"Kill the snake of doubt in your soul, crush the worms of fear in your heart & mountains will move out of your way." - Kate Seredy
In all my blogs I have been mentioning about the inner power that we have. We are whole, complete and resourceful enough to achieve what we set out to. We are self-sufficient, yet we don't achieve what we want to. We always come back to square, the very place where we started. We are unable to move ahead not because there is lack of information around, but because of something else that we are unaware of. Many a times we are aware of what holds us back, but we don't know how to overcome these. That's why I always say, move out of your own way if you really want to achieve what you want to.If you want to be your best version, then you got to stand out of your way. Well, I am referring to the psychological barriers that hold us back from accessing our inner resources, the power that resides inside us. Psychological barriers are beliefs that a person has about himself/herself regarding his ability, potential, self-worth. They are some deformed thought patterns that don't allow us to break-free and attain what seems impossible for us.
For a long time, I have been a victim of these psychological barriers myself. Overcoming these require much inner strength, strong will and courage. Pick up a sport and you will see how your psychological barriers come into play. That's why probably it is recommended to learn to play a sport at a very young age. That's the time when our mind is flexible and tender. We can mold our thoughts accordingly. As an adult, you too can achieve what may seem unattainable or impossible for you. But, what is required is first your courage to uncover your psychological barriers, your mental blocks and work on overcoming these. Most importantly, patience is required to allow yourself to unfold to this process of discovery. Many a times we find it hard even to accept our blind spots, it's like a tight slap on our face; something that we had been running away from & ignoring. Don't worry, I have been there and I know how it feels. I know now for sure that not uncovering is much more painful than confronting these.
I would like to cite my example here. As a child, I used to play a lot with water and you'll find all my dolls bald-headed. Every time I used to play with my dolls, I shampoo their hair and clean them. The result of which was that I used to fall sick and had fever because I was majorly in water myself. My mother couldn't make me understand that and so the best that she could think of was, to cut all the hairs of the dolls that I had. I had a lot of other histories around water and my adventures. Somehow, without my knowledge, I developed this very strong dislike for water later. To the point that I was scared of even getting inside it. I had gone to Triveni Sangam to immerse the mortal remains of my father many years back. For those who aren't aware of Triveni Sangam, it is the meeting place of the three sacred rivers: the Saraswati, the Yamuna & the Ganga(Ganges) and is considered as a very holy confluence in Hindu tradition. A bath there is said to flush away all of one's sins. I didn't take a dip in that water out of fear. I was scared to that point. Later, when my son wanted to learn swimming, I allowed him to, despite of being fearful myself. I was so scared that I used to sit there watching him while he was taking his classes. I sat there and confronted my fears. That's when the Coach came up to me and told me to try out swimming. My first reaction was, "Me and swimming?! Oh! Forget it! I am very scared of water.I can never do it." The Coach insisted me and for many days I didn't even pay heed to him. I started giving him excuses saying that I had a c-section while giving birth to my child, I have a deep-seeded fear around water. I get sick and also an emotional block around water holds me back. But, somewhere deep down I wanted to swim. I had the desire but was fearful and my psychological barriers around my self-belief held me back from taking the plunge. The Coach insisted me and encouraged me. There were few other coaches who told him to stop pushing me because I was too fearful and hence they passed their judgement that I can never swim. This hit me hard. I then told the Coach, "I want to learn swimming. How can it be that I can't learn?! I will give it a try." And that's how my journey began. It took me a while and lot of endurance. Today I am a good swimmer and you can see me swimming in the picture above. I am not fearful of water anymore! I swim along with my son and every time I am fearful of anything, I just remind myself to get out of my way and let my inner resources play it's part. If I have created that limiting belief, I have the power to recreate another one. If I have held myself back, I have the power to push myself forward too. Since then I have been challenging myself. As a child I used to play Table Tennis, Badminton, even Cricket (advantage of having two brothers) & dance was something that came naturally to me. Sports had been an integral part of my life. So, I chose to embrace it now again because it rejuvenates my soul. I learnt Zumba, I did Zipping, Paragliding and now I am learning Kick-boxing to challenge myself more. There are many mental blocks which we aren't even aware of. Our job is to uncover them one by one till you are left with none.
Our own psychological barriers hold us back from performing at our peak. Mental block is an inability to perform a certain action. It can be associated with just about every aspect of your life. Mental blocks are formed because of various reasons such as:
1. Painful or difficult unresolved experiences/memories which you have buried deep inside.
2. Lack of confidence due to lack of knowledge and experience.
3. Fear of the unknown creates paralysis and incapability to cope.
Also, look at this info-graphics below to see where you stand.
Here are some of the common mental blocks. See which one is familiar to you:
3. Fixed mindset
8. Fuzzy Focus
How to identify your mental blocks?
Notice your inner dialogue and what words you commonly use for yourself. What feelings come to the surface. Journal it and read it loud to yourself. This will expose your mental block.
Our own personalities and values get in our way. We may have a personality type & our values may be something which might be conflicting to what we belief, who we are and what we aspire to be. So, choose to stand out of your way if that is no longer serving you. You will be amazed at what you can create. Trust me, you can create more than what you belief you can.
Love & warmth, Priyanka
Coach to People Leaders, Start-up Founders & Transitioning professionals