How to overcome mental blocks and start manifesting your health goals
Mental blocks. Mindset barriers. Limiting beliefs.
We all have them at one time or another. They’re the anxious voices in the back of our minds whispering to us our secret fears, worries, and skepticisms. They are the voices that tap us on the shoulder at the most inopportune times and say, “Are you sure you can do this?”
And sometimes they don’t whisper at all. Instead they silently, subconsciously lead us astray. Before we know it we’ve yet again fallen off that healthy living bandwagon or failed to climb aboard at all without fully knowing why.
We may have the best of intentions, we may even have a plan, but if we’re facing some of these mental roadblocks, the going may be slow, stalled or even moving backward #yikes
This internal resistance can keep us on the struggle bus as we helplessly watch the wellness wagon pass us by.
Mental blocks remind me of Gandalf in the Lord Of The Rings
“You shall not pass!”
And we don’t. Over and over and over again.
Do not pass Go, do not collect $200
It’s frustrating! So what do we do about our mental blocks? Why do we develop them and how can they be overcome?
This post outlines 5 common limiting beliefs with regards to achieving our healthy living goals. In addition, we’ll discuss ways to analyze your thinking patterns, transform your behavioral responses and even hack your mind to overcome mental blocks and finally start manifesting your health goals.
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I don’t have time
This is probably the number one mental block people have that holds them back from implementing healthy changes.
Each time they even think about the time it will take to overcome food addictions or plan, shop for and prepare a healthy meal, or complete a workout, or perform self-care activities, their mind immediately throws up a mental block.
“I want to but it takes waaay too much time.”
“I work full-time! How can I possibly find the time to fit in a workout and prepare every meal myself?”
“I really want to make healthy changes but I can’t ever seem to find the time.”
As a busy mom myself, I completely understand this issue!
Of course, we realize that every person has the same number of hours in a day. Many other busy people have created successful, healthy lives for themselves, and we can too.
The truth is obvious. Time is relative. However, it’s not found, it’s made. Each one of us prioritizes what is important to us and makes time for it in our day.
If you were to honestly analyze how you spend your days, every moment (yep, down to the minute) there will probably be time spent on doing non-essential activities. Things like checking social media for the hundredth time, watching episode after episode on TV (thanks Netflix), or mindlessly surfing the internet.
We all do it at times and it’s a sneaky form of procrastination.
But why? What’s really going on here?
This mental block may stem from other, deeper fears and limiting beliefs which I unpack below.
I’ve tried in the past and failed. Why would this time be any different?
Ugh. This is a tough one. I get it. Fear of failure is normal. I can’t think of a single person why enjoys failing. But failure itself is, of course, also normal.
It’s how we handle failures and setbacks that defines whether or not we have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset, and can often predict whether or not we’ll ultimately succeed.
When you fail, do you tell yourself you ARE a failure? Do you secretly believe you’re incapable of change? Do you immediately decide it’s not worth it and give up?
Doing so points to a fixed mindset.
Thoughts and beliefs are powerful. If you think deep down you that can’t do this – change your eating patterns, get active, become more positive, grounded or anything else – you probably won’t.
And even worse, you’ll most likely continue to justify this belief to yourself. The mind likes to prove itself right, and it naturally resists change.
When you believe your abilities are fixed and you believe failing means you’re a failure, the best way to avoid humiliation or disappointment is to not try at all. Bad habits and limiting beliefs are often just a form of self-protection.
The reality is that people do not succeed because they never failed. They succeeded because they didn’t give up. When obstacles present themselves, whether internal or external, they figure out a way around them. When failure inevitably occurs they pick themselves up, dust themselves off and try again.
Think back on times you were successful in other areas of your life. What helped you get there? How were you able to succeed? What did you do differently?
Remind yourself of what you’re capable of!
I don’t even know where to begin, it’s so overwhelming!
Have I ever been here in the past!
If we’re just starting out in implementing healthy changes, the learning curve can be steep. Perhaps we’re trying this and that but not seeing the results we want. We’re not sure what works and what doesn’t.
It’s enough to make us throw up our hands in frustration!
All I can give you is my own personal experience and a little common sense wisdom.
There are 6 basic pillars of health that require our focus first and foremost. Neglect any of these areas and positive health outcomes may stall.
These include adequate rest, hydration and sunlight, a nutrient dense diet, regular physical activity and stress-management techniques.
However, I’m willing to bet you knew that already 😉 Healthy living isn’t always as complicated as many people make it out to be. What complicates it is the plethora of information we’re bombarded with every day.
If you’re just starting out or struggling, stick to the basics. Start with one or two areas you need to work on at a time. Keep it simple and be consistent.
