How You Can Overcome Mental Blocks

mental blocks, how to get over mental blocks, causes of mental block, types of mental blocks, mental block symptoms

How You Can Overcome Mental Blocks

Mental blocks are typical in any workplace, but they are especially common in high-stress ones. These blocks can cause people to overanalyze situations or feel mentally stuck, both of which are detrimental to their productivity at work and their general well-being. A mental block can make work feel tedious and uninspired, but having a good flow is vital for creativity and drive.

A mental block can manifest in various ways, such as imposter syndrome, unfinished projects, or stress. It can make it difficult to think outside the box and see more innovative approaches to problems. However, to overcome mental blocks, it is essential to understand the signs of mental blocks and develop strategies to get your flow back and improve your overall work performance and mental health.

Read further as we share tips on how to overcome mental blocks

What Are Mental Blocks?

A mental block is an emotion or concept that hinders progress and task completion, often resulting from stress or overwhelm. It is the inability to retain and recall information, often due to prolonged exposure to stress. Mental block is not to be confused with mental tiredness or fatigue, which can contribute but is not the primary cause.

Mental blocks often inhibit access to innate creative abilities and the ability to perform duties. It can occur anytime and to anyone, making tasks seem difficult or impossible. Despite going by various names, mental block presents the same difficulty: the inability to concentrate, think clearly, or reason coherently, which results in a lack of desire.

Causes of Mental Block

There are several thing that can be the root causes of mental blocks, they include:

#1. Being Tired and Confused

Some projects can cause stress because of how big they are. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when you look at a big job and don’t know where to start. This feeling of being overwhelmed can cause a mental block, which makes things even worse.

#2. Imposter Syndrome

Imposter syndrome is when a person feels like inadequate or unworthy, even though they have done well. This self-doubt could be so strong that it makes it hard for you to do the job.

#3. Perfectionism

According to the saying, “Perfection is the enemy of good.” Your standards are too high if you’re always hard on yourself and always want to please. The pursuit of perfection is demoralizing and often leads to creative impasses.

#4. Poor Health

Many people do not get enough sleep. When you don’t get enough sleep and are stressed, you’re sure to get mental blocks. Both not getting enough sleep and not eating well can cause mental decline.

#5. Depression

Depressed people frequently have cognitive impairments. Because of how severe depression is, you just don’t feel like doing anything. That can put the brakes on your thinking process.

#6. Exhaustion

Too many thoughts or too much work can make your mind tired, which can lead to mental blocks. When your brain is tired, it is more likely to be overstimulated, which can make it harder for you to think, make good decisions, be creative, and so on.

#7. Procrastination

Procrastinating means to put off doing something that you know you should do. It’s a way of thinking in which you put off doing something you need to do until the last possible moment. Because of the worry, stress, and guilt that will follow, your work will suffer.

#8. Clustered Workspace

Your lack of efficiency and inability to focus may be due to a cluttered office. When things aren’t in order at work, the stress hormone cortisol goes up. A cluttered desk is a surefire way to make work stressful and slow because if your visual brain is overloaded with things that have nothing to do with what you are doing, it may be hard for you to pay attention.

#9. Self-doubt

The most damaging thing that can lead to a mental block is crippling self-doubt. The worry comes from the fear that others will think you aren’t prepared for the job you’ve applied for. Because of this, you can’t think about anything but how bad you are and how much you fear being called out as inadequate.

Types of Mental Blocks

Mental blocks are invisible obstacles that stop people from being productive, creative, or motivated. They can happen in different situations and look different. Here are some different kinds of mental blocks you might face:

  • Value Conflict: This mental block occurs when a significant conflict exists between your values and the task. This conflict can impact your motivation, job satisfaction, and overall well-being.  This happens when a conflict between personal values and work-related tasks occurs. For example, if you are tasked with promoting a product that you believe is harmful, it can impact your motivation and overall well-being.
  • Emotional Block: Past experiences, traumas, or unresolved issues can create barriers to making decisions or solving problems.  Past experiences, traumas, or unresolved issues can create obstacles that hinder decision-making or problem-solving. Intense emotions such as fear, anger, or sadness can contribute to this block.
  • Knowledge or Skill Gap Block: This block arises when you lack the necessary knowledge or skills to tackle a particular task or problem.  This occurs when you need more essential knowledge or skills to tackle a specific task or problem. Not being equipped with the required information or abilities can make you feel stuck.
  • Environmental Block: An environmental block occurs when external factors in your surroundings hinder your ability to concentrate, think clearly, or be productive.
  • Self-imposed Pressure Block: The fear of failure, perfectionism, or high self-expectations can create immense stress and anxiety, leading to a mental block.  Fear of failure, perfectionism, or high self-expectations can create tremendous stress and anxiety, leading to a mental block.
  • Communication Blocks: Creative barriers can occur between individuals. When you work in a group, conflicts are unavoidable, and they may make it tough to do your best work. 

