Mental blocks

Mental blocks are the main reason why people don’t succeed in achieving their goals. First problem is people often don’t recognize mental blocks and second problem is once they are aware, they don’t know how to overcome those mental blocks. A great quote from a brilliant man, Albert Einstein, pinpoints the issue you’re facing:

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”

So how to overcome mental blocks? Change your thinking. That block is created in your own thinking. So you need other thinking to solve that mental block. Well, it sounds easy, until you experience a mental block yourself. It is my belief that all mental blocks are there to protect you and have a positive intention. However that doesn’t mean you are happy with the associated behaviour. Especially fear tends to hold a person back. Whatever the fear is that you are facing, it is all in your own mind. It’s actually an acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real. And that’s what it is, you’re anticipating on something that ahsn’t happend yet. Don’t get me wrong. Fear also has a positive intention. It wants to protect you, to stay safe. It is hardwired in our system. In the early days, fear made man to survive, back then it was kill or be killed. When you heard something in the woods, you wouldn’t be curious what kind of saber tooth tiger it would be. Our reptile brain still has the freeze/flight/fight reaction in certain circumstances. It requires a lot of will power, repetition and persistence to change those.

Positive intention

Consider this scene: Two little boys, 5 years old, both can’t swim yet. Let’s call them A and B. It’s the beginning of winter and it has frozen a few nights. Both boys are challenged to enter the ice on the ditch.

A becomes scared, anxious, might even freak out and run to his mama. While B sits on the side, pushes with one foot on the ice, pounds it, repeats the same with 2 feet, whil holding the side, puts some weight on the ice, until B stands fully on the ice.

In both situations, the subconscious mind had a very positive intention. Both boys didn’t fall throught the ice, they didn’t drown, both are still alive. I would call that a very positive intention, both boys were kept safe. However, fear and anxiety protected A while caution protected B and when certain behaviour was successful, the subconscious mind tends to use that same behaviour over and over again. It doesn’t experiment with other behaviour to find out if that new behaviour is as effective as the first behaviour. Like I said, it wants to keep you safe, so it will stick with proven behaviour. you’ll understand that boy A won’t develop himself as fast as boy B, because fear and anxiety will hold A back, while caution will keep boy B moving.

Root causes of mental blocks

We don’t have a single root cause that creates those mental blocks, or limiting beliefs. We’ll never know why the subconscious mind chose fear to protect boy A (and boy B by caution). It could be copied from his parents or social environment he grew up, it could be the reptilian brain in action (freeze, flight, fight reaction), learned behaviour, or an earlier experience where that behaviour has proven its effectiveness.

This is just an example of different behaviour in the same situation, one of which resulted in a mental block to proceed further in life. People tend to underestimate the power of language as well as a root cause for mental blocks and limiting beliefs. Just think of these sayings, you probably heard before:

  • Curiosity killed the cat
  • Don’t stand out from the crowd
  • Born poor, stay poor
  • There’s no such thing as a free lunch
  • You can’t have your cake and eat it too

When you hear these sayings over and over again, you start to take them for truth and it becomes a part of your beliefs system. Welcome mental blocks!

How to overcome mental blocks and limiting beliefs

A simple answer would be:”adapt a new belief and repeat it over and over again, until it has become part of your new beliefs system”. Like tieing your shoelaces. By repeating it over and over again ,the subconscious takes it over and nowadays you don’t have to think how to tie them anymore. Except, a lot of mental blocks are related to fear. So how do you overcome your fears? You have to get out of your comfort zone and the fear keeps you in it. Just imagine your comfort zone as a circle around you. Everything inside is known to you, what you feel comfortable with. Outside that circle lies the unknown. Now, realize that everybody has his own comfort circle. What lies far outside of your comfort zone, is in the middle of somebody else’s comfort zone. So you know it is possible to get outside of your comfort zone, because it is only your fear, not everyone’s fear. Depending on the fear, it can require a lot of willpower, repetition and persistence to change those. It all depends on your why. What’s the main driver to overcome your fear.

How bad do you want it?

Let me sketch a situation for you:

I have an iron beam of 4 inches width (about 10 cm), 55 yards (just over 50 meters). It can carry your weight for sure, it’s just small.

  1. When it’s on the ground, would you cross it (without falling of course) for 1.000 dollar?
  2. Let’s put it between the top levels of 2 sky scrapers, no safety net. Would you still cross it for 1.000 dollar?
  3. It’s still between the sky scrapers. On the other side one of your loved ones (parent, partner, child, etc.) is in great danger of dying and the only way to save him/her is by crossing the beam. Would you cross it?

Number one was probably a no-brainer. Number two suddenly created a mental block and number 3 most likely removed that mental block again. Now the acronym fear has changed: Face Everything And Rise (above yourself). This is what I mean with “it’s all about your why”. If you want to achieve something, and your fear is keeping you from making progress, you must increase your why. When you need something as much as you need breathing, there is no stopping you. You won’t do just your best, you’ll do whatever it takes. Building that need can be a real challenge. That doesn’t mean that it is impossible. And you don’t need to do it on your own. When working directly with the subconscious, the endless repititions can be skipped ad new behaviour can be implemented. A good coach or hypnotherapist can help you overcome any fear or mental block that is holding you back. I’m fortunate I am both. Contact me if you want to discuss the possibilities. So if you wanted to know how to overcome mental blocks, now you know.