/ Emotions & Self-Care

Understanding Emotional Roadblocks

When you hit a wall, talk to it.

An emotional roadblock is some kind of issue or problem that defies logic and you just can’t figure out. Examples:

  • You keep procrastinating on your taxes even though you know that you need to get them done and they aren’t that hard.
  • You just can’t figure out how to word your elevator pitch.
  • You keep going back and forth on a decision and you just can’t make up your mind.

Sometimes the changes growing a business brings are exciting; sometimes they are scary. To some parts of our mind, any change is scary, even if it might lead to a better situation.

When this kind of fear is unconsciously influencing our decisions, we may find ourselves avoiding things we know we need to do or going through a push-pull with ourselves.

There is no one-size-fits-all solution for these problems because the block is personal to you. The situation is familiar to many, but the cause this particular issue in your particular life is unique to you.

Our mind has many voices. Sometimes they argue.

Somewhere in the recesses of your mind is the logic behind your indecision, procrastination, or other issue. Some part of you is blocking some other part of you. The part of you that is vetoing has some reason for that–and it won’t let go until you can uncover its reasoning and understand it. The blocking is that part’s way of getting you to listen to its needs or ideas. But since it comes from an unconscious level of our brain, the only tools it has to work with are primitive–like avoidance and stonewalling.

The solution is self-investigation.

It’s surprisingly simple to communicate with these parts of ourselves, but it takes a non-linear approach that we aren’t used to using. Here are the steps to take:

  1. Approach the investigation with a curious, non-judging, open attitude. It is critical that the part of yourself you are approaching feels safe to communicate with you. That means no pressure, blame, or recrimination toward yourself. Take some time to center yourself and relax.
  2. Engage in some kind of communication with yourself, calling on that part of you to respond. Methods:
    1. Writing questions to yourself in a journal. You can start with something like, “So…I notice I’m procrastinating on my taxes. What’s going on in there?” Then get in touch with the procrastination-energy and write a response from that part of yourself. You’ll probably be surprised at all they have to say about the topic! Usually they will start out upset, and calm down as you listen. Ask open-ended questions to delve deeper.
    2. Creating an intuitive collage. Start with the intention to connect and understand the issue you are facing. Then comb through magazines for pictures that resonate with you. (You can do the same thing online using Flickr). Arrange the pictures in a collage. Then have a dialog with the collage, as if that collage represents the part of you that is involved with the issue. More details and examples of this process here.
  3. Sit with what you’ve learned and let it percolate in your mind. Creating a connection with your unconscious will start a ball rolling and new insights will bubble up.

Often this alone will leave you feeling like the issue has transformed and you no longer have the problem you thought you did.

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