Mental Block Symptoms

Mental blocks indicates a disconnect between the mind and body, or the conscious and unconscious minds. The symptoms of mental blocks include:

  • Difficulty concentrating and remembering information
  • Difficulty planning
  • Problems with decision-making
  • Feelings of depression or persistent low mood
  • Sleep issues, including chronic fatigue, drowsiness, and insomnia 
  • Procrastination or putting off tasks

How to Get Over Mental Blocks

Are you having crippling mental blocks? Do you struggle to get work done? Then consider these tips on how to overcome mental blocks:

#1. Self-Reflection

When trying to overcome mental blocks, the first thing to do is to know what is causing the obstruction. You can only fix a problem by identifying the cause. Every time you hit a mental block, something is triggered, which is what you reflect on and determine.

By reflecting on the cause of your mental blocks, you’ll be able to notice an unhealthy or harmful pattern, which is what you will be working on.  Also, journaling can be a therapeutic tool for identifying mental blocks.

#2. Have a Plan

Now that you’ve identified the cause of your mental block, the next thing to do is plan how to overcome it. You’ll need a detailed and achievable plan. 

List everything you want to achieve within the day and add a timeframe. When making your list, set the more exhausting tasks for the morning, as you will likely be at your optimal state then. Additionally, divide your plans into smaller steps; doing so will help you complete the task more quickly, feel accomplished, and avoid being overwhelmed. 

Depending on what is causing your mental blocks, do the following:

  • Clustered Workspace: Clear the clutter from your workspace.

Your thoughts could become jumbled if your office could is not organized. Workplace tidiness has been shown to improve concentration and productivity. A well-organized desk dramatically enhances your ability to access your tools easily.

  • Exhaustion: Take breaks in between tasks

If you are exhausted, a break may be the best option for overcoming a mental block. Do something completely different that is not mentally tasking, like a fun game with friends. Taking a break allows you to clear your head and make new connections. You could nap to give your mind a chance to solve the problem while you sleep.  

  • A feeling of inadequacy: become more proficient.

One of the most common causes of creative block is an underlying sense of inadequacy. If you need more confidence in your ability to do a task, you should set aside time to study and prepare. You’ll develop the confidence to push through obstacles and improve your output with practice.

  • Environmental Block: Seek Other Perspectives

Getting caught up in one’s thoughts regarding a problem or task is usually to blame for a mental block. The more you expose yourself to new ideas, the more viewpoints and difficulties you’ll be able to solve in your profession. Try researching the topic by reading publications, talking to people, and conducting online research. Using a template to direct and outline your work is another excellent way to break through creative blocks.

  • Imposter Syndrome, perfectionism: Control Your inner chatter and calm your mind

Tune in to your internal dialogue so you can identify the limiting beliefs and attitudes preventing you from moving forward, whether fear, perfectionism, imposter syndrome, or some mix of these. Knowing these ways of thinking will help you overcome them. Physical activity, meditation, and journaling are all effective methods for quieting the mind and regaining control.  Doing any of these can result in you having more energy and being more productive. 

  • Are you feeling overwhelmed and anxious? Compartmentalize your work and use fear positively.

Overwhelmed minds can be unblocked by dividing work into manageable chunks and giving yourself early deadlines for essential tasks.  Anxiety can lead an individual to have preconceived notion of their failure which could lead to actual failure. However, you can use your anxiety by planning for your project’s positive and negative outcomes. The planning phase of a project greatly benefits from a thorough understanding of potential pitfalls.

#3. Reduce the Effect of Mental Blocks.

Mental blocks can have a positive impact on creative flow, but they can also hinder it. For instance, uncertainty can help evaluate options, analyzing actions, anticipating obstacles, and devising optimized strategies. However, that uncertainty can lead to low productivity.

To reduce the effects of such mental block and limit its influence on decision-making, you can identify the actual risk in the situation to help reduce fear and control reactions. When mental blocks arise jot it down and return to them later. that way you work flow will not be affected. This will help you trust yourself and continue with the necessary action.


How Long Can a Mental Block Last?

Mental blocks can last for varying durations, depending on the severity of the issue, emotional state, and resolution approach. They are an average human experience and can indicate underlying issues like stress or anxiety. Common causes include stress, anxiety, overwhelm, fatigue, perfectionism, and fear of failure.

Are Mental Blocks Normal?

Yes, mental blocks are normal. They hinder creativity, motivation, and productivity, affecting anyone regardless of profession or task. To identify a mental block, look for signs like difficulty concentrating, procrastination, lack of creativity, negative self-talk, and feeling stuck. Overcoming mental blocks does not usually require professional help however, if the block is persistent and severely impacts daily life, relationships, or work performance, professional help may be necessary.


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