How to Get Over a Mental Block that Holds You Back

How to Get Over a Mental Block

If you clicked on this piece, you likely already understand the power of social media, yet why are so many of us scared to turn the camera around and share our world views?

Browsing the Instagram feeds of many well-known and successful female business leaders, you’ll notice a pattern: streams of adorable family moments and flawlessly curated snapshots with friends dominate their feeds. So, why do we hesitate to reveal our true selves? Why do we retreat from the spotlight, camera in hand? Could it be a fear of falling short? How must we overcome these mental blocks to embody our true selves and contribute to the world?

As women, we are unfortunately accustomed to being under constant scrutiny, starting from an early age. Our parents and teachers unknowingly used emotional manipulation to encourage “good” behavior. Although their intentions were in the right place, when our caregivers said, “I’d be so proud of you if…” and “I’ll be sad if you don’t….” we subconsciously learned that it is our responsibility to influence and control the emotional state of those around us.

Fast forward forty years, and grown women are scared to post on social media because others might misunderstand their intentions or make an incorrect assumption about the content. We continue to play small and withhold our unique perceptions and understandings by reliving our childhood programming.

How to Get Over a Mental Block

First, we must accept that we cannot control how others perceive us. Release these limiting thoughts. In fact, their perception of us reveals more about their character than ours. Hence the old adage, “Hurt people hurt people.” We can only see and value in others what we see and value in ourselves. If you share a video and someone thinks poorly of it, then we can safely assume that they experience negative self-talk, and we can view them with empathy and compassion. It’s easy to get lost in the trolling comments, so don’t even look at them.

Secondly, we must normalize the mistakes. They happen. We’ll never make progress if we want every detail to be just right. Perfection is the enemy of good, and our pursuit of perfection only slows our overall progress. Just press the publish button and get on with it. Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and author of Brave Not Perfect, encourages us to intentionally send low-stakes emails with typos as an exercise in normalizing mistakes.

Try it and notice the inner dialogue you experience around a simple typo. This simple activity reveals unnecessary anxiety about others’ perceptions of our abilities and worth.

I want to leave you with one final thought: the world needs to hear your message. Yes, yours.

There are no new ideas, only new ways of communicating them. So, get out there and start that Instagram account. Write that blog. Start the YouTube channel. Please tell us your perspective on real estate, teaching, education, mothering, being a partner or being single, tech, business, and being real. Share your wisdom with the world so that we can learn from you. We want to spend that time with you.

Are you experiencing a mental block or feeling stuck? Share your thoughts and comments below.

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Sarah Boyd is a PhD scientist turned tech entrepreneur. She has scaled multiple companies and boasts a diverse network of collaborators across entertainment, academia, government, non-profits, and the life science and tech industries. Sarah currently serves as the CEO of META Studios, a proudction how that specializes in cross-media development.


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