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“In my 20 years of research on the science of motivation, I’ve found that the conventional wisdom of “think positively” falls short. In fact, my research has confirmed that dreaming about the future actually makes people less likely to realize their dreams and wishes. A new strategy to visualize our future that emerged from the work I’ve done is called “mental contrasting” which combines focusing on our dreams with visualizing the obstacles that stand in our way. “ — Gabriele Oettingen

I n part 1 of this article series I shared the process of identifying your wish and being very clear with it using only 3–6 words. The next part of the WOOP Technique is Imagining your best possible OUTCOME for your wish.

The 3rd process is Visualizing OBSTACLES.

Write down or think about several obstacles in the way of you completing your goal.

Hone in your largest obstacles.

What personal obstacles stand in your way?

This could be a large obstacle, or a few smaller ones.

What’s standing in the way between you and your goals?

You can also identify the main obstacles WITHIN yourself (emotions, habits, patterns, mindsets) that can stand in the way of you fulfilling your wish.

Identify no more than two obstacles that you know from experience you are most likely to come up against.

Visualize yourself experiencing these obstacles, including the emotions that will arise. Envision them as fully as you did with your outcomes. Get very specific, the more details, the better.

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