1. Remember It’s Normal
Encountering mental blocks is part and parcel of embarking on a new and unfamiliar journey. The brain is acting in a protective mode, working hard to keep you in safe and familiar territory – it doesn’t mean you’re not making the right choices or going in the right direction.
Think of it as skiing off-piste to get to that appealing, beautiful, wide run you’re coveting in the distance – it’s going to be bumpy, wild, fun and frustrating, but you’ll soon be carving skilfully down the new slope.
2. Acknowledge Your Thoughts
During periods of feeling vulnerable, your inner narrative rarely emerges as a straightforward “I’m scared to death of failing, I feel exposed and uncomfortable”. Instead, it often appears as a list of seemingly rational sentiments: “It’s not the right time; I don’t have enough money; I have other priorities.”
Notice these thoughts and mentally reassure your brain. It sounds strange, but simply saying “I hear you, but don’t worry, all will be fine,” can lessen the ‘noise’ around these thoughts. Being aware of your brain will allow you to create a distance between its over-protective nature and your true potential. Remember you’re running the show with this amazing engine working for you – not the other way around.
3. Go Full Frontal
Resisting, ignoring or getting frustrated with your internal chatter will make it louder and more influential. It feels counter-intuitive, but metaphorically turn and face into your thoughts.
Take ten minutes to write down a response to the question, “What are these thoughts trying to tell me?” Capture everything that comes into your mind – this often exposes the root concern which is then easier to address.
4. Show Yourself Love
Being stuck in a holding pattern of inner conflict – the heart’s desire versus rational thinking – can feel overwhelming, like being in a constant state of indecision. At this time, it’s common to try to clamour back control by endlessly creating lists about different options and the risks involved.
Take the pressure off through a huge dollop of self-care. Ask yourself what your body and mind need to feel nurtured at this moment. Change your routine and go for a walk, take your favourite book to a cafe, have a long swim. These transitions are hard, so create the time and space to get realigned with yourself.
5. Create Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are an effective tool for quieting the chatty brain and tapping into your resourcefulness. Make them clear, positive, purposeful and in the present tense:
- I am looking forward to…
- I am proud of (what I’m achieving)...
- I am getting lots of satisfaction from…
- I am a highly sought-after, high calibre…
- I enjoy (these particular aspects of my work)...
- I am excited about (launching my business, getting my promotion, etc)...
- I am doing this in order to (identify the greater purpose of this change)...
The trick to these is to find a way you can genuinely embrace these affirmations. Saying them out loud is a really powerful way to connect – huge gesticulations whilst circling the living room, or whispering them on your morning walk to the station will feel silly at first, but worth it for the sense of focus, calm and clarity.
6. Visualise Your Goal
Get familiar with your dream. Creating a vision of your heart’s desires will remind you why you’re embarking on this journey.
Take a blank sheet of paper and draw your ideal life three years from now. Be sure to capture everything about that vision – more time with the family, connectedness, laughter, time in nature - and put it somewhere visible where it acts as a constant reminder of what you are working towards.