If you found this useful, then you might also like my book on overcoming procrastination called, A Gentle Introduction to Beating Procrastination and Getting Focused, which is available as an eBook and paperback on Amazon.
Being creative in the workplace is not rocket science; it’s an achievable feat. Creativity in the workplace does more good to you than harm. It helps you make progressive flows in your work, enhances outputs and brings fulfillment to your work. As profitable as creativity in workplaces is, some forces will readily prevent you from being creative in your work. These forces are called mental roadblocks.
Mental roadblocks make it impossible for you to explore your creativity to the fullest, thereby hindering your optimum performance at the workplace. They also hinder your brain from making the right-thinking connections necessary for creativity. For you to have increased productivity through creativity, you have to deal with mental roadblocks. Dealing with mental roadblocks goes beyond the daily performance of routine tasks. In squarely dealing with mental roadblocks, you must face both the external and internal aspects of productive creativity. If you neglect the internal aspects in pursuits of the external aspects, you stay in the same spot of non-performance for a very long time. Productive creativity entails you deal with the internal issues – the mental roadblocks.
We shall travel this journey of dealing with mental roadblocks that hamper your productivity and creativity at work. When you deal with these mental roadblocks, nothing will ever slow you down from putting in your all and getting the best in your workplace.
COMMON MENTAL ROADBLOCKS
Some roadblocks hinder creativity at work common to most individuals. Let’s look at them.
Lack of Decision
Not taking a decision is termed indecision. Indecision can cause you a whole load of adverse outcomes. Indecision makes you value previous decisions made with the thought that the best decision you make about a situation determines your failure or success in it. When you don’t work on your priorities, indecision creeps in. The consequence is that you have no focus on accomplishing set goals. When you struggle with making the right decisions, then you cannot put in your best in a task. It leads to lack of interest in that task and hampers your creativity generally.
A fixed mindset gives you the picture that you have certain limitations on your abilities that you cannot overcome. The little success in the past will limit you from doing much more in the future. Although everyone is limited in some ways, a fixed mindset will close up to your mind to more significant levels of creativity as you will not be open to learning, going outside your comfort zone, going beyond previous successes, or experiencing total growth and development.
With this fixed mindset, you will not see beyond your limits and will be tied to them, thereby hindering the full discovery of your potentials and productivity.
Whenever you compare your achievements with those of others in the workplace, you allow their successes to overwhelm you and the opportunity to maximize your potentials. A comparison is as a result of thoughts that others do better than you do. You will engross yourself with the notion that you lack in the creativity needed to achieve success. When anyone achieves success before you, you take them as enemies but, doing this is detrimental as it will end up hampering your productivity at work. A comparison does no one any good; it will keep you in a prison of self-pity, remorse, panic, and inefficiency, as there are always individuals who are better and more skilled than you in one area or the other. A comparison will also make your achievements look meaningless when you look at others’ achievements. It can even make you give up. You need to understand that everyone has the opportunity for success, so, you too can be successful! Don’t let the roadblock of comparison dull your full creativity and productivity.
Vision enhances creativity. It is the ability to visualize inputs and match them against outcomes. When you go with a blurred vision to work or any other venture, it locks your creativity and makes you dogmatic on a perspective irrespective of its accuracy or not. With a blurred vision, you lose creativity and an objective thinking pattern, and this will have negative consequences. For example, a blurred vision will lock you to seeing only one particular way of achieving a goal while neglecting another better, faster, and more natural method of accomplishing the same goal. A blurred vision will also make you see problems as being more significant than you, thereby killing your morale to face them.
The ‘No Limits’ Mindset
The mental roadblock of the ‘no limits’ mindset combines many things, such as interests, endeavors, and over-estimation of your capabilities, despite the obvious picture of the opposites. It appears to be a tool, but, in the real sense, it is a roadblock. When this mental roadblock enslaves you, you will be engaged in activities without any tangible achievement. It keeps taking you around and around in circles without any progressive movement. As a result of your involvement in too many interests and projects at the same time, you will not make any meaningful progress, thus leading you to depression. A person with a ‘no limits’ mental roadblock will trap himself in non-performance as he did not put his full creativity and potentials to realistic or reasonable work.
Uncertainty implies deciding without setting out the exact, feasible plan for achieving something. It is a tremendous mental roadblock that hinders your creativity and stops you from executing your decisions and plans. When uncertainty creeps into your work, it overwhelms you and prevents you from exploring possible methods of carrying out a task. It makes your decision-making and task-execution ability deficient as you will wander from one idea to another without getting something meaningfully done.
Fear is a substantial roadblock that can completely paralyze your creativity and bring out the worst in you. It makes you feel unfit for a task at work. When you give in to fear, you close up all possibilities of being productive as you will withdraw yourself from attempts to perform tasks. Although fear can show up in various degrees, no amount of fear is healthy for you at work. No matter how skillful or talented you are, fear will cripple all your positive efforts and turn them into a mess. You need to identify and deal with it as a mental roadblock that can prevent the full expression of your creativity and productivity.
