Do you suffer from Brain Constipation
Updated: Oct 9, 2019
I was working with a coaching client a few weeks ago, and we were laying out her strategies and plans for marketing her business. We came to content building and there was a block. We've all felt it. That moment when you are staring at the blinking cursor on your monitor. The blinking cursor that seems to say to you… I don’t have all day, let’s get going! While I was working with her, this concept of brain constipation came to my mind.
We’ve all had that moment where a fantastic idea just pops into our head, but we are busy with other things. We tell ourselves, I’ll work on it later or I’ll write it down in a bit. Then the moment comes to work with that thought, and as fast as that beautiful gem of inspiration popped into our minds it fell right back out. The mind becomes as blank as that screen with the blinking cursor. So how do we move past that feeling of being blocked? How do we turn a blank screen or a blank piece of paper into thoughts we can use?
Here is a few of the tips that I personally use. First, I’m old school, I don’t do well with a computer screen. I need good old fashioned pen and paper. I need to write, draw, scribble and so much more when I’m dumping ideas out. I dump every idea whether it’s a good one or not, you never know what “bad idea” you may end up using later with great results.
Second, get creative. In the book by Brene Brown, the Gifts of Imperfection, she talks about the lack of creativity in an adult world. How we are all so focused on what needs done, we forget to ‘play’ or ‘create’. I struggled often from brain blockages. It was frustrating, maddening and worst of all, it created a sense of overwhelm that didn’t need to be there. Now when I’m completely blocked or struggling, I do something creative. Do I have amazing artistic talents? Heck no! But I enjoy colors and energy and freedom of the brain. Whether you pick up a set of paints, an adult coloring book, frosting on a cupcake or even a package of Mr Sketch markers and a flip chart (my personal favorite). You just start doing. Doing without thought. Doing without pressure. Doing without consequence. It’s very possible that you may down right shock yourself with what you can accomplish.
Third, push that perfection paralysis right out of the way! Done is better than perfect. How many times have you stepped back from something in your business because you weren’t the best at it? I know I did. There were opportunities I shied away from because I didn’t have the body I wanted, the perception of skills I thought were needed and definitely conversations I didn’t think I would be equipped to handle. Looking back I shutter to think how much further ahead I would have been, or how much more fun my journey would have been. Women in particular tend to be extra hard on themselves in trying to “perfect” everything. Here’s a really good way of looking at it. No one is perfect, yet everyone is. We are all perfectly imperfect. To the outside world they will never know if you forgot one of the points you wanted to make in a speech, missed an event because you had too many other commitments booked or even if you didn’t create the most perfectly worded and grammatically correct email. Did you see how long that last sentence was? No one is going to do everything perfectly every single time. Just do it. Just put pen to paper, clear your mind and make room for it to flow.
Four, not sure what should go on the paper? That’s often the hardest part of getting started. When you have a problem starting, pick a frustration and then start answering the questions, for how you can unfrustrate people. In the picture at the top of the email, I just wrote “brain dump”. I had been asked previously, how to do a brain dump. I wrote the words at the top and then I stared at the page. Then I started to write how I felt – hence the constipated brain. Then I start writing the why it’s hard to do. Part way down the page I picked a different marker (part of my creative flow) and started to write the how, and in a third color I shared the what of the process. In between when the answers wouldn’t come, I drew pictures, and doodles – I told you I wasn’t a great artist. The more I drew pictures, the more the ideas came. Not because I was thinking about the answers, but rather because I wasn’t. It’s important to remember not everything has to have a reason.
Finally, when all else fails, reach out to someone for help. While it’s great to have a cheerleader, it’s also a good idea to surround yourself with people (and possibly coaches) who will challenge you in a positive way. Surround yourself with people who ask questions, questions will often give you the biggest piece of inspiration. Use the questions that people have about you and your business to be the starting place for your next brain dump. Just from the notes on the picture I have a whole week worth of content ready to go, and a few left over for the next time I want to touch on this topic.
If you need help to unstick your brain reach out to me. I would love to help you find the flow in your business.