Self Reflection: What Mental Models are Blocking Me?

October 10, 2022

Self Reflection: What Mental Models are Blocking Me?

“We have a mental block inside us that stops us from earning more than what we think we are worth. If we want to earn more in reality, we have to upgrade our self-concept.” — Brian Tracy

Our beliefs shape our reality, our behaviors, our thought patterns, and our ways of speaking. It impacts how we relate to others and how we see ourselves. And it plays a major role in how we work and how we collaborate with other people.

Some people call these beliefs “mental models,” which are our fixed ideas of how the world works and how we believe things should or shouldn’t be done. And like everything our brains come up with, we have to constantly examine and sometimes reconsider these mental models.

Some of our beliefs hinder us from achieving great things (or even smaller things that might be good for us). We call these self-limiting beliefs, and there are a lot of them. Most of what we have acquired since childhood–what we observed, what we were taught, what we figured out for ourselves through our experiences. And we know we have to overcome these self-limiting beliefs in order to grow.

Other times, we experience what most people call “mental blocks”—psychological obstacles that prevent us from accessing our superpowers: creativity, motivation, focus, and productivity. We often experience this at work as well as in our personal lives, and it can be pretty frustrating to deal with.

When you experience mental blocks, take a minute to take a self-inventory. Most of the time, its causes are easy to remedy: lack of sleep, poor diet and nutrition, mental exhaustion, a cluttered environment, or maybe medication. Others are a bit harder to change, such as our habits of procrastination (which leads to stress), impostor syndrome (doubting your abilities and feeling like a fraud), and tendencies toward perfectionism and/or pessimism. These ones need more in-depth challenges and a lot of work to improve.

If you are struggling to get out of your mental block, try to take a break. Maybe you can deal with small tasks first–like the dishes you’ve been putting off that have been nagging at you while you were working. Sometimes you just need a change of pace and scenery. Go out for a short walk. Stretch for a bit. Declutter your space. You can do a quick meditation and just close your eyes and try to empty your mind for a few minutes.

Other times, you just need to write down what thoughts are bothering you, or why you think you are struggling to finish this task. What are you feeling? Why are you feeling that way? Or maybe all you need is a sounding board, someone to talk to and just bounce thoughts and ideas off of. Maybe what you need is to ask for help from a colleague.

Other times, it is a bit trickier. Like taking control of and changing your internal monologue. What you tell yourself repeatedly becomes your reality really quickly. You can also boost your confidence by learning a skill you believe you are lacking and mastering it.

It takes a lot of self-reflection and being open to changing things within yourself and your mindset to get over these blocks.

Take some time to reflect. What mental models, beliefs, and self-talk are not serving you well? How can you challenge these beliefs? And if you applied a different mindset, how would it serve you? Try it on for size, and tweak it as you go along the way.

“We become what we believe we are.” — Tony Robbins

Believe that you are a winner. 

Thank you for reading A Brilliant Tribe.