The simplest way to overcome this is to put your fingers on the keyboard and move them. Write whatever you are thinking. Don’t stop until the screen has 100 words on it. I don’t know why this works, but it does. Maybe it’s the principle of momentum.
I started doing something similar when I get stuck. Just open a blank document and start typing whatever comes to mind. The output is usually nothing I can actually publish (well, except for that one time) but it helps to break whatever is keeping me blocked.
I attend ulpan classes two evenings a week to learn Hebrew. As you can imagine, the other people in my class come from different countries and there is a mix of languages in between the Hebrew lessons. Last night, our teacher wrote this on the board and it really appealed to me for a couple reasons which you probably noticed.
Yes oui כן
First it is the word “yes” in English, French and Hebrew. Secondly, it is also a play on US President Obama’s election slogan, “Yes we can!”. This isn’t so much a pro-Obama comment as it is just an appreciation for the play on words. If anything, the Obama link is a little ironic for me.
If you enjoy inspiring commencement speeches, watch this one by US Admiral William McRaven who inspired the 2014 graduate class with lessons he learned from basic SEAL training. The first lesson is to make your bed and it makes a lot of sense when he explains why.
I believe that we should do things that scare us and challenge us because that is how can take huge strides forward. This afternoon I worked on a memo for a client in which I advised my client on how to structure a particular software transaction. It was fairly different to the sort of work I have done before and it was very engaging. I had to think about the challenges facing the transaction in a new way and when I finished the memo I was struck by how inspired I felt.
The memo may not influence the negotiations (I’m not part of them at the moment) but the process of writing the memo and conceptualising the models I proposed left me thinking about how important it is not only to challenge yourself by facing your fears but also to do things through which you inspire yourself and, unashamedly, impress yourself with what you can do.
Oh, and screw humility at times like this. Humility has a role to play in human relationships but in your relationship with yourself, recognise how awesome you are and what incredible stuff you can do. Just don’t lose yourself in hubris, that is another beast.