How to Unclog Your Mental Pipes

Have you ever had that ‘I just can’t move forward’ type of feeling? You know, there’s this project you’re working on and you’ve given it your all in terms of creativity and conceptualizing . . . but the clients are asking for more. More options, more angles, more impact.

And there you are, shaking your head thinking: “I’m drained of ideas.”

Except that you’re not drained of ideas. What you are is clogged.

Last week we mentioned how the brain processes more quickly than any super computer in existence. There’s a lot of power flowing inside your mind. Ideas are forming and evaporating every moment of every day, and all you need is the ability to tap into that creativity and release your brilliance.

Here is a list of debris that can block your brilliant mind. Beware and work with care in terms of these inhibitors. Can you identify with anything on this list?

  • Emotions: Emotional blocks can include anything from a fear of risk taking to a tendency to judge or approach the problem with a negative attitude.
  • Distractions: Too much information, irrelevant information, or environmental distractions can prevent a productive brainstorming session.
  • Assumptions: If problem solvers assume there is only one correct solution, they will be unable to generate additional ideas. Assumptions also become mental blocks from stereotypes or perceived boundaries where none exist.
  • Culture: Culture defines the way we live and limits the ideas we may generate or consider. However, not every culture is the same. Sometimes the cultural blocks are unnecessary, and sometimes we do not consider cultural limitations when we should.
  • Communication difficulties: If we cannot communicate our ideas in some way – speaking, writing, or pictures – these communication difficulties can block our progress in generating ideas.


What’s the solution? How can you sweep away the mental debris? As we’ve discussed earlier with a few ideas to release your mind, the power of pausing can help put these aspects into perspective.


  • Emotions: Reflect and realize what you are feeling.
  • Distractions: Stop and review what is taking your time.
  • Assumptions: Look inside to realize your opinion, and then observe outside to realize it may not be the same for others.
  • Culture: Every culture places huge value on relaxation, meditation, recuperating . . . rest is not a luxury, with the variety of different pause methods, look around and find what fits best.
  • Communication: Before we can others, we need to quiet ourselves. Sit and breathe deeply, bring in that calmness and try to clear your mind. If at first you don’t succeed, try again. It gets easier with practise.

Your take away: Next time you feel stuck, take a break from the situation. Try letting your mind wander, or even better, try letting your mind clear. You’d be surprise what bursts of inspiration come from taking a break.

Let’s continue this conversation. Join us on Twitter, Facebook and Linkedin – with Sister Leadership, it’s all about forming connections.

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