Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Mental Blocks

I have a long list of things I have mental blocks against -- including water over my head, diving into a pool, skiing downhill, and even learning music theory.

It used to include some things that I successfully mastered only to wonder why they were ever so difficult.  Like driving a stick-shift car, for example.  For years I told myself I would never be able to understand the relationship between the clutch and the gas pedal to the point where I could drive smoothly without stalling the car.  But then all of a sudden we had two standard-shift cars and I learned.

The gym has all sorts of equipment that looks “challenging” to me.  Just yesterday when I was working with Emily, she had me try something new.  You mount this thing using your upper body strength and it holds your legs while you are suspended in the air at an angle from your hips up (sort of like a bird ready to take off) so that you can do forward bends and then come back up.  Initially I was sure I couldn’t even get my body in place and it also scared me that it seemed like diving.  But then I did it and it was not all that hard and I even liked it.

We moved on to a machine that helps you do pull-ups assisted by your own weight.  How cool is that?  I panicked when she set it on the highest setting, not realizing that made it the easiest.  Once again as I initially reached up to hold onto the bar, I was sure I couldn’t pull my whole body weight up, but then I realized that with help I could.  My shoulders are sore today, but it felt good.

Then I moved on to my my music theory discussion and once again sensed that for some reason I have thrown up a mental barrier.  I have a mathematical mind and approach things quite logically, so there is no reason for this.  I hope one day to add this to the driving success story collection. 

So much of the success of doing something new is having someone to encourage you and approaching it with an expectation of success. 

Do you have any mental barriers?  Things you would one day love to master?


Blogger Steve said...

My rule is, I don't go anywhere there's no air. So SCUBA diving, for me, is out. (I will snorkle, though.)

Likewise, I've never wanted to go up in space. No way!

10:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd love to get past my internal message that I "can't play jazz," and am working on that one pro-actively. Would also like to get past my barrier to seeing and internalizing the positive in things; I tend to see the negative more easily! :-)


1:16 PM  
Blogger Pauline said...

Some day I will learn to swim, not only above but under water. I nearly drowned twice as a child and have an enormous fear of being submerged...

6:26 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

Anonymous F. - I definitely feel your pain! When I was studying classical piano in college, what I thought about playing jazz (which I very much wanted to do) was "You either have it or you don't." I wasn't able to jump the fence until I started playing bass and now, finally, I think I'm ready to do it on piano too. It still remains to be seen whether I'll find the time to do anything about this though. Best of luck - I hope I'll be following in your footsteps soon.

11:39 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Steve -- No scuba diving for me either.

Pauline -- If you only lived closer, we would be taking Swimming for Scaredies together at the rec center.

Anon F, Cyndy -- You would really enjoy each other's company. If Anon F ever comes to visit, the three of us will have to get together. Maybe we can play something written for 3 instruments!

12:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

B & Cyndy -- I do intend to visit someday, so let's plan on a 3-way hang! Yeah!

Cyndy, I play a lot of "non-classical" music, and most of it has come relatively readily over the years, but even though I play/teach some jazz, it's not so natural for me. This is a bigger topic than is suitable for a comment, but suffice to say that there's a pyscho-spiritual quality to this for me, and I began my personal jazz quest in earnest about 6 years ago, had to set it aside, and am now taking it up again.

May our respective Muses bless us all!


12:44 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

B&F: It would be fun to hang with you guys!

11:38 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I definitely have barriers, mental blocks, but I push at them every day.

9:06 AM  

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