What’s Holding You Back? Develop mental strength with this exercise

Yoo-Sun in NYC

A few months ago, I had the privilege of working with my friend Renita Kalhorn, a performance coach who works with Navy SEAL candidates, Fortune 500 executives, and entrepreneurs to perform at their best in any given situation. She uses the techniques and strategies from her Mental Six Pack Performance System to help her clients master their psychology and become more effective leaders. I liken her to a fitness coach for the brain.

I had previously shared with her the mental struggles I was experiencing with the growing responsibilities at work and home and I was lucky enough to get a couple hours to work with her when she was in New York.

In our session, we discovered that my biggest mental barrier was guilt associated with being perceived as selfish or self-absorbed.

This guilt has caused me to pull back from doing what I need to do for myself and my career and prevented me from progressing forward at the pace that I want. There’s so much we can psychoanalyze on the roots of this guilt but that’s for another post.

What I really want to share is the exercise she gave me to combat this mental barrier. Since doing it, I’ve felt multiple shifts in my mental strength and have seen faster gains in my work and personal life. I also found that no matter what your mental barrier, anyone can benefit from this exercise.

All of us have experienced wanting to do something positive for ourselves.

But if you’ve ever instinctively held yourself back from making it happen, then you’ll definitely have something to gain from doing this exercise with me.

Here it is:

Make a list of 10 outrageous requests you would normally never ask and request it of your family, friends, coworkers, and even complete strangers.

Your requests can be as realistic, unrealistic, related, or unrelated as you want. When I made my list, I started with a list of 10 names and brainstormed a request for each person. Here’s what my list looks like (without names).

My 10 Outrageous Requests
1. Request $50
2. Request to be chauffeured around so I can run errands
3. Request an hour of time from a busy professional for my networking benefit
4. Request breakfast in bed
5. Request a day of pampering
6. Request a leadership role for a project
7. Request a day off work
8. Request a day off home responsibilities
9. Request help on a project I’m working on
10. Request a free consultation with an expert I can’t afford

Some of my requests may be a bit ridiculous but I didn’t expect a yes to every request and that wasn’t the point. The point was to push myself past my mental barrier to make the outrageous requests no matter what the consequences. What’s the worst that happened? I got a weird look, a no, and then was asked why.

Ultimately, acting on my request list was a realization that it’s not my mental barrier that was holding me back. It was me holding onto the mental barrier that kept me from moving forward.

So if you’ve ever held yourself back from doing or getting what you want, I challenge you to make your list of outrageous requests and start building the mental strength to push past your own barriers.

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