Every time you read or hear about a successful person, one common theme always emerges – they have somehow learnt to control and leverage their subconscious mind. This control unlocks a fount of positivity, efficiency, creativity, and motivation for them and drives their achievements higher and higher.
Can we all do it?
Yes, but it takes time, effort, and practice. Our subconscious mind controls so much of our lives, yet we have very little control over it. It has been famously likened to a wild monkey that runs unchecked all over, but once given the right stimuli or direction can use its raw energy to help us succeed.
Unfortunately for us humans, our subconscious mind leans more towards negativity. One of the ways this is manifested is with mental blocks that develop over time. A mental block is a deeply held belief, which is created through personal experiences and influences how we approach certain situations. For example, many people feel they are going to fail, as they are not good enough. This thought starts them off on a negative note, making success slightly more difficult. So in case the person then actually fails, it would reinforce his/her mental block. And the never-ending cycle of negativity would continue.
At best, living with mental blocks can stop you from living life to the fullest, and at worst, it can dominate your life and hinder you professionally and in your relationships.
How can we break down our mental blocks?
The first step is to identify our irrational beliefs; by being aware of our blocks, we can change our approach towards life in general. This understanding also helps us to determine what and in which direction we need to improve.
The best way to identify mental blocks is to listen to your inner thoughts. Every time your mind starts drifting from work or towards a certain conflict, you need to consciously listen to the monologue in your mind to find what you are thinking about. Over time a pattern could emerge that would point you in the right direction.
At SoaringEagles, we carry out detailed self-awareness exercises that can uncover core values or personality traits that could point you towards your mental blocks. You can also do simple activities such as asking yourself a series of questions about your feelings or actions. Why am I feeling like this? Why did I behave like this? What do I want from this particular action? And so on. You can scan your list of core belief systems, values, and motivational drivers and look for conflicts. For example, you might have a highly extroverted and friendly nature but are in a job that requires secrecy, or you could be highly ambitious professionally, but at the same time are an introvert who finds it difficult to network or play politics. These personality-value-belief misalignments often result in mental blocks.
Once you have identified some distinct mental blocks, it is time to find out more about them. With an understanding of what they are – fear, anxiety, anger or insecurity, lack of interest, or an inability to concentrate – you can catch yourself when they surface. It’s time to find the source of these problems and to bring them to light. Ask yourself again and again why you feel a certain way or when it all started? Write down exact thoughts that pass through your mind when these blocks come up. Some that appear unreasonable will start disappearing once brought to attention, and only the core problems will remain.
To counter their effect in your life, you need to face them head-on. Here are some tried and tested ways to remove or at the very least limit the influence of the blocks –
– When you start sliding down a familiar path, and an oft-repeated monologue begins in your head, cut it short right there.
– Another useful trick is to turn your negative mental block into positive action. For example, if you find yourself doubting your abilities, then take a break and call a loved one or chat with a friend. Develop coping mechanisms that help you negate the effects of your block.
– If you see that certain blocks are triggered by a situation, then keep an eye on the situation and take action before it goes out of hand completely. For example, if overloading your daily to-do list leaves you feeling anxious and reduces your productivity, then schedule breaks to reset your anxiety levels and keep up your morale.
The Bottom Line
Every single one of us has mental blocks that are hard-wired into our minds. Built over time and reinforced by repeated experiences, they are almost like muscle memory. They become your default way of reacting and acting. Changing or eliminating these blocks can transform your whole life! In this journey of transformation, understanding yourself and identifying your mental blocks is the first and the most crucial step. This tiny bit of introspection can lead to some giant changes.
At Soaring Eagles, all our coaching and training programs start with a detailed module on self-awareness. Understanding yourself and your subconscious blocks are the strongest foundation for long-lasting change. If what we discussed here strikes a chord, then don’t hesitate to pick up the phone. We would be happy to help!