, but how often do you personalize an obstacle? In the example about, not recognizing the car in front is simply an obstacle, the internal storyline goes from bad to worse! Unchecked, in that situation often it’s not too long before you also get down on yourself or not having taken a different route!

It’s just circumstantial!

2. Relax Don’t rail against it! It won’t change the situation but will make you feel worse. Instead, practice accepting that this is how it is! It’s not personal, and accepting the circumstances probably won’t make you late, loose your promotion or your wife’s good graces!


3. Restraint Don’t act out. Speeding up behind the other car, cutting him, or someone else off in retribution only fuels your own frustration! No other driver will see it the same way as you do. Resist the urge to act out, be the bigger person here.


4. Receive Without judgment or preference what is happening, and the nature of it. See clearly how things are, not what your mind embellishes or manufactures.


5. Reframe Welcome another opportunity to develop awareness, clear seeing! By altering the frame through which you understand any circumstance, it takes on another meaning. If you find yourself fretting over something that feels a big deal, picture yourself on your deathbed, and ask yourself, will I remember this petty little thing I’m so riled up over when I’m dying?


6. Realize All difficulties or obstacles have 3 main characteristics;

1. They are all impermanent, and will exist for a short time only.

2. They are all unsatisfactory, otherwise we wouldn’t percieve them as obstacles.

3. They have their own causes or conditions. It’s not personal, we just need be aware of them.


Working with the 6 ‘R’s’ can be applied to ANY perceived obstacle, try it and see for yourself…


Filed under: Stress Management


  1. Vicki Kron says:

    Thanks for the “6 R’s – I think these are great reminders for all of the everyday struggles we all deal with. I especially like “Virtually all the time, obstacles are not chosen, and their appearance has little to do with us”.

    This is so true, and yet i hear so often, “Why did this happen to me?’ This is the exact time to apply the “6 R’s”.

  2. Shelly says:

    I have been looking for you utube video, that discussed barriers and why people are their own worst enemy? Can you please repost?
    Thank you very much,
    Shelly :)

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