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5 Tips to Overcome Obstacles

How I Overcame Major Obstacles in my Life

Domestic violence, homelessness, robbery, assault, divorce, paralysis, cancer, surgeries, bushfires, cyclones, repatriation, pregnancy and birth issues, PND etc…

Life has thrown numerous obstacles my way, however, there have also been incredible opportunities, experiences and joy.

Winning awards, international speaking, buying and selling businesses, healthy babies, travel etc.

Life has been a rollercoaster.

During and soon after each obstacle, I was in survival mode and while I did get through it, there are things I know now that mean I would handle it all differently.

I feel stronger, more knowledgeable and resilient than I did before going through the above.

Some of it I am still dealing with but I am not letting it overwhelm me anymore.

Here are 5 things I did that helped me get through, grow and create the life I have now: Financially secure, relaxed, fun, time with my family, doing what I love and living by the beach.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Photo of Sunshine Beach, QLD by Kylie Travers

Disclosure – This post contains affiliate links to products I use.

1. Support

Both professional support through a therapist and personal support through a community I created of friends and family was crucial to overcoming my life obstacles.

And I know they will continue to be important in the future.

Finding a therapist hasn’t always been easy, sometimes I had to try a couple to find the right one for me but it was essential.

Being fairly self-aware makes therapy easier in some ways as I know what to expect and often parts of what is wrong so sometimes just needed help putting the puzzle pieces together.

Other times, what was happening was so overwhelming, I couldn’t process it and needed help with that.

Sometimes it was about learning strategies or reframing my experiences with various techniques.

I strongly encourage anyone who is struggling to get professional help.

See your doctor, ask for referrals and find someone you connect with.

As for a personal community, my family have been some of my biggest supporters and I would not be here without them.

A few close friends along the way have helped drastically as well.

It is your choice who you allow in your inner circle and you don’t have to turn to family. Not everyone has a family that is supportive or that they are close to.

It’s ok to choose your own family and your own support network.

Create a community you thrive in and cut out toxic people if you need to.

Check out 7 things that improved my mental health.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Image of Kylie Travers with a friend at the beach in NSW

2. Fulfilled my Basic Needs

Without safety, stable housing, food or your basic needs met, you are living in survival mode and it can feel impossible to improve your life.

Having been homeless and stressed, it was hard to do mindset work or focus on anything else.

Some of the “positive vibes only” things annoyed me and made it all worse.

Do what you can to get your basic needs met and if you have the capacity, work on mindset, health etc.

When going through the worst, some days all I could manage was to do whatever my kids needed and maybe 5 minutes of meditation or visualisation.

Focus your energy on securing housing, food, more income, whatever it is you need to survive and feel comfortable.

That said, I did find things infinitely easier when I trusted that I was doing all I could and it would work out.

I spent some of my time reading self-help books, listening to podcasts to improve my situation etc.

Constantly stressing about my circumstances didn’t make them any better.

So I committed to doing what I could each day for survival and my kids but also, doing what I could to improve my mind and mental and physical health.

Doing both survival and future things was important to me as it made me a better mother and helped me see where my life could be instead of focusing on where it was.

And at times, where my life was at, I didn’t want to face it or admit to it. So having the ‘distraction’ of self-improvement helped.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Image of a beach by Kylie Travers

3. Goals, Mindset, Personal Development

Having goals, and working on my mindset and personal development gave me something to focus on and look forward to. Read my tips for success with goals.

Personal development is an ongoing project for me and will be for life. As are goals, mindset and everything about my life.

I am happy with my life, I practice gratitude daily and we live in a way I never thought possible.

That doesn’t stop us from wanting to progress. You can appreciate what you have and do, while still aiming for something else.

As humans, we need to grow and progress continually.

Back when I had major obstacles it was hard to think clearly at times and focus on where I wanted to be.

Many days it was too difficult to actually face work at all so I needed to put systems in place to help me.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more. Image of Kylie Travers holding a surfboard
Image of Kylie Travers holding a surfboard (it was a goal to learn to surf) in NSW


I have a 10 step method to success with goals here.

It includes working out your values, what you want in life, creating a vision board, writing down the goals and more right through to celebrating success.

Realise we all have good and bad days.

When you are working on your goals you will have setbacks and will need to change your tactics to achieve what you set out to do.

It doesn’t mean you need to give up but you do need tools to help you get through it.

Create a supportive community for yourself. 

Ask for help when you need it including looking for mentors or coaches.

Meditate and visualise. Increase your confidence. Create systems such as a morning routine and you will find life works easier.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Photo of Kylie Travers in Slovenia


Having an attitude of gratitude. Listing out things to be grateful for and looking for the lessons or opportunities in everything.

When I dwell on how bad something is, it seems to get worse.

When I focus on the positives or even potential positives of whatever is happening, things remain doable and even become better than I could have imagined. 

This doesn’t mean sweeping it under the rug.

Process your feelings, get help if you need it, talk it out with a friend, cry, rage, whatever it is you need to be able to move past it.

Don’t let negative experiences define your life.

Self Development

This term made me cringe back then but I read everything possible.

Podcasts play regularly on my phone, especially at the gym now and we often watch documentaries as a family.

