How to beat blocks and leverage your secret mind

How to beat blocks and leverage your secret mind

By Seven Suphi,

For over a decade my niche area of expertise has been working with executives, teams and organisations to substantially improve behavioural performance. From that experience I know that the single most powerful accelerator or limiter to performance is Blocks. The first blog covered what Blocks are and their importance to performance. Here we are going to go into the detail of how they affect individuals, why they are important to eliminate, and how to eliminate them.

The reason Blocks are so powerful is because they usually have a far reaching influence on our lives. So, for example, a fear of failure or of rejection may affect many work scenarios as well as personal situations. Indeed a fear of failure is one of the biggest drivers for exceptional performance because no matter what is achieved it’s never enough.

So why is it important to eliminate Blocks if they can sometimes accelerate performance?

Partners, as other clever people, will find ways of coping with Blocks. Their effectiveness will vary, some Blocks may have a relatively straightforward work around, others are more like a pressure cooker needing substantial energy to keep in check. Equally, performance driven by Blocks is usually inconsistent over time or across the different areas of one’s life. It’s also important to bear in mind that negative emotions have been associated with illnesses, for example, anger with heart problems. So even though Blocks may create an insatiable appetite which can bring substantial behavioural performance, there are likely to be long-term consequences. What’s more, experiencing Blocks can be disconcerting because we seemingly have no control – emotions or thoughts just pop-up, it’s like someone or something else takes over and effort is needed to get back on track.

So how do we get that control?

Firstly, it’s important to understand that Blocks live in the unconscious and only visit the conscious. What does that mean? Right now you are probably still digesting your last meal. You are not conscious of it, yet it’s happening. Once it is totally completed you will feel hungry and the process will repeat. If you are asked where the keys to your home are the answer is likely to pop into your mind. Yet where was it stored just before the question was asked? It was in your unconscious, as with all your memories. When you move, the messages from your brain to your muscles are all done unconsciously. If you are asked to do a presentation in front of hundreds of people the chances are the emotion of fear would come up. Yet where was it just before?  No matter how clever you are, the majority of your behavioural performance is determined by your unconscious mind, it is the most powerful part of your body.

Unless you are one of those executives who actively leverages that power it is likely you have had glimpses of it: if you have ever gone to bed with a problem and woke up with the solution; or you may have had a challenge you have been grappling with and at random, while doing something completely different, the answer just pops into mind; or perhaps you have had a gut feel about someone or something, with no logical reasoning as to why it may be so, and much later realised that your gut was right.

So how can you tap into that power and actively leverage it?

This is a substantial area in its own right and the first step is to learn the language of the unconscious. To date, below are the key elements I believe to be true about our unconscious mind:

  1. It is literal, so positive specific language is essential: for example, if I said: “Do not think of a big fat pink elephant” you are likely to be thinking of one, and if not it’s likely to be that your conscious mind has quickly changed it to another colour or animal.
  2. It brings up negatives for resolution and wants the best for you: so when you are asked to do a presentation and the feeling of fear pops up, it’s likely to be because your unconscious is highlighting that there is an important issue here to be dealt with. By suppressing it you are just saving it for the next time such a situation arises.
  3. It is powerful and yet simple: it stores things in such a way that as long as you can access it you can change behaviour. The challenge is understanding the situation enough to ask the right question!

It is impossible to share over a decade of behavioural change experience in a blog, however, hopefully this information (together with the previous blogs) can help you on a journey of effectively communicating with, and leveraging, your unconscious mind.

My personal expertise has been to work with the mind and emotions however I know of at least one person who started a run with a Block and ended it completely free of it! By being open and actively experimenting he was able to achieve an amazing result completely independently.

The Challenge

Consider in more detail your previous two challenges: the scenario in the first blog; and the character perspective with additional insights in the second blog. As you consider those:

  1. Do you notice any Blocks that you may have overlooked: any negative emotions or limiting thoughts? If so, jot them down.
  2. Consider how much of an impact those Blocks have on your life?
  3. Set yourself an experiment that has you tap into and leverage your mind.

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About the author:

Seven is a behavioural change specialist, leadership expert, professional speaker, twice published author, founder and MD of Odyssey Solutions Ltd and has partnered with LexisNexis to further equip partners of law firms to win new business. 

Seven generally works with Partners, CEO’s, MD’s, Directors and Senior Executives on a one-to-one and workshop basis to help transform their performance.

Seven is in demand as an expert in her field and has appeared many times in the national media including being the expert presenter of the Virgin 1 six part documentary series The Naked Office and the coach who assisted Sue Perkins to build her confidence (in only forty five minutes) at a critical point on the BBC Maestro – Sue won.