If anything characterizes the human mind, it is its ability to adapt to the environment. Unlike what happens with most other animal species, our behavior is marked much more by the way we decide to learn to act than by the actions genetically encoded in our DNA. In other words: the human being is characterized by his creativity, the freedom with which he chooses to take completely original paths of thought.
However, in our everyday life this creative potential is not always fully exploited. There are many psychological factors that limit it and which, if we manage to neutralize them, will leave behind all this breadth of thought and mental flexibility that our brain involves that in some cases we didn’t know we had.
That is why it is convenient to review our psychological habits and identify those ways of thinking that limit our imagination and reduce its scope.
Psychological habits that limit our thinking
The first thing to keep in mind to understand why there are ways of thinking that limit the possible mental pathways that we have chosen is that the human brain, despite an incredible amount of neurons (over 80 BILLION in an adult) resources to carry out its actions.
And yes, thought is also one of those psychological functions performed by the brain, because it does not exist outside of our body. It is not a question here of using 100% of our brain (which we already do constantly, despite what the myth of the 10% of the mind indicates), but of managing the biological resources of our nervous system well. that are already in use.
We must therefore choose the mental habits that best allow us to exploit the limited amount of resources in our brain with regard to move towards thinking that is as broad, flexible and creative as possible. And in order to do that, you must first identify the thought patterns that limit this flexibility. The main ones are as follows.
The term procrastination is familiar to very few people, but almost everyone knows its other name: “I’ll do it tomorrow” syndrome.. It’s a way of thinking that leads to constantly looking for excuses to postpone challenges.. However, the striking thing about procrastination is that it doesn’t just appear when we have to deal with complex issues; it can also slow down when performing simple tasks, such as spreading clothes or coming up with creative solutions to a situation to be resolved.
This is what makes the “I’ll do it tomorrow” syndrome limit our way of thinking; whenever we come to a point where we need to have some mental flexibility, the anticipation of that little effort can cause that task to be postponed, allowing us to continue in that state of ease in which our thinking is on track. the custom. And of course, by postponing creative thinking, the chances that we don’t face this little challenge increase dramatically.
Ruminating is a way of thinking that involves entering a loop of obsessive ideas where it is difficult for us to get out. For example, if something we have done recently makes us very ashamed of ourselves, it is possible that whatever we do, each thought will eventually bring us back to the memory of ourselves being ridiculed in front of others, which causes us to continue. to worry about. us for this incident and, therefore, predisposes us even more to evoke this experience in the future.
Rumination works in a relatively simple way: the more we think about an idea, picture or memory, the more likely it is that, automatically and unintentionally, this mental content will attack our consciousness again. This not only leads to an increase in anxiety, but also limits creativity, as it binds us to anxiety and the anticipated fear of “waking up” this memory again.
3. Excessive perfectionism
Often, perfectionism, far from being something that pushes us to constantly improve ourselves, prevents us from taking the first necessary steps to progress. If before you embark on a project that will require a lot of thought and a good dose of creativity you realize that you are spending a lot of time worrying about sticking to your self-esteem which could be a failure, it is possible that this psychological habit acts as an anchor.
4. Analysis paralysis
Analysis paralysis is a mental block that keeps us anchored in the decision-making phase. What characterizes this way of thinking is that it is often not seen as a problem, because the time spent choosing the best possible options is not seen as a stop, but with a need to ensure success by choosing what suits us best.
In other words, the paralysis of analysis is a kind of perfectionism set up in the electoral phase. We give up on choosing one of the options available to us because, in one way or another, we fear the possibility of failure; that’s why we prefer to stay in an earlier phase in which we can fantasize about success.
5. Blame others
Blaming others and the environment for all the bad things that happen to us is a sure way to stay where we are. Of course, it is not unreasonable that much of our problems are the fault of others, but if we focus all of our attention solely on the responsibilities of others, we will lose sight of the range of options among which we are. can choose.