Opening The Door: Creatively Beating Mental Blocks

There’s a dream inside you that you have always wanted to realize. 

You know the one I’m talking about. 

It’s the dream that you think about when you can’t get to sleep or when you are daydreaming at work. 

But for some reason, you have decided that that dream isn’t realistic. 

Maybe someone told you it would never work out. 

Maybe you decided that you don’t have the finances or time to make it happen. 

In any case, whatever narrative you have told yourself about why that dream will never work is probably not true. Most of the barriers to success that we identify are not as concrete as we think they are. 

In episode 222 of the More Than Corporate podcast, host Amber Fuhriman discusses all of the ways that we can hold ourselves back from accomplishment. In this article, we are going to take a deep dive into techniques to beat those mental barriers. 

Our mental barriers are like a brick wall. Running into the wall, again and again, will never help us. Instead, we need to build ourselves the tools to get over the wall and reach our dream. 

If you are staring down the towering wall of a mental block, here are five tools that you can use to break down the wall.

  1. Assess your resources
  2. Find a mentor
  3. Research
  4. Create a plan
  5. Take a baby step

This process is a great process to go through even if you feel pretty sure that you will not succeed, and even if you are not totally sure if this is the right dream for you.

Assess Your Resources

So often, when we have a dream, we think quickly “could I do this?” And so often, we give ourselves a false negative. 


Because we do not take the time to think fully and critically about what resources we would need to achieve that goal and what resources we have. 

Your first step to breaking down a mental block between you and a goal should be looking at the difference between the resources you have and the ones you need. 

Make a list of both. Then, think creatively about which resources you could use to fill all of your needs. 

For example, let’s say you want to run a marathon, but you need a personal trainer. Before writing it off and saying “well I don’t have the money to hire one,” think. 

Do you have someone in your life who could guide you on the journey for free? Are there any inexpensive running clubs that you could join?

The Resources To Open Doors

“What doors do you think are closed? What made you think they’re closed?” 

Find A Mentor

In previous articles, we have talked about how important it is to find mentors for all of the aspects of your life. 

As you analyze the resources you need to break down that wall and accomplish the dream, think about the type of mentor that you would need for that project and whether there is anyone in your life who could fulfill that role. 

A mentor should be someone who has achieved the thing that you are hoping to achieve or has done something very similar. There are a lot of stereotypes about who will make a good mentor, and you might need to break down those stereotypes to find your mentor. 

Mentors can be younger than you or they can have a different background from you. The most essential thing is that you share a single dream.

The Best Mentors

“There will always be people who can help you achieve your goals, but sometimes you have to look hard and think outside the box. Online communities are another great place to start looking for mentors if you have an unusual goal.”


Now, it’s time to get into the weeds. Find out as much as you can about what it would take to meet that goal. As a dream becomes a goal and a goal becomes your future, you need to think more and more realistically and logistically. 

However, make sure that you do not discourage yourself in the name of thinking realistically. Move through your research step by step, finding issues and finding solutions to those issues as they come up.

As you become more aware of the steps that you will have to take, you will be in danger of getting overwhelmed. This is where having a mentor or advisor is such an important step.

Growing Our Awareness

“We have levels of awareness that we go through along our journey to success.”

Create A Plan

As you move through your research, understanding all of the steps that it will take for you to make it to your goal, you should create a plan out of those steps. 

Your plan should be specific and contain a long series of measurable steps. Think specifically, not abstractly, and set yourself a series of stops along the way where you can check-in and celebrate your progress. 

Let the plan be a tool to motivate you, not discourage you. Plan in places where you can reward yourself for your accomplishments so that even if you do not make it to the finish line, you will be proud of the work you have done.

Using Planning To Break Mental Blocks

“Usually, what holds us back is completely in our head.”

Take A Baby Step

This is the scariest and most important thing: this five-step process is taking the first step toward your dream. Sometimes, even if we have done all of the prep work of assessing our resources, finding a mentor, and researching our goal, this first step can be scary. 

If you are scared, that’s alright. Remember two things:

  1. You can take the first step toward a dream and change your mind. Just because you start on a process doesn’t mean you are married to the end product.
  2. Your first step can be small. It can be reaching out to a program to get more information or starting to train independently for that physical challenge you want to try. 

If you can take that first step, you have already broken down the wall and proven to yourself that you have everything you need to achieve your goals. 

The First Step

“Sometimes, all we need to help us open that door is the push to take that first step. Once you have taken that first step–no matter how small–the rest of the journey will be easier.”

What Next?

So you’ve built the ladder that will take you over the wall of your mental block. Now what? 

These five steps that we have given you in this article are also great guidance for when you get stuck later in the process. 

If you are working through your plan step by step and you reach another barrier where you think “I just can’t do it!” It’s time to go back to thinking about who and what resources you have at your disposal, researching your goals, creating a plan, and taking one step. 


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