mental barriers…

Recently I have been giving some thought to the idea of mental barriers… there are times when something inside yourself says “you know you CAN do this”, but another voice, much closer to the surface undermines this and says “it’s impossible, give up now”. In reading about training as I have been preparing for competitions, I realise there is a great deal about what to do, how to train, what to eat…but little on mental barriers and how to break through them.

Mental barriers are not just about physical exercise and training, they can stop us doing things in all spheres of life. Trying to change careers, trying to manage a difficult relationship, working on a renovation project… time and again our minds put roadblocks up to us getting to our goals.

How do we beat it and break down the mental barrier? Here are a few thoughts that have helped me:

1) Remind yourself of the other things you have done in the face of such barriers. This is not the first time you thought you could not achieve something, but you have broken through before and can do it again!
2) Break down the task into smaller “bites”…that old saying How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time, is true here. Look at the overall job ahead and break it down to smaller steps, then start accomplishing them one at a time.
3) Celebrate the victories. Often I find that we move on very quickly from achieving something, and then forget all too quickly that we can break through. Get into the habit of having little touchstones that remind you regularly of how far you have come. I have photos and use Google sidebar with the photos app – as I work away at whatever, the photos change, and they remind me of various things I have conquered in the past. Find your own way of reminding yourself…but be sure to celebrate the wins.
4) Do not allow a fallover to become a failure. On the way to breaking down the mental barriers, there will be days that you don’t make it. Accept this, you are only human after all. Get up and determine to get on with eating the elephant the next day. Don’t allow yourself to give up… refocus, refresh and start the charge at that mental barrier again!

These ideas work for me. I am sure that there are many others out there, and feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section. Now, go break some barriers! 🙂

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