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6 Steps to Breaking Down Mental Blocks and Strengthen Your Motivation

Every person, regardless of their age, gender or profession, encounters a mental block from time to time. It can happen at any time. You could be creating your next masterpiece, writing an essay for college, making a presentation to your clients, the list goes on.

Here are a few tips to help you break through that mental block and strengthen your motivation.
1. Change your surroundings

The look and layout of your workspace can affect the way you work. Some people prefer working in a clean office as it helps them to focus and stay on track with their tasks. On the other hand, there are also those who prefer working in a messy space. This type of environment encourages creativity and may allow you to get a fresh perspective. Whether you have a small table or an entire room to work in, you can play with the layout to see what works best for your situation.

If that doesn’t work, try moving to an entirely different location. A person’s mind can sometimes associate certain places with emotions. If you are continually having difficulty working in your bedroom, try to consider working in a different location, such as a coffee shop. You can also try taking a stroll to the nearby park or beach. A recent study revealed that being around nature can help make people retain more information and de-stress. Even taking a walk around the block can do wonders.

2. Mix things up

If you find yourself getting stuck, take a break and try to do something else. Read a book on a topic that’s new to you, watch a lecture on YouTube or attend a seminar. Change the way you do things. For instance, if you like writing historical essays, try writing a fictional short story.

3. Set smaller goals

Completing a massive project can sometimes make you feel overwhelmed with the number of tasks you need to finish. Break your main objective into smaller tasks. You can give yourself a treat or reward whenever you fulfill one of the more modest goals. This encourages you to stay motivated and gives you something to look forward to.

4. Get inspiration from other people’s ideas

When you’re having difficulty coming up with ideas for your project, see what has already been done. You might find inspiration in how other people have approached the situation. Check out books and magazines, watch videos, visit websites on the Internet. Do not copy their work. Analyze their ideas or solutions, break it down and try to understand how they came up with it.

5. Keep a whiteboard or notepad

It could be anything: a bulletin board, sketchbook, post-its, or a journal. The goal is to get or keep a medium where you can write your ideas. Not all of your thoughts may be useful for the project you are currently working on, but don’t throw them away. You might find your ideas handy for another project. Writing down all of your thoughts will allow you to get creative and open up your imagination.

6. Focus on the big picture

With completing any project or achieving a goal, you might go through some setbacks. Depending on the seriousness of the setback, you could be put off from going forward. If you find yourself at this stage, remind yourself why you decided to pursue the goal or project in the first place. Hold on to that reason. Are you creating paintings to get discovered and have your own exhibit? Perhaps you are doing a research paper that you hope will get published in a renowned publication. Whatever your reason may be, you need to hold on to what you would consider a success or a positive result. Use it as your source of motivation.

Staying motivated can be difficult. You will encounter setbacks and mental blocks at some point during the journey. Following these tips can help encourage you to keep on the path to achieving your goal.

About the author

Salma El-Shurafa

Salma El-Shurafa

Salma El-Shurafa, the founder of The Pathway Project, is a Professional Certified Coach by the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach from The Coaches Training Institute (CTI).

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