There is a story about Houdini, the great escape artist, trying to escape from a prison—and it goes something like this: Houdini was invited by a small town in the British Isles to try to escape from their newly built prison cell. Houdini, who’d mastered similar feats countless times before, gladly accepted.

As soon as he was placed in the cell, he immediately got to work trying to pick the lock. But before long, he realized this lock was nothing like the ones he had worked on before; he was stumped. After two hours with no results, he collapsed out of exhaustion, and landed against the cell door. To his confusion, the door immediately swung open.

Turns out, the cell door was never locked—a scenario that had not occurred to him.  It never crossed his mind that anyone would have left the door unlocked. No—in his mind, this lock was just different.

Many of us suffer from mental locks of our own. The question is: what do you do with those locks?  How do you unlock them in order to achieve your undiscovered potential?

As was the case with Houdini, much of this stems from our internal biases and beliefs, perhaps borne out of past experiences that have made a home in the corners of our subconscious minds. But without stepping out of those biases and beliefs and picking our own mental locks, we’ll never be able to question the norm to achieve new levels of success.

Some of this can be blamed on fear—fear of success, fear of the unknown, fear of being different, fear of feeling foolish. Fear, regardless of whatever it is that we fear, also plays an important role in the makeup of our biases.

So how do we overcome this? Truth is: it’s different for everyone. For me it’s about achieving clarity. It’s about asking questions like:
– What do I want? 
– Why do I want it?  
– What do I need to do to achieve it?
– Who can help me?

Most of the time the answer is right in front of my nose; it’s simply a matter of looking for it.

When we engage with clients here at J2, we often hear, “We have always done it this way.” But as their trusted advisor, it’s our job to show them that sometimes there is a better way. Similarly, it’s your job to challenge yourself to step outside the confines of fear and your own ingrained biases and jimmy free the emotional locks that are holding you back.

“Don’t let mental blocks control you. Set yourself free. Confront your fear and turn the mental blocks into building blocks.” — Roopleen

Have a great weekend.
-Vijay

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