What Is Mental Block?
You ever have one of those days when you try to be productive, but you can’t seem to get any work done?
Outside of marketing, I work a full-time job, and I’m fortunate to have many breaks in a working day. However, a working day consists of a 12-hour shift. So I basically wake up go to work, go home, rest for maybe an hour, then go to sleep, and do the same thing the next day.
If it weren’t for my breaks, I wouldn’t have any time to work on marketing on the days that I work. But it wasn’t always like that. I get at least six 30-minute breaks in a workday, which equals 3 hours of free time. I used to eat food and sleep, but now I market.
Weird right? The last thing anybody wants to do on break is work more. It was actually a little challenging at first. I was in the habit of resting and doing nothing on break. The idea that I’d have to give that up was a mental block that prevented me from being more productive until I started seeing the situation from a different perspective.
If I don’t work now, I’ll miss my chance to do it for that day, I’ll be too tired to market at home, and I’ll have less time to do it before I go to sleep. Also, all of my breaks are paid, so I’d essentially be getting paid by my job to work on a personal project (marketing).
As you can see, the benefits outweighed the mental block, and as a result, it became a lot easier to focus on marketing while at my day job.
let’s look deeper into what mental block is.
What Is Mental Block?
Mental block is the inability to carry out certain thoughts or actions do to some sort of emotional trigger. Have you ever heard of someone being afraid to swim? It could be because, as a kid, they almost drowned, leaving them terrified of swimming. That would be a mental block. They probably won’t swim again unless they find a reason to break the mental block.
Not all mental blocks are based in fear though. Some times they aren’t even related to the task at hand. Last year I was dating this super gorgeous girl who thought it was a good idea to show up at my apartment unannounced. However, I was in the middle of writing an email follow up series for a campaign I was getting ready to launch. Well, I didn’t want to be rude, but I also had to write these emails. So I told her she could chill on my bed and scroll through social till her eyes fell out, and I would work on my emails.
The only problem was now that she was there; I couldn’t stop thinking about how much I wanted to spend time with her. My feelings overwhelmed my thinking brain. I decided I’d work on it the next day and tell her next time to call me before showing up to make sure it was cool.
It can also be the feeling of giving up something you want more than the thing you need to do. Just like how I felt when I had to choose between having free time on my breaks or marketing instead.
Why am I talking about this?
Because when I first started marketing, I wasn’t the hardworking marketer that I am now. I had to grow and change myself into the person that does marketing at their day job. Although I love what I do, it wasn’t something that came naturally. Still doesn’t. I had mental blocks and a lot of them. The more I grow, and the more I change, the more mental blocks I find as well.
The Sign Of A Mental Block
I was in a mastermind with other newbie marketers once. I can’t remember who spearheaded the mastermind, but they were high up in a company that no longer exists called Digital Altitude.
The leader of the group was talking about how we need to do whatever it takes to make our dreams a reality. I remember someone who was on the call; a woman that was interested in starting her own business.
When she heard what the leader had to say, she retorted with “yeah but you don’t know my situation” and continued to talk about how she didn’t have any money to invest in the business, Or she didn’t have enough time. The leader, each time, would reply with a solution to the problems that she brought up.
Now I, like most people, am guilty of creating excuses in my life even if I want the benefits of wealth and obtaining the skill sets required to market. But for this woman no matter what solution was given to her found an excuse to replace it.
The sign of mental block is the excuses that you make. This can be difficult to decipher at first because sometimes the excuses we have are legitimate. An example would be if a midget exclaimed: “I am never going to make it in the NBA!” He’d be right lol.
There’s just no way. He has physical limitations that prevent him from being good enough to make it into the NBA. It’s not a mental block it’s a fact.
But sometimes the excuses we make aren’t legitimate. For us to effectively analyze our excuses involves being 100% honest with ourselves. It’s easy to rationalize a reason for not doing what needs to be done. And most times, our excuses are just that, rationalizations or mental blocks that prevent us from doing what needs to be done.
A Marketers Excuses
I know this better than anyone. It took me three years to actually start creating content!
For me, creating content was probably my biggest mental block in marketing. I found that it could be broken down into 3 specific mental blocks.
At first, I wanted to do Instagram posts, then I thought about creating a Facebook group, YouTube videos, email marketing. But no matter what I did or how I marketed, I always struggled to create content.
