You can’t stop someone who knows where they’re going. But what happens when someone doesn’t know where they’re going? What happens when someone lets uncertainty, mental barriers and objections slow them down or even stop them completely? Well, I can tell you, but you probably already know the answer to this. Hint: They’re going nowhere.
What Are Mental Barriers?
A mental barrier is a natural human reaction. Let’s begin by defining what I mean by a mental barrier. A mental barrier is any self-imposed thought, conscious or subconscious, that impedes forward progression. Here are some of the more common mental barriers we seem to face:
- Lack of Confidence – We believe we can’t, that we are incapable of performing, so we don’t.
- Analysis Paralysis – Overthinking a situation so much that you fail to make any sort of decision.
- Fear of the Unknown – Irrational fear of not knowing the result of your actions
- Lack of Self-Awareness – When you can’t look at yourself from an objective perspective, you may succumb to the trap of striving for perfection. Then, when you inevitably fail to reach perfection status, or even the fear alone of not being able to be “seen” as perfect can deter you from taking action.
How To Break Through Mental Barriers
Now that we’ve identified some common mental barriers, how do we overcome them? The short answer: take action. The longer you wait to make your move, the more time you give yourself to overthink and let all of the other mental barriers stop you in your tracks. While it’s always necessary to act with thoughtful intent, it’s vital that you learn how to distinguish between strategic thought processes and mental barriers.
Throughout the past few years, I’ve done a lot of trial and error to figure out my own ways to push the limits of my mind. I found myself unhappy with the situation I was in. I was not nearly as confident as I desired to be and I found myself feeling stuck in many situations, helpless even. One of the biggest tools to creating the life you envision is learning to become self-sufficient. In order to do so, I’ve found a few ways that work for me which have helped push my mind and my body to greater limits:
Leave Your Comfort Zone Immediately
Do something uncomfortable as the first thing you do when you wake up. One of my personal favorites and a tactic that is sure to waken your body and mind in the morning is a cold shower. Crazy right? The science behind cold showers goes as follows: the freezing cold water triggers an adrenaline rush, increases blood circulation and consequently releases endorphins. Thus, this tactic awakens your body like no other method first thing in the morning. When you make the conscious and deliberate decision to do something, right when you wake up, that you know will bring your temporary discomfort but where you can reap a long term gain, you break through the mental barrier and set the tone for success for the rest of your day.
The Five Second Rule
The Five Second Rule is practically a reverse psychology countdown used to trick your mind into doing a difficult or unwanted task. The reason this rule is so powerful is due to the science behind the inner workings of the brain. The moment your brain realizes you’re in a situation where you need to take action, it is imperative that you act within 5 seconds; otherwise, your brain is wired to stop you from acting. So, next time when you find yourself in such a situation, just start counting down from 5,4,3,2,1…
Eliminate Objections by Asking Yourself the Hard Questions
So what? What is the worst thing that could happen? Use this method whenever you find yourself in a state of analysis paralysis. It’s usually better to make a decision and keep moving forward, than to allow overthinking to impede and forward progression whatsoever.
Make a Declaration
“This is who I am, and this is what I stand for.” Let the world know who you are, then go out and spend every waking moment of your life being that person!
It’s completely natural to face these mental barriers. They are, for the most part, biologically designed as a safety mechanism to prevent the body and/or mind from being subjected to potentially harmful situations. However, this mechanism fails to take into account the most basic principle of human growth and success: No pain, no gain!
Next time you feel yourself hesitant to move forward, or you find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, don’t forget about this post. Beyond uncertainty and uncomfortability lies beautiful growth and discovery. Keep pushing forward!