By Meghan Bailey

Raise your hand if you have put off a decision, paper or project until the very last minute, hoping that what you decide, write, or complete doesn’t make people think less of you. You continually lie to yourself that your first intuition or idea isn’t good enough, and people may think less of you. You may think this is a little thing called procrastination. In reality, you’re experiencing a mental block and an emotional hang up.

Mental blocks feel like blinders on your psyche and they are especially frustrating when you are trying to come up with a fresh approach or a genius-level idea. “When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work,” said Thomas Edison while discussing his failures when inventing the light bulb. Edison was focused on one thing: creating light. Edison was mindful of everyone rooting against him, but his focus on himself and what he wanted to achieve allowed for him to succeed. Imagine a world where he would have let other’s opinions of his failures affect him.

No matter the path you are taking in life, mindfulness can help you clear away mental blocks.

SOLICIT IDEAS AND SPEAK TO PEOPLE THAT ARE NOT IN YOUR TRADITIONAL CIRCLE
Imagine in your mind a barrel. Once you have that image in your mind, ask three different people to think of a barrel. Once they have done so, ask them to explain what they saw. Some will tell you an enormous fish barrel; another may say to you a small cylinder that gas is pumped out of and some may just mean a circular holder. The point is, people from different walks of life have different perceptions. When you get the opportunity to see someone else’s point of view, it may not be groundbreaking, but it will allow you to benefit from widening your circle of influence to look at what you are doing in new ways to find the right direction for you.

REMEMBER THERE IS MORE THAN ONE OUTCOME
Human nature has all of us jumping to the worst case scenario. Whether you are submitting a final, applying for a new job or presenting a new idea, excessively worrying about what could happen hinders your reaction to taking action. Think back on some outcomes you’ve experienced. You’ll see they won’t be as bad as you made them out to be.

RETHINK THE WORD “MISTAKE”
When you make a decision that doesn’t pay off the way you thought, the first inclination is to blame yourself for a stupid mistake. What if you took the overwhelming fear of failing and making mistakes and flipped the script? Looking at a mistake as a decision that didn’t pay off because timing or pieces were not in the right place instead of feeling that you made a personal failure.

A mental block is nothing more than when you hit a psychological wall and can’t move forward and you lose the motivation to continue. Becoming fixated on every small thing of your own doing paralyzes you.

People do not want you to fail. Taking steps to become more mindful of your surroundings and opening your routine to learn from others is key to clearing mental blocks and becoming the person you are meant to be.

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