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Really though, this mental block is nothing more than another limiting belief.
You may need to ask yourself why you’re actually feeling overwhelmed.
Are you putting too much on your plate and trying to do it all at once instead of taking one step at a time? Do you think you need to have ALL the information on healthy living so you can do it “just right”? (Otherwise, why bother at all, right?)
Overwhelm can easily stem from perfectionism or analysis paralysis.
The good news is you don’t have to have all the understanding of what healthy living is right away. I guarantee you know enough as it is, at least to get yourself started. Your situation may never be entirely ideal. That’s ok. Start where you are, but one thing is for sure – just start!
If you’re looking for simple strategies to start living a healthier, more holistic life, check out my post, The Ultimate Guide to Holistic Living for Beginners. 40+ health and wellness bloggers share their best tips, advice and even free guides to help you begin implementing healthy lifestyle changes.
It’s just too hard! I don’t have enough willpower or motivation.
Willpower and motivation have their place, but they’re certainly not the end all be all of success. In fact, relying on willpower or motivation alone is a setup for failure and frustration.
Motivation is a fickle thing. It can ebb and flow with our moods or our circumstances. We may be flying high one moment and ready to give up the next.
Willpower is easily depleted over the course of a day. This was demonstrated in a 2011 study of supreme court judges published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Early in the day, these judges were far more favorable of prisoners in their rulings. But as the day wore on, their judgments became far less favorable. The conclusion reached was that the judges suffered the effect of “mental depletion” or decision fatigue.
It’s the same for us.
Willpower is high in the morning but levels drop as the day goes on.
A far better strategy is to develop healthy habits. Habits (like brushing your teeth for instance) once instilled operate on autopilot. Eventually, you no longer waste energy thinking about how, when, where or why you’ll perform an action you just do it. (Do you waste time thinking about brushing your teeth? I didn’t think so!)
I’ve [never liked/ wasn’t raised/ wasn’t taught] how to [eat vegetables/ exercise regularly/ manage my emotions]. How am going to start liking or doing these things now?
This excuse (yes, it’s just an excuse) is something I’ve heard a few times from people before, which is why I included it, and it’s another sign of a fixed mindset.
The truth is, you probably won’t like doing these things at first (especially if you’re convinced you won’t to begin with!). You’re going to feel some level of internal resistance, that’s normal.
Again though, this is nothing more than a mental block, it’s not a legitimate reason not to do something.
Flip that negative thought on its head! Replace this mental block with a positive affirmation such as:
“Even though I wasn’t raised to eat healthy, I choose to learn how now. I embrace change and growth.”
“Even though I’ve never liked certain healthy foods, I choose to give them a chance. I’m capable of change just like anyone else.”
I’m scared/ doubtful/ worried. What will this change mean for me?
When it comes to achieving our healthy living goals, we may have mindset blocks centered around the fear of what accomplishing this change involves or even the fear of how our lives may be different once we get there.
What kind of time/effort/money is this change going to require of us? How will some of the relationships in our lives be affected? What will it take to maintain our results?
These worries are understandable. When I first began overhauling my diet, this was my number one mindset block. I was upset at what I thought at the time was giving up delicious, favorite foods and wasn’t sure I could stick with it in the long run. (You can read about my experience in this post.)
Allow yourself to consider these fears rather than ignore their existence. Sit down and think about it. Write your worries down, acknowledge them, unpack them.
Once you’ve done this, put those negative thoughts “on trial,” prove them WRONG. What is the truth of the situation? For every lie you tell yourself, write down the truth. Reread these truths to yourself often.
Our thoughts and feelings, while powerful, are not set in stone. Mental blocks are like locked doors or an obstacle laying across our roadway to health. Find the key or the path around, and you gain access to a new level of manifesting you may have previously thought impossible or at least very difficult.
Your mindset can either be your most powerful ally or your biggest saboteur!
[Read more about hacking your mind here: “Get Unstuck and Start Manifesting With This One Simple Technique”]
If you’re struggling to reach your goals or implement healthy habits, download my free 5-Day Mindset Reset Journal. Start tackling those mental blocks, fears, and limiting beliefs and unlocking your potential! (Plus learn a powerful psychological hack to reset your thinking pattern in minutes!)
What about you? What mental blocks cause you the most grief when it comes to achieving your health goals? Let me know in the comments!
Hi! I’m Liane, mindset coach and holistic nutritionist in training. I have a passion for all things natural, healthy and holistic. My aim is to inspire you on your healthy living journey by sharing simple, everyday holistic habits that can transform your well-being and life.