Have you ever had a mental block?
You want to do something, you have what you need to do it, but you can’t get yourself to just do it. As soon as you sit down to work, or text back your best friend that you’ve been ignoring, you think of a hundred other things you could be doing.
Why does this happen?
It happens when we’re influenced by things that don’t align with our goals. We’re influenced by everything around us. I’m influenced by how funny TikTok is, and I’m influenced by how good cookie butter is.
If I want to start writing more, I might need to stop watching TikToks for an hour when I first wake up. And if I want to start building more muscle I might need to cut back on my cookie butter intake…
Just a little…
The answer to overcoming my mental block on writing and fitness is garbage in garbage out.
I’m not saying TikTok and cookie butter are garbage, but I am saying that what we consume is what we let influence us.
If we spend our time consuming things that demotivate us or make us feel high amounts of dopamine for little work, we’ll want to keep doing those things. But if we make little changes and consume more positive and slow rewarding content we’ll feel like we have more control over ourselves.
(Did that make sense?)
I’ll give an example for clarity.
When I watch Bob’s Burgers, one of the funniest shows ever, I can watch it for hours, no problems no breaks. If I did that everyday, like I used to, I wouldn’t really feel motivated to write or create, I’d just want to do what feels good faster.
The weird thing about this is that writing and working out both feel amazing, they just take a little more work and our bodies don’t seem to get addicted to them as easily since it takes so much effort for the results.
When I get myself reading a bit more, not waking up to TikTok but waking up to my book, I get a very slow rewarding feeling. If I did that everyday, like I did before quarantine, I would feel more motivated to write and create because my brain wouldn’t be chasing the dopamine high that social media, TV, and amazing butter spreads give us.
This isn’t an add for dopamine detoxing (I did try that once though), but the logic behind it makes a lot of sense.
If we’re constantly doing things that bring us instant gratification then our bodies and minds aren’t going to want to do things that take more effort for the same, or less, reward. So if we want to overcome a mental block, and do things that take a bit more effort, you should make sure you’re consuming things that will make that easier.
I guess this can also be called discipline, but I think this approach sounds a lot less scary (and it’s simpler).
How do we practically apply “garbage in garbage out”?
Step 1: Consume content that fuels your goals
If you want to, for example, write more then, instead of following random influencers and watching dance moms: follow more writers online, watch writing videos, and read more. Consuming this kind of content will make you more likely to do what you want to do. It may not feel as thrilling at first – but we’re going for long term gratification here.
When I watch my favorite fitness influencers and read more I also tend to workout more and get more content creation done. What we eat has to come out of us, and the same applies for what we consume content wise.
Step 2: Surround yourself with like minded people
It isn’t just content that influences you, people do too.
Especially the people you hold nearest and dearest to you.
If the people around you spend all their time gossiping, lying, and doing things you don’t want to be doing, you’ll struggle getting yourself on track.
How are you supposed to refrain from drinking when all your buddies do is invite you over for drinks?
It’s a painful thing to realize you might need to distance yourself from someone, but sometimes it’s necessary for your growth and theirs. This doesn’t mean you can never see them again, it just means you won’t be as close for a while. Maybe you’ll both grow and find each other again, or maybe you won’t, but the truth is you can’t be surrounded by people who don’t align with your values.
That won’t workout for you.
I like to frame this as surrounding yourself with like-minded people, because that’s what it is. It’s not dumping or canceling people. There’s nothing wrong with any current friends of yours who don’t align with you, you’re not leaving them, you’re just trying to meet people you can have healthy and mutually supportive friendships with.
If you meet other creators you’ll build energy off of each other and you’ll find yourself more motivated for seemingly no reason at all. Now that your friends are sharing information about cool projects you both are working on, or things they’ve learned, your once again being surrounded by better things which motivates you to do better things.
So that’s it. Consume better content and surround yourself with like-minded people.
I encourage you to take at least one step from this if you’re interested in the idea (whether it’s what you consume or meeting a new like-minded person).
Self-help and growth isn’t about reading a bunch of motivational things and doing nothing else, it’s about real application. So make sure you take all that you’re getting from your content and friends and put it into action!
BAM, Bob’s your uncle, you’ll be moving past your mental block in no time and getting to work.
If you have people really close to you that you don’t want to distance yourself from, maybe because they positively influence your life in many ways and you love them, you can always try talking to them and being honest about how you’re feeling about your goals and how you would appreciate their support.
This would look differently for everyone, but I’ve done this with my fiancé a good few times. Just keep everything you say in the “I” and be clear about what you’re looking for.
“Hey babe, I’ve felt pretty bad that I haven’t been to the gym in a while. I think I’ve spent too much time watching TV at night. Would you like to go to the gym with me sometime or remind me to go to the gym at night when I feel like watching TV?”
Any good supportive friend will hear you out and gladly do whatever tiny thing it is that will help lift you up. That’s what friendship is anyways, love and support. Make sure to ask them if there’s anything you can do for them too, because there usually is.
“Yeah of course love, I’ll go to the gym with you. How’s 3 nights a week sound? I could also use some help getting more sowing done, can we have quiet work hours at night after the gym?”
You know some jazz like that. These conversations might seem cheesy to some people, but they’re real and healthy. Talking about your feelings and needs with the people you love is healthy, and them being able to hear it out and acknowledge them is important.
That’s all from me folks. I’ve been in a mental rut myself lately, and applying these two tips (three if you count communication) has helped a good bit.
I probably wouldn’t be consistently uploading blogs without them 🙂
Thank you for reading and…
Until next time,