8 Strategies to Overcome Mental Blocks and Stay in Control

The first step is often the most difficult, whether you’re starting a new fitness program or entering rehab. You have to acknowledge that it is your own mental blocks preventing you from achieving the success you desire.

You may have heard Theodore Roosevelt’s quote “Believe you can and you’re halfway there”. This is a great approach to take to life. It will help to remove the mental blocks you have to success.

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Defining Mental Blocks

Mental blocks are simply anything that you can think of which will prevent you from doing something. This is not the same as a lack of motivation.

mental blocksIn many cases, your mental blocks will be an ingrained belief that you can’t achieve a specific result.

It may be that you believe it’s impossible for you to live an extra 20 pounds or that you’re not built to be a runner.

Whatever the mental blocks are they will be preventing you from even attempting to achieve your next goal.

That’s why you need to understand them, accept that and then beat them!

Working Out The Source Of Mental Blocks

Mental blocks can originate from trying something and failing. This can be humiliating and lead you to avoid an activity as you believe you can’t do it.

man stressing mental blocksFailure creates a belief that you can’t achieve something; it can be very difficult to move past this belief.

Here are a few other ways which often cause mental blocks:

Pressure to perform

Let’s say you’re a baseball player and you have to throw one ball to the pitcher to secure the game. If you fail to do this for any reason then you’ll probably experience mental blocks when you need to do it again.

In effect the experience will haunt you, placing pressure on you to get it right which will prevent you from throwing properly again; even if you’re not in a competition at the time.

Anxiety

procrastination mental blocksWhen you feel anxious or nervous about your ability to achieve something then you are likely to underperform. This will effectively help you to achieve your own prophecy; a failure to achieve.

Anxiety can come from an inability to do something properly before, a desire to impress or even an unrelated source of stress. This can keep your mind from fully focusing on the task at hand.

Self-doubt

self image mental blocksThe more times you fail to do something the more you’ll believe that you can’t do it. At this point, it is unlikely you’ll achieve the goal simply because you believe you can’t.

Once you start doubting yourself the problem is likely to get worse and potentially affect other aspects of your life.

Doubting yourself is often directly related to a fear of what could go wrong.

Opinions of others

You may have already experienced how damaging the opinions of others can be. For instance, here at the Fit Father Project, we believe any man can get into shape and become healthier and happier.

But, if you announce your intention to lose weight to your friends and they laugh at the idea you’ll instantly start to feel anxious and have self-doubt regarding whether you can actually achieve any weight loss goal.

The opinions of others are surprisingly influentially; even when they are wrong.

Accept That Mental Blocks Are Real

You need to accept that mental blocks are real. They can sneak up on you preventing you from completing activities that you used to do so well.

A great example of this is when you were young and you wouldn’t hesitate to jump off the wall and into the sea.

As you age fear plays a part. You’re more aware of the fragility of your body and the danger of jumping into the sea from a high wall.

This prevents you from doing something even though you’ve done it hundreds of times before.

The first step in defeating mental blocks is to acknowledge that you have them. 

The Solution: Getting Past Your Mental Blocks

Fortunately, it’s not as difficult as you may think to move past your mental blocks and achieve your fitness and life goals.

Here’s what you need to do; starting today!

Accept your fear

man climbing rock mental blocksIf you believe that you can’t do something then you need to look at what it is you fear. It could be a fear of failing in front of others, of injuring yourself or even that someone else can do it better.

Accepting you’re afraid and acknowledging that there is a risk is the first step I beating your mental blocks. All you need is a few seconds of courage to try, despite your fear.

Reduce stress

man meditating mental blocksStress is one of the biggest killers. It plays havoc with your hormones and places pressure on you to perform.

For the sake of your health as well as your mental blocks, you need to de-stress. You can do this by meditating and listing the most stressful situations you encounter daily. It should then be possible to create a plan to avoid situations and how to deal with the ones you can’t avoid.

Release the stress and you’ll be able to move past your mental blocks.

Splitting your goal into bite-size chunks

set goals mental breaksIf you’re struggling to achieve your goal and believe you can’t do it then simply downsize your goal.

Break your overall goal up into small pieces, the end result will be the same but you’ll find that you can tackle and achieve each of the small pieces. Once you realize you can do it and have achieved each goal you’ll get the confidence to keep going and beat your mental blocks.

Take a break

If you’ve reached a plateau, especially in physical training; it can be a good idea to take a break. This will allow you to escape from your mental blocks and then return refreshed and with a new plan.

Suddenly you’ll find that you can achieve what you couldn’t before; even if it is that elusive backflip at 43!

Look at where you train

Some people perform best with lots of other people around them to motivate and inspire them. Others prefer to train in solitude.

gym in garage mental blocksConsider your current training venue; is it really the best one for you? It may be that you want to lose weight and so have signed up to a gym; it seems the logical thing to do.

However, if you hate the thought of exercising in front of all these people that are already fitter than you then you’re going to struggle to be motivated enough to go.

Change your venue and even your exercise and you’ll find that the mental blocks are no longer an issue.

Consider your routine

Sometimes it is your routine that is the problem. Having the same schedule and same habits can lead you to get stuck in a rut.

You’ll start to know when you’re approaching an activity that you can’t do and it will affect your performance before and after.

Challenge yourself to change your routine and you’ll discover that you can achieve the right result; it can be that simple!

Consider your motivation

Losing motivation is not the same as a mental block but it can affect your ability and desire to achieve a goal.

You should be motivated to do something for yourself; this will help to ensure you remain motivated when the going gets tough.

The difference is that you’ll keep trying believing you’ll achieve the desired result in the end. Without the right motivation doubt, anxiety and a lack of self-belief will creep in creating mental blocks.

Visualization

Many professional athletes get through their toughest training sessions by visualizing what they want to be. It helps them to move past any mental or even physical blocks to get their best performance yet.

Arnie is a great believer in the philosophy of visualization. It certainly works for him!

Mental Blocks Come and Go

Everyone can and does experience mental blocks. They can appear suddenly and destroy your ability to complete tasks that you previously could do.

Acknowledging a mental block is the first step in overcoming it. Finding a solution depends on the specific type of mental block, but identifying it usually presents an answer.

The good news is that you can join the Fit Fathers For Life and gain the support and advice you need, alongside access to hundreds of fitness and health programs. This will help you to move past your mental blocks and achieve success.

Let us help you to help yourself; join FF4L today!

Your new friend & health coach,

stuart-headshotStuart Carter
Head Training Staff, The Fit Father Project

Brotherhood Nickname: “The Fit Brit”
Bragging Rights: 16 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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