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How To Push Past A Mental Block In Order To Be Productive
We have all heard that word, right? Maybe starting when you were in middle school and your teacher would warn you on Monday not to procrastinate when starting that 5-page essay that was due on Friday.
You thought to yourself, “I can easily start on Wednesday- no big deal.” Until Wednesday comes and you think of something better to do, so you finally write it on Thursday evening at 7:00 pm while you stress out and tell yourself that you will never do that again. (Yet you continued to do it until you graduated high school, right?)
Chances are you probably thought about the essay all week and created more worry and anxiety than what you could have gone through if you would have just started it on Monday or Tuesday.
As you get older procrastination becomes more about waiting to clean your bathroom until it becomes really gross or waiting too long to give your dog his flea bath or maybe even a few work projects that should have been started a few weeks ago.
As an adult, procrastination can be related to two components:
- Tasks that you have to do and,
- Tasks that you need to do, but you feel as though for whatever reason you can either wait or you wait too long and do not end up finishing it.
First, let’s talk about tasks that you have to do or serious repercussions can happen. Paying taxes, paying your bills on time, taking care of your children, and going to work every day are some examples.
Now let’s talk about tasks that you don’t necessarily have to do, but you probably need to do for a peace of mind. These can include cleaning your house, teaching your child to ride their bike, starting that house project that you promised you would start three months ago, etc.
Which tasks would a person be most likely to do ASAP (assuming they are able to)? I think we could agree that most people would try to complete the tasks that have to be completed.
Why is that?
Well first, probably because, as said above, serious repercussions can happen if a person doesn’t complete those tasks. I mean is your husband going to divorce you because you didn’t paint the bathroom like you said you were going to do 3 months ago? Well, I hope not!
Does this mean that able-bodied adults need babysitters or people there to constantly monitor that they get things done right and on time? No, not necessarily- some people just need to be pushed more than others.
Procrastination In My Life
Speaking from my own personal experience I have so many ideas that come in my head on a day to day basis. These ideas can be anything from job ideas, projects around the house, or projects that I want to do with my kids. I would say roughly 65% of these ideas/thoughts I never follow through with.
Basically, it comes down to these questions I ask myself:
- How bad do I want this project/idea completed?
- Do I actually know how to complete these projects/ideas?
- Is it realistic? Or would it be a project that I spend too much money and/or time on?
- If I don’t know how to complete the idea/project, do I have the resources figure out how to get it done?
The Start Of That “Great” Idea
How would these ideas/projects begin in my mind? First, I come up with this “great” idea—the idea seems almost glamorous and I get very positive about it to where I think about it for days or weeks at a time.
Then as the days and weeks go by I start to think about what will possibly go wrong with that idea, and I mean everything! This often times leads me to think twice about the idea and like I said, most of the time I end up backing out and then I am on to a new idea, and the cycle starts over.
These vicious cycles have led me to not have confidence in myself and it has created the belief about myself that I am a failure often times if I don’t follow through with an idea.
The Negative Thoughts Begin
A while back I started realizing that I am going to have to put myself in some uncomfortable situations if I wanted to grow and be successful. I was so fed up with starting new projects and ideas and not finishing them.
I couldn’t figure out why was it so hard for me to follow through with these ideas at first. It seemed as though every time something got hard I would become very negative and back out of the idea and move on to the next.
The Mental Block
A few weeks into my start of preparing to start up a blog I started that usual mental block that comes soon after my new ideas. I started getting anxiety, nervousness and was just very negative about the process of even having a blog. I started to think of all of the negative things that could happen i.e. no one will read my blog, legal issues with having a blog, the expenses that may arise, etc.
Once the negative thoughts started entering my mind I started to get this mental block in my head and it was very hard to start writing blog posts and finish training for my blog. I started asking myself why I could never finish any of my “great” ideas- what was wrong with me?
Was I just procrastinating or was it something else?
This is where I really sat back and thought about what my issue was. I didn’t really consider all of the ideas that I never followed through with just procrastination- not because I just didn’t want to complete them, but there was something there that was blocking my ability to complete the ideas- some type of block in my mind.
Not physically of course, but mentally. Once things got hard I checked out. I wouldn’t let my negative thoughts and feelings push past that uncomfortable feeling. When in reality in most cases that meant that something good could really have come through in my ideas if I would have followed through with them.
How To Push Past A Mental Block In Order To Be Productive
So how did I push past this mental block when it came to starting a blog?
I almost backed out of even finishing the process to start my blog, to be honest. But I realized that I needed to tell myself that I had to do this, rather than this was something that I just wanted to do. What was I going to lose in the long run? Time and maybe just a little bit of money, but really the situation that I was in before starting a blog wasn’t any better than that!
I pushed and pushed, I started thinking positive thoughts and attempted to get inspired by listening to positive podcasts about blogging. It wasn’t easy, but the more I was positive about it the easier the process went to officially start my blog. I kept telling myself that I had to do this, instead of something I just wanted to do for fun (especially since the process to actually start a blog is anything, but fun). It wasn’t that I was going to be punished if I didn’t finish it, but the belief that I would be very unhappy in the future if I didn’t start blogging.
There is a “hump” when it comes to mental blocks and once you get over that “hump” you will probably feel like an awesome person and you will realize you are more capable of completing things than you think you are.
Have you ever experienced a mental block? If so, what ways did you deal with moving past that mental block?
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