3 Tips to Move Past Mental Blocks
“Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.” – Goethe
Different from other posts, I start this entry with this quote because it embodies everything that I imagined this post to be. It came at the perfect time, from Jonathan Fields’ 9/11 remembrance, just as I started writing.
As a creative, my mind is always filled with ideas for projects to pursue, but they don’t come without the fear that always accompanies such endeavors: How do I start? What will people think of this? Of me? Will it be successful?
At times, I’ve found myself stuck, just sitting in front of my work space, letting my mind run wild with every single excuse of why I can’t move forward. You can call it whatever you want—gremlins, lizard brain, resistance—but in the end it’s all the same and those thoughts always end up getting their way.
But after many years of dealing with this, I’ve grown tired of these self-imposed roadblocks and have adopted 3 tricks, in no particular order, to help me overcome:
3 Ways to Move Past Mental Blocks
1 – Stop Overthinking Everything
We just need to stop over-thinking everything. Plain and simple.
When we’re faced with starting a project, we try to plan every single step before moving forward and getting started. If you compare this with taking a drive down to the local market, we don’t wait for all the stop lights to be green before moving forward from the first one. We just move on, one light at a time, until we get to our desired destination. We don’t overthink it! Such it should be with the projects at hand—just move forward and have faith that the next stepping-stone will be there.
2 – Avoid Social Media
In instances it’s helped to shun social media and not look at other people's work or manicured lifestyle. That’s when those negative thoughts start creeping in, the envy of other’s lives being so ‘perfect’—right! We all know most everything on Social Media is not 100% true.
I’ve had to learn to accept that I am not the only creator out there and that I have my UNIQUE gifts and talents, and have value to give to others, as do you. Always give the BEST you can give, while being true to yourself in what you have to offer, and don’t mind others who are creating similar things than you—you have your own voice!
3 – Just Get Started
As Goethe’s quote states, ‘Begin it now’! Following the idea from the first point, after listing the main points or ideas at hand, just get started with the very first one.
With many projects I’ve set in motion in the past year, such as this blog, taking the very first step—signing up for this domain and setting up WordPress—has lead me to take the next then the next and the next step, one foot in front of the other. As simple a step as it turns out to be, before you know it, as big or small as that endeavor is, you’ll be rolling with it and making it come to pass.
I’ll leave you with the perfect synopsis of these main points, as told to Elizabeth Gilbert on her Podcast, Magic Lessons, by Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York:
With much love and gratitude,