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10 Self-Inflicted Mental Blocks & How To Overcome Them

Overcome Self-Sabotage and Unlock Your True Potential

By Ricky LanussePublished 12 months ago 7 min read
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10 Self-Inflicted Mental Blocks & How To Overcome Them
Photo by nikko macaspac on Unsplash

There's a mental crisis in the world.

It's silently damaging the potential of most of us, who could otherwise live fulfilling lives.

Mental barriers can prevent us from achieving our goals or even living a fulfilling life.

It’s been over 4 months since my last submitted story here.

It's time to break free from these self-inflicted restrictions and start living a life of growth and possibility.

Time to leave them behind by putting them a name.

1- THE CHECKPOINTS

By benjamin lehman on Unsplash

Who never played those mind games of “if I get X, then I do Y”?

Well, all of a sudden, I was very engaged and committed to one: getting 100 reads in every article I wrote. That was the mental checkpoint I had to reach to regain my powers and write and post again.

The problem was that I eventually met the 100-reads criteria to regain my powers. But by that time, it was too late for me: all the Mental Blocks had already piled up in a giant, ravaging snowball.

It's easy to become fixated on a particular number or goal and forget about the broader picture. The truth is, the number is only as valuable as the meaning we attribute to it.

As Mark Manson once said, "The desire for more positive experiences in life is itself a negative experience. And, paradoxically, the acceptance of one's negative experience is itself a positive experience."

So, if you find yourself seemingly stuck or unable to progress, take a step back and examine your goals' true value. Ask yourself if you're limiting your potential and creativity by placing too much emphasis on certain metrics or numbers. Just take action, and let the rest fall into place.

2- THE PERFECT ROUTINE

By Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Who doesn’t hallucinate with that routine, with those consistent habits, and with that aspirational atmosphere?

Expectation vs. Reality:

  • Wake up 6 am — I’m just not the early bird kind. I feel useless for the rest of the day.
  • Shower. Coffee. Silence. — I do shower every morning; but I drink mate; and live in front of a hospital that half of it is under construction, so there goes the silence.
  • A window with mountains in the background — Check. Can’t say anything about this one except how lucky I am.
  • 5-minute morning meditation — Whenever I remember to (usually 2–3 times a week), I listen to Radio Headspace in no particular order; I pick the one that resonates more with me that day.
  • And the clean, inspiring article waiting to be written on that wooden desk.

Hard to achieve if you are not actually writing. All because I don’t have that wooden desk, though.

3- THE RIGHT MOMENT

By Andrik Langfield on Unsplash

I’ll start when it’s the right moment.

Also known as:

  • a) When I’m alone and in peace at home
  • b) When my job gives me a breather
  • c) When inspiration hit right out of the blue
  • d) Never. All of the above are just excuses.

The so-called right moment does not exist.

I had options a), b), and c) altogether the past couple of weeks. I even programmed my calendar with the topics I would write about. Started a weekly section on book reviews. And the right moment never came.

The right moment can be anytime, anywhere.

Or no time, nowhere.

It’s up to you to create it.

Or you could read Eve Arnold’s article for some extra help here.

No waste.

4- THE EXTERNAL EXCUSES

By Oleksii Hlembotskyi on Unsplash

There procrastinator’s beloved external factor.

That sick relative. That broken computer. The time you spend commuting to your job. The demanding kids, pets, or couple.

You name it.

If you want an external excuse, you will find one.

5- THERE IS ALWAYS SOMETHING BETTER TO DO THAN WRITING

By Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Another must in the Mental Blocks checklist.

Probably the most used and successful one.

Because, really, who wants to sit at the computer desk, think and write something meaningful on your precious non-work hours instead of watching the current hot TV show, playing the guitar, go out with that friend from high school you haven’t seen in ages, or even bath the dog?

Me?

No, thanks.

6- I DON’ T HAVE ANY INTERESTING STORIES

By Etienne Girardet on Unsplash

If you really want to lie to yourself, tell your inner voice this:

“You don’t have any exciting stories worth telling.”

Even the most mundane of lives has some hidden lessons. Or some hidden worlds in those mind labyrinths.

Remember “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” movie?

Could be like that.

Or maybe just your daily journaling. Ayodeji Awosika has some great journaling techniques that could come up as helpful here.

I’ve been doing the Personal Journaling Routine for some time now. Even though non of that transformed into an actual story until this one, I believe it’s been giving me the foundations for a sustainable routine.

We tell ourselves stories to survive the daily grinding.

Everyone tells a story about themselves inside their own heads.

Always.

All the time.

That story makes you what you are. We build ourselves out of that story.

Write it down. I will try, too.

7- I AM MENTALLY AND PHYSICALLY WORN OUT TO SIDE HUSTLE IT

By Egor Myznik on Unsplash

Another hit.

This one sounds a lot like number 5, but it’s not exactly the same.

Because in this one, there is no better thing to do.

And you have time to do nothing.

But scroll.

8- I CAN’T CONCENTRATE

By Moheb Iskander on Unsplash

  • WhatsApp.
  • Instagram.
  • Telegram.
  • Sports Team.
  • e-Mail.
  • Spotify.
  • Personal Website.
  • News Portal.
  • To-read Stories.

And that is just on your computer screen.

Add your phone to duplicate those windows. And if you want to go crazy, add those wacky creatures called humans.

How could you ever concentrate?

You would have to be a zen master.

That is what my self-inflicted Mental Block tells me.

9- THE INFINITE MENTAL WINDOWS

By Pierre Châtel-Innocenti on Unsplash

These are also windows, but the type you can only see inside your head.

Those things you either have to do, are doing, or know that you must do but are still avoiding.

Mine right now:

  • To Do: complete editing of my book.
  • Doing: finally defeating the Mental Tricks
  • Still Avoiding It: (Long list, but writing is no longer there, which earned me some points for effort.) Finish Visa paperwork. Fix the toilet. Have THAT talk about money with my friend. Call my grandmother. To start with.
  • They will eventually interrupt your thought process and carry you miles away from becoming the next Ernest Hemingway of the XXI Century.

Promise.

10- WHY WOULD I WRITE ANYTHING IF I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH?

The self-doubt Mind Block.

The most haunting one.

“I’m not worth it,” “My writing sucks,” “No one reads me.” And so on.

I’ve read many of those articles giving advice on becoming a better writer. And some are terrific, like this one from Gareth Branwyn.

Hell, I read 45 books last year only, and most of them were either about writing techniques, copywriting, or self-help books.

And yet, every time I face a blank piece of paper, doubt immediately hits me.

I couldn’t find the right words to explain it. Then, I remembered this contradictory epitaph on a grave and found an insightful story from Alvin Ang explaining it here.

You will understand.

* * *

— THE RECIPE TO OVERCOME THEM

It’s been a struggle. I feel like I’ve been working out non-stop for hours, but I was only sitting in front of the computer.

My thoughts are lazy, and I have typos in every other word.

But I made it to the finish line. Somehow, I defeated those Mental Blocks.

Well, now that I’m done, it came clear how I did it:

It was only a matter of recognizing them, putting them into words, and assuming their effect on me.

And then my Mental Blocks turned into Building Blocks.

By Mourizal Zativa on Unsplash

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About the Creator

Ricky Lanusse

  • Patagonian skipping stones professional

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  • Aylenga11 months ago

    Maybe with talleres you can inspire

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