In many performance-related careers, mental blocks can prevent success. If you can find a way past your mental block, then you can find your path to success. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that you can overcome your mental blocks. Find out what you can do to eliminate the one obstacle blocking your path to success.
What are Mental Blocks?
A mental block is a psychological barrier. When you are an athlete or another type of performer, that barrier can keep you from performing a skill. Many people confuse a mental block for performance anxiety. In both situations, it can trigger a fight or flight response. Both can also cause your performance to suffer.
There are a few things that can cause a mental block. When you can understand the cause, you can better understand the solution. Some of the factors that contribute to mental blocks are purely genetic. However, others relate to your personality and upbringing. This makes certain people more likely to get blocks than others. That said, anyone can develop a mental block.
In sports and other performance-based activities, mental blocks depend on your perception, mental toughness, and self-confidence. Here are a couple of examples of how those factors relate to your mental block:
1. Focus Style
Generally, performers are internally focused, externally focused, or both. When a performer is internally focused, he stays completely focused while performing. Meanwhile, someone who is externally focused might think too much about performing before the performance. This could cause someone to overthink his performance. As a result, he could develop a mental block.
2. Mental Toughness
Some people have a mental toughness that allows them to excel. This toughness could be natural, or it could be a skill that an individual developed later on in life. Either way, mental toughness allows you to keep your focus while you perform. It gives you more self-confidence and allows you to adapt easily to challenges.
If you have mental toughness, then you have a lower chance of getting a mental block. Instead of avoiding a challenge, you rise up to it.
Overcoming Your Blocks
It is possible to overcome your mental blocks. However, it takes knowledge, dedication, and planning to do so. Here are a few ways that you can get past your blocks and excel:
1. Be Aware of Your Blocks
The first step in overcoming your blocks is being aware of them. First, you need to realize that you have a mental block. Then, you need to think about why you have that block. For example, you might not be able to do a new throw that your Judo coach showed you. Your inability to do it could relate to your fear of failure. To overcome your block, you need to realize your fear.
2. Tackle Your Fears
Often, fears are the cause of a mental block. When you find out what your fear is, you need to face your fear. Instead of asking yourself “what if” questions, think positively. Think of ways that you might be able to face your fears head-on. Once you do, your mental block will disappear.
3. Stay Positive
When you have a mental block, your negativity can prevent you from overcoming your block. Force yourself to think with a positive spin on things. Tell yourself that you can accomplish whatever you put your mind to. When you suffer from a mental block, you need to be your own cheerleader. As silly as it may seem, you need to be your own biggest fan.
A little positivity can go a long way. When you start to think positively, your mindset can change. Instead of being afraid to try that new Judo throw, you might be able to embrace it.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Ask for Help
Sometimes, overcoming mental blocks on your own can be too much of a challenge. Whether you need to overcome your block quickly or you can’t handle it on your own, you can ask for help. There are a few ways that you can go about this.
First, you can confide in a coach or teammate. If there is someone that you can trust, then go to them for help. Explain what problem you are having. Ask them to help you overcome your problem. For example, you can ask a teammate to train with you at half-speed until you master the move. You can ask your coach what you can do to ease your way past your mental block.
Another great resource is to look into performance counseling. With the help of a licensed counselor, you might be able to move past your block. Certain new therapy techniques like Brainspotting can improve your performance. With these techniques, overcoming your block is easier than ever. If you want help, then you need to talk to a counselor about your options.