8 Practical Ways to Get Over a Mental Block

By Aytekin Tank

There’s nothing quite like a state of “flow” when you’re working. The rare moments when your inspiration aligns with your motivation likely lead to some of your most creative work. Plus, it feels great to actually check a task or project off the list so you can move on to the next thing. Meanwhile, a mental block — its opposite — can cause work to feel laborious and uninspired. Forget creativity when you have a mental block — it makes it difficult even to start working on what you need to do.

A mental block can manifest in several ways. Perhaps your imposter syndrome is squelching your creative ideas, for instance, or you’re overwhelmed by the breadth of a project and its impending deadline. Maybe you’re just tired or stressed.

Either way, having a mental block feels like being trapped in your own head, and it can seriously dampen your ability to think outside the box. The problem is, you’re so locked into your own perspective that you don’t see more innovative approaches to your problems.[1]

Luckily, jumping over these mental hurdles is simpler than you think. You just need the right strategies to get your flow back.

What Does a Mental Block Feel Like?

A mental block feels like getting stuck in the wrong gear. You lack forward momentum. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t muster up any mental clarity.

It’s a lot like brain fog or burnout. You might feel fuzzy, slow or mentally exhausted.

Does that sound like you? Look out for these signs of a mental block:

  • You can’t make decisions easily (also known as decision fatigue)
  • You’re struggling to be creative or come up with out-of-the-box solutions
  • You make simple errors all the time, even in tasks or skills you’ve mastered
  • Your brain feels sluggish and isn’t firing the way it used to

Check these boxes and you might be stuck in a mental block. But never fear: you can get out of it!

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