IDENTIFYING YOUR MENTAL ROADBLOCKS
Having established the fact that mental roadblocks will hamper your creativity and decrease your productivity, it is good to identify them. You might not be able to correctly decipher which particular mental roadblock(s) you are susceptible to because this may be quite an arduous exercise. If you are having difficulty in identifying your mental roadblock, I will help you out. Here is what you need to do:
- Identify an assignment related to your present goal or target.
- Install a timer for 15 minutes.
- Work on the identified assignment. There will be times you will feel like hesitating, slowing down, sighing, changing positions, or thinking about other things. Pause and pay attention to your thoughts. Whatever it tells you is the voice of your biggest mental roadblock.
- Pay attention to your inner voice and the patterns it takes. Take note of the repeating words and phrases. Also, check up on the feelings you get. Write down what you hear in your head and read it to your hearing. Don’t stop here. Do this for an extended period, and you will know the pattern. This pattern indicates your mental roadblocks.
HOW TO OVERCOME MENTAL ROADBLOCKS
The familiar nightmare of every professional in any field of work is a mental roadblock. They are detrimental to your productivity, yet they usually pop up their ugly heads when you are almost accomplishing a big task. You might have started out on a good note, making progress and nearly completed the task, but, suddenly, discouragement comes in, and you can’t continue again. It is what mental roadblocks can cause. Such an experience is not peculiar to you so don’t let them render you unproductive. Instead, do all you can to overcome them by accurately and effectively channeling your creative powers into profitable projects. Have mental roadblocks overwhelmed you? I will help you with these tested strategies in overcoming mental roadblocks.
Know the Sources of the Roadblocks in You
A journey of discovery is one into recovery. Discover the specific mental roadblocks that you have and know their causes and sources. If self-doubt is one of your roadblocks, know where it originates from by examining your values. When you successfully discover the sources of your mental roadblocks, you will be in the best position to continue dealing with them.
Get Engaged in Writing
When mental roadblocks come your way, go into a free-write session. Open a word document from your personal computer and write down whatever freely comes to your mind. This strategy is known as free-writing. Professional prose writers have used it to cover mental roadblocks to getting fresh ideas and zeal to keep on with a project. This technique will supply you with the needed energy to continue with your work. Keep doing this at every 10 to 15 minutes interval. Although it will look like rubbish initially, ideas will begin to flow as you continue. Gather similar statements together and use them in moving forward in your task.
Deal with Small Assignments First
When tiredness comes in, and the task at hand is overwhelming, all you need do is to take a little break and concentrate on tasks that are less tasking and demand little or no attention. You can engage yourself in tasks such as laundry, dishwashing, going through unread emails, or even organizing your shelf. With this strategy of taking up little tasks first, you build confidence and momentum to continue with them and even engage in more significant projects, thereby overcoming mental roadblocks that would have hindered you.
Learn Something New
Most professionals go over the same former strategies they have used before encountering mental roadblocks without a fresh perspective on doing the same tasks; it ought not to be so. A proven method you can simply use to overcome mental roadblocks to think outside the box. Engage yourself to new methods by learning something new, reading widely in and outside your field and also by brainstorming on new ideas and perspectives. Irrespective of the projects you need to accomplish, keep learning something new. It will help enhance your creativity and productivity.
Learn from Past Experiences
Past experiences are great teachers. Go down memory lane and recall those times when you had great happiness, zeal, and creativity in executing tasks. Look at the pictures and circumstances that can remind you of better days and visualize being there. With this, you can develop new energy and enthusiasm to keep you going at your chosen task at work. You will then be able to motivate yourself further to accomplish your project.
Have a Change of Environment
The state of your working space can promote mental roadblocks. When you are in a well-organized and tidy working environment, it improves your creativity. Know what will work best for you in your environment to bring out the best of your creativity but, if your mental roadblocks are hampering your creativity, you might have to change your environment. Get to a place where your feelings and activities will align properly to guarantee more productivity and creativity at work.
Leverage on Other People’s Ideas
You can easily overcome mental roadblocks by leveraging the ideas of others. Do not back out when mental roadblocks get you stuck in the process of accomplishing a task. Search the internet to see how professionals have overcome similar challenges. Get inspiration and understanding from their approaches and strategically apply them to yours.
Change your Thinking Pattern
Our thoughts and thinking patterns affect us. Negative thoughts will hamper creativity and promote mental roadblocks. What kind of thoughts flows through you? Are they negative or positive?
To overcome mental roadblocks, ensure you deal with negative thoughts that come to your mind. You need to deal with negative thoughts, such as the impossibility mindset, fear, and failure, etc. When you deal with such thoughts, you will overcome mental roadblocks that oppose your creativity and truncate your productivity at work.
I hope you have found this article useful. Overcoming mental roadblocks is critical to our success and creativity in all aspects of life. Learn to master these practices and you will see your productivity skyrocket. If you found this useful, then you might also like my book on overcoming procrastination called, A Gentle Introduction to Beating Procrastination and Getting Focused, which is available as an eBook and paperback on Amazon.