Most of my free time before I became a marketer was dedicated to playing video games, smoking weed, and hanging out with my friends; Hardly marketer qualities.
It’s easy for someone to say. If you want to be a marketer than create content, drive traffic, and convert it into sales. But if you are like me, becoming productive can be difficult. It’s difficult to convince yourself to do work all day long instead of playing video games and smoking weed, especially when it becomes a hard habit to break. See what I’m saying?
This mental block is: not wanting to give up what’s already comfortable and safe, which was the environment I created and have come to trust.
The actions required to become a successful marketer are many, and they threaten the perceived reality of safety I created.
Marketing and success meant that a lazy ass like myself could not be lazy anymore. Watching Netflix, sitting in my room smoking weed with friends, was a coping mechanism used to make myself feel better from the harsh realities of the world. There is only so much time in a day. I could either cope or work.
If you are not yet at the level of productivity you want to be, then you have to elevate yourself to that level. And what you may not be aware of is that elevation usually involves you having to sacrifice some part of yourself to obtain or morph into something else. You can’t be lazy and hardworking at the same time. Actually, that’s kind of obvious, we just don’t think about it.
The 2nd mental block that I struggled with was trying to work the easiest and fastest way without putting any effort in. It’s ok to want to do things fast. And we all wish it were easier, but sometimes we just need to dig in and work however long it takes to produce results.
This might not be a mental block for some people. It might actually just be you being smart and productive. But at the time, I didn’t have a strong sense of work ethic. This is going to sound stupid, but I honestly didn’t know that hard work was a thing until I was like 23… I thought everyone successful made it mostly off of talent. So for me trying to find an easy way to do something was an excuse to half ass it and hope that it would make me rich somehow.
The mental block here was feeling like I wasn’t capable of succeeding in marketing or that I didn’t have the skill set to do it. Coming from the mental frame of poor work ethic, I felt overwhelmed when I tried to learn and practice marketing skill sets. Everything seemed way beyond what I could do. I mean I barely graduated from high school, how could I possibly succeed in marketing?
If you have this mental block, then first and foremost you got to want it bad enough. Bad enough to never give up, bad enough that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get it. Sure you may have your ups and downs, but you have to know deep down that you’re going to do this no matter what it takes. It needs to be a decision you make from the beginning. To decided something is to make a choice to follow through despite how you feel.
Here’s something else.
Even though I half assed it, I half assed in every which way a half asser could half ass, until I couldn’t half ass no more. You know what I learned by the end of that? I needed to work harder… That’s just where I was in life…
Why am I telling you this?
Because even though I half assed it. Actions are still actions and action no matter how small produce some sort of result.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when starting new because there is always so much to learn and understand when trying to obtain skill sets. However, it’s important to remember that out of chaos comes order, and efficiency. Anything that we learn in the beginning is hard. Staying committed enough to learn something in depth is what really matters most.
Although I half assed it, I was a committed half asser, and as a result, you are reading this blog.
In short. Stay committed, and you will pull through. Got it?
The 3rd mental block that I struggled with was fear that no one would like my content or think it’s good enough. I’m dyslexic, and I have always had a “not good enough” sort of complex. But we have to produce if we want to know how well our content will do otherwise how will we know how to make it better. And that goes for every project we work on in marketing.
Just because we like something or we think it’s good, doesn’t mean the market will care or that it will rank well. So we shouldn’t care what people think from an emotional perspective, and we shouldn’t take offense to that if they don’t, but we should from a logic perspective understand what works and what doesn’t so we can make our content better for our audience; if that makes sense.
Creativity is a beautiful thing. The more we get into the flow of creating, the more it ‘doesn’t matter what people think. There is always going to be someone out there who really likes the stuff we produce.
If you have this mental block, just put it out there and let your voice be heard loud and clear! And remember if you got haters, that means you’re doing something right. It’s the people that try to please everybody that end up pleasing nobody.
These mental blocks are my own personal ones. Just because I have them doesn’t mean you do too. The take away here is that you pay closer attention to your excuses and get into the habit of really analyzing whether your excuses are valid or not. Whether it’s valid or not is really up to you. You set your own standard for success, so you are the judge of that.
Do you have any mental blocks that are keeping you from success? Or maybe you have already overcome quite a few. Let me know In the comments below. I would love to hear your thoughts!
To your MASSIVE success
From one Extraordinary Marketer to another!