Self-development is part of life and something worth carving out time for.

Back then I neglected my health, now, as part of my self-development, I am learning more about nutrition, health and my body.

I know it pretty well but there is always more to learn.

Some of the books which have helped me then include: The Big LeapLucky Bitch7 Habits Of Highly Effective PeopleThe Richest Man In BabylonThe 5 Love Languages and Unf*ck Yourself.

Books that have helped recently include:

How To Do The Work, How To Meet Yourself and How To Be The Love You Seek. What Happened To You, Atomic Habits, It Didn’t Start With You and The Body Keeps The Score.

I essentially went through the self-help section at the library and read everything they had and bought the ones I felt were worth reading again or I wanted my kids to read.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Photo of Hideaway Island, Vanuatu by Kylie Travers

4. Look For Ways To Make More Money

Many of my obstacles were expensive.

Fighting for custody, medical treatment, and repatriation, each one cost a small fortune while also making it difficult to work.

As such, I got creative with the ways I made money.

Fortunately, we live in a time where there are numerous ways to make money remotely and around the kids.

My first thing was to look at online surveys (you’ll find the best ones for Aussies here). I bought things to resell online and in 2017 started making over $10,000 a month doing that.

I reached out to all my networks for more freelance writing work, increased my blogging income and took any opportunity to make money I could.

While it meant I made more money, I was also stressed because I wasn’t consistent or focused on one thing. I was in survival mode and grabbing at anything. 

This set me up for numerous failures over the coming years because I remained in the ‘do it all’ mindset rather than shifting to one of abundance.

5. Focus On Others

One big step that helped change the direction of my life and my mindset was volunteering.

It got me out of my own head, connected me with amazing people and gave me a sense of purpose outside of myself.

I needed to practice self-care but I found I did that better and had a better attitude after volunteering.

Find a cause that resonates with you and get involved.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more
Image if Kylie Travers with her son on holiday in Tasmania.

What I Would Do Differently

All of the above are important, however, there are a few key things I would do differently.

We all learn from our past and here are my tips.

1. Get A Better Handle On My Money and Stick to Boundaries

I write about money at The Thrifty Issue and have done so on other sites I own.

Typically, my knowledge of money was pretty good, emotionally, I wasn’t always great.

Toxic friendships and relationships at the time meant I got used financially a bit because I was vulnerable and they knew my weak spots.

I was also a bit of an emotional spender at times.

Learning about that and making changes would have saved me a small fortune and helped me heal faster.

Learn to budget. Save money. Invest and be smart with what you have.

Don’t lend money you cannot afford to lose and recognise when someone is using you.

They might be your closest friend but it doesn’t mean they have your best interests at heart.

Read The KickAss Single MomUnleash Your Inner Money Babe and Lucky Bitch.

They will help you get into a better mindset with money.

5 tips to overcome obstacles: how I overcame homelessness, domestic violence, paralysis and more. Image of Kylie Travers working at the beach, laptop open.
Image of Kylie Travers working at the beach in NSW.

2. Focus On Health And Self Care

I put everyone before myself and it nearly killed me. Paralysis and level 10 pain is not something I wish on anyone.

It was traumatic for everyone in my life and myself.

Especially since the doctors couldn’t tell me what was wrong the first time it happened.

Listening to my body, eating healthy, exercising and taking time out when I need it are things I had to learn.

Do what you need to do for yourself to take care of yourself.

This includes romantic relationships. Be clear about what you want and need in one before getting involved with anyone.

Read my article with 6 tips for self-care especially during obstacles.

3. Learn About Myself and Heal

Even with all the self-help books it has taken until more recently for me to learn enough about myself that I feel comfortable standing up for myself, setting boundaries and doing what I need for me.

I knew freedom was important to me but it wasn’t until the past few years I realised how much it impacts every other aspect of my life and mental health.

If I feel trapped or locked into something my whole being shrinks and I will reject whatever is happening.

It’s been fascinating to learn this about myself and to see how it applies to my life from relationships through to business.

Learning isn’t enough though, you have to do the work, heal your trauma and move forward with life.

How To Do The Work, How To Meet Yourself and How To Be The Love You Seek are all brilliant.

Along with What Happened To You, Atomic Habits, It Didn’t Start With You and The Body Keeps The Score.

That might seem like a huge list of books but it is worth it to put the effort into reading and implementing them.

Take the time to learn about yourself, heal your trauma, discover what is important to you, what your values are and how it all fits into your life to make it the best life possible.


Here are all the resources mentioned in the article:
7 things that improved my mental health
My tips for success with goals
How to have an attitude of gratitude
How to work out your core values
My morning routine
How to get full custody
The best online survey sites for Aussies
How to make over $10,000 a month reselling stuff
6 tips for self-care especially during obstacles


The Big Leap
Lucky Bitch
7 Habits Of Highly Effective People
The Richest Man In Babylon
The 5 Love Languages
Unf*ck Yourself.
How To Do The Work
How To Meet Yourself
How To Be The Love You Seek.
What Happened To You
Atomic Habits
It Didn’t Start With You
The Body Keeps The Score.

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