Many of us face problems in life. Sometimes we may face it when attempting to make more friends, write a story, finish homework, deal with responsibilities, or like me, write an interesting article. They might be stress, frustration, procrastination, or a sudden inability to control our emotions. These problems tend to be caused by how we view these tasks and carry them out. When we live, we create imaginary boxes that limit how we view these tasks. These boxes are our mental blocks and they often prevent us from thinking of ways to overcome these problems. I like to remember that these boxes exist whenever I happen to face a problem. Doing so helps me ‘think outside of the box’ and overcome the problems I face.
‘The Right Way’
One of the most common mental blocks we all face is trying to find the right way to do things. While this practice might help when one is solving a homework problem where the focus is one a specific correct answer to a particular question, it damages your creative ability. Real-life problems are ambiguous. There tends to be more than one right way to do something and often, you may think of a better way to handle a problem than the proposed solution. You can overcome this imaginary box by reframing the issue to see it differently.
‘I can’t do it’
By believing you cannot do something, you are automatically deciding your potential. Limiting your abilities mentally is one of the most difficult mental blocks for you to overcome. Many people tend to give up before they have tried. Instead, you can try to overcome a problem before you decide it is impossible for you to do so. This will lead you to learn more about yourself and your abilities!
‘I don’t need help’
People tend to lean on themselves and try not to depend on others. While it is good to be independent, you can always look to your friends or family for support. Don’t be afraid to ask them for encouragement or help in things they are better at than you. You may find your time used more efficiently and often, you may overcome your problems faster. By asking another person, you might also benefit from hearing another person’s perspective.
‘I’ll eat later’
I used to put off the drinking water or taking breaks for long periods. I found the act of taking breaks time consuming and unimportant. I soon discovered that your body needs to be looked after to perform at its best. If you are feeling frustrated about a problem, try having a snack and taking a short break. You will likely find that you feel much better afterwards and will be able to solve your problems faster. Fuelling your brain and resting can help you think much more clearly and work much faster.
‘I don’t need sleep’
Sleep is important as it helps your body and mind to recuperate after a busy day of work. Doing so can help you combat stress and fight fatigue. While there are people who can function well with very little sleep, most of us require at least 8 hours of sleep a day. Although you may be tempted to stay up later at night and maximize your time, it is best for you to go to bed early to complete your work in the morning.
Setting Unrealistic Goals.
Setting unrealistic goals that you may never be able to complete can take a toll on your health, motivation, and your mood. You may end up accidentally lashing out at those who have to deal with the same problems as you and are facing the same levels of stress. It is better to divide a large goal into small bite-sized pieces. You can also use the SMART goals formula to help you set realistic goals:
SMART stands for:
Acting while you are angry can cause you and the people around you to be hurt physically and emotionally. This can make it harder for you to solve the issue in any way. To avoid this, you could try solving the problem once you have cooled off. Chances are, whatever is bothering you about the problem will be easier to handle after you have calmed down. Take a break, drink some water, and think over the issue calmly.
There are many stagnant periods in life when nothing seems to be moving, but you don’t have to stay stuck for long! Learning to overcome these toxic thinking habits and mental blocks can help you feel less stressed and approach life problems more prepared. Where you are in your life is a result of your habits.
Just as the philosopher Will Durant once said:
“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”