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  • Salma El-Shurafa

    Salma El-Shurafa is an experienced Executive Coach and founder of The Pathway Project. She is a an International Coaching Federation (ICF) Professional Certified Coach, a Coaches Training Institute (CTI) Certified Professional Co-Active Coach, and a graduate of CTI’s Co-Active Leadership program.
What's Stopping You? 4 Ways to Break Free From Your Mental Barriers
Mental Health

What's Stopping You? 4 Ways to Break Free From Your Mental Barriers

Mental barriers can hinder a person from reaching their potential. They can come in many forms, including negative thoughts, muddled thinking and feelings of anger or depression. Breaking free of these mental barriers is not always easy, but you need to take steps to do away with the bonds and chains that are holding you back. Think of it as spring cleaning for your mind. All the negative feelings and thinking that you have stored in your subconscious must be disposed of if you want to reach your full potential. Listed here are a few suggestions for overcoming those obstacles. What's Stopping You? 4 Ways to Break Free From Your Mental Barriers You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn’t exist anywhere except in the mind. - Dale Carnegie 1. Remove your fear of failure Most people get stuck in life because of their fear of failure. What is so bad about failure that we fear it so much? You need to understand that failure will not harm or kill you. It is there to show you what your mistakes are and teach you what you need to know. Throughout life, you go through hardships before you grasp the lesson. Failure is a basic part of life. You need to fail before you can breed success. There is no way of succeeding at anything without having failed at some point. Don’t think of failure as something you can avoid but as a teacher or ally who is there to show you the path to success. Once you have shifted your way of thinking, you will fear failure less. 2. Do what you are afraid of We are all afraid of something. It could be a concept as broad as failure or something smaller and more specific, like spiders or heights. Our levels of fear all differ. If your fear starts to affect your life, however, you must find ways to get over it or at least reduce it to a more manageable level. Try exposure therapy. It is a technique which involves being exposed to what you fear in small doses and in a controlled environment. This enables you to gradually get over your anxiety or distress. Repeatedly doing what you are afraid of can help you get over your fear. For instance, if you are afraid of speaking in large groups, you can reduce your fear by practicing short presentations in front of your family or close friends. Do it again and again until you feel more confident about your work and the fear dissipates. 3. Use your doubt as motivation Having a little bit of doubt can be useful in some cases. Doubts are an indication that you are pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone. Being innovative involves going beyond what is expected or the norm. When you go beyond your limits, you start to discover something new about yourself and what is around you. Doubt helps you anticipate and see possibilities. It will encourage you to explore and dig deeper. Great innovators see what has already been done and enhance it or use it as an inspiration to create something totally new. They go past their personal doubts to achieve great things. 4. Check your reality How we perceive the world is not always accurate. People make assumptions of what others think of them. We sometimes let these assumptions control the way we think and behave. What is worse is that in most cases, these assumptions are false. You need to realign your perception to what the world really thinks. Confirmation is one way to do it. Do you think that your work is not good at all? Find an objective individual who can tell you the truth and show you how you can improve. Whether it is for writing, business or a different facet of life, you can get a mentor or a personal coach who can tell you what you are and what you can do. A mentor or coach can guide you in areas you need assistance with, and help you improve. Reprogramming your mind for success Once you have done away with removing those mental barriers, you can start reprogramming your mind for success. You may still feel tired and beat up, and that is to be expected. After all, you were eliminating years of bad thinking and negative emotions. Be proud of what you have accomplished so far. Use this time to move forward and achieve what your heart and mind desire.