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About Barriers – Nerdful Mind #119

April 24, 2022 by Simon Mannes

We all have mental barriers.

It starts with the filters in your head that dictate what you can say and doesn't end with the limits you set on what you can achieve in life.

If you are one of those people who value personal growth and constant learning, and I believe you are because you are reading this newsletter, then you'll notice these barriers.

Mental barriers are when you unintentionally and without obvious reason prevent yourself from doing something.

There are two main sources of barriers:

  • Some mental barriers come from your environment, like things your parents or teachers used to say. That's usually some society-wide thing related to your social or personal background. These are safe to examine and to (softly) break.
  • Others come from trauma and might need the help of a professional.

I only feel competent to talk about the first kind of barriers, so I'll focus on that in the next part. What I can say though about barriers coming from trauma is that to heal them, you need a safe environment, space and time, and often help from outside.

So how can we break environmentally created barriers?

Start by noticing them. These barriers often take the forms "People like me can't…", "I could never…", or "That's only for those people".

Find the value this barrier has for you. Everything our brain does makes sense if viewed from the right angle. For a barrier, this might be that you want to maintain the feeling of belonging to a certain group, or that you avoid the conflict with one of the people you think you'd need to explain yourself to.

Find out what this barrier stops you from doing that you want to do. Is there something for you beyond that boundary?

Let the barrier go and decide on the next step towards or over it. Write this step down. Do it.

“Poetry has never been the language of barriers, it's always been the language of bridges.” — Amanda Gorman

Reading Recommendations

How to Get More Committed to Yourself

“While it is easy to show up to appointments we make with other people … I’ve noticed that most people struggle with commitments they make with themselves. If you say you’re going to exercise, meditate, write, journal, work on a project … but then you don’t stick to that commitment …”

Overcoming Obstacles to Change: Part 1

“Change is really really hard. Were it easy, there would be no demand for the $10 billion self-help industry offering quick fixes. But why on earth is it so difficult? Just what is going on? […] A crucial, but usually overlooked, factor is that all behavior — even when apparently undesirable on the surface — makes sense and performs some useful function given our current view of the world.”

Socket Programming in Python (Guide)

“In this in-depth tutorial, you'll learn how to build a socket server and client with Python. By the end of this tutorial, you'll understand how to use the main functions and methods in Python's socket module to write your own networked client-server applications.”

Implementing TCP sockets yourself is an exceptional way to learn more about networking and about how the internet works on a lower level.

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Do a walking meditation.

You can do this the next time you go outside, or inside your apartment. Start by walking slowly and focusing on the sensations of each step for a few minutes. Increase your pace over time until you reach a comfortable walking speed. When your mind wanders, return to the sensations in your feet.

I've been trapped in bed this week because I was sick. On my first walk outdoors, it felt great to tune into my senses.

End Note

If you enjoy this newsletter, please share it with someone you know. Just forward them this email.

Have a great week


PS: What do you think about this? Please hit reply and let me know. I’m curious!