Mental blocks are a gift! Did that just cause a “what!” reaction deep in your gut or tightening in your chest? If so, I completely understand your reaction but before you stop reading and think that I have no idea what I am talking about or clue what your child is going through, please take a deep breath and allow me to explain.
As a mental coach, when I speak to athletes dealing with mental blocks I can feel the emotional weight of what they are going through in every single word they speak. Oftentimes just seconds after I ask the question, “So tell me why you think you are talking to me today”, tears fill their eyes and begin streaming down their face”. They explain the struggle they are facing in their skills with a tight throat and so much weight and heartache in each word. It breaks my heart! They are stuck but refuse to give up their sport and want nothing more than to overcome their mental block.
In this post, I will be sharing with you a few truths that I tell my mental block athletes to help them see the light in a dark place. These mindset shifts help them feel lighter because they learn a more helpful way of thinking about mental blocks which allows them to move from hurt and frustration to encouraged and hopeful. If your child is currently struggling with a block I hope that they too find encouragement in these words so they can move forward in their skills with positivity.
3 Gifts That Come From Mental Blocks
#1 They make you stronger than the competition
What if it is possible that working through a mental block helps you become stronger than athletes whose skills flow effortlessly? Absolutely! Most of my athletes who are dealing with blocks feel left behind and less talented than their teammates and competitors because they are struggling. They fear pitying glances and thoughts from teammates which say they are not good enough and they do not belong.
First of all, they are ‘mindreading’ and do not know how their teammates feel or what they think (for more tips on overcoming social pressures visit mgpcoach.com/Overcoming_Social_Approval/).
Secondly, they are underestimating the power of learning to overcome challenges and setbacks. Working through their block is teaching them how to strengthen their mindset and push through tough times. Instead of fearing falling behind, think of working through the block as preparing them for incredible success in the future.
#2 You learn life lessons at a time when you have the support of family and friends
A common misconception is that mental blocks come out of nowhere and happen overnight. The truth is that blocks are the breaking point from a buildup of anxiety and fears caused by the way the athlete is processing the things going on around them. Fear of disappointing others, unrealistic expectations, irrational fears, and unhelpful perfectionist beliefs are common culprits that cause athletes to put unnecessary pressure on themselves. If it wasn’t a mental block it may be a mental breakdown in college or their career from pressures they put on themselves to be perfect and define success from the opinion of others. Mental blocks allow athletes the opportunity to reevaluate how they are processing what is going on around them and learn life skills that will help them in the future.
#3 You have the opportunity to be a positive influence on others
One of my favorite social media images is a mom doing pushups while her young daughter peers at her from around the corner. The text on the image reads “I thought about quitting but then realized who was watching.” Simply through the act of working through a mental block, you are modeling perseverance, integrity, and dedication.
When we work through challenges, we become uniquely qualified to help others through struggle. If you have dealt with a mental block as an athlete or parent you have a unique perspective that can encourage others who are struggling. You are quicker to offer empathy and understanding. It also allows others to relate to you and be more receptive to your support and feedback. Challenges are not a sign of weakness, they are an opportunity for you to elevate yourself along with those around you.
Now that you have the 3 Gifts of Mental Blocks and a new way of thinking about blocks, I hope that you can begin to feel a little lighter to help you move from hurt and frustration to encouraged and hopeful. If this post resonated with you and you’re ready to start seeing more encouragement and positivity in your life, I invite you to sign up for a no-cost Performance Check Session today by visiting mgpcoach.com/performancechecksession. You will learn how mental performance coaching can help you get unstuck and back to thriving in the sport you love but hurry because spots are limited!
Mental Performance Coaching is one of the fastest and most effective ways to create lasting change in your performance.
If you want to learn more and see if Mental Coaching is right for you, I invite you to schedule a 30-minute no-cost Performance Check Session.
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