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Running head: Borders inside Us

Borders inside Us

Jose Lopez

University of Texas at El Paso

RWS 1302

University of Texas at El Paso

Running head: Borders inside Us

Literature Review

Mental borders exist in every person, most of these borders are negative thoughts that limit

ourselves and affect us physically and mentally; even though we never think of any of these borders

they exist in every people, it doesn’t matter the age, race, or genre. These borders are like anchors

that the only thing that does is to hold us back, and indirectly make our lives harder than it should

be. For instance, the most common barrier that most foreign students had while studying in other

country is the language barrier, where learning a new language is not easy but with practice we

can learn. It may not a hundred percent but at least the sufficient to understand and talk to other

people, but in other situations where people move to another country for any reason they run in to

the same border. For most people this is a very hard obstacle so difficult that they prefer to ignore

it, because is easier to live in a world of lack of knowledge where they think that they can’t learn

this new language, and they begin to create excuses or in most of the time they create more barriers

to avoid the original border. This people convince them self’s that is impossible to learn a new

language for example because of his/her age decreases their learning skill that do not allowed them

to remember this new vocabulary, they don’t have time since all the time they are working, all this

barriers block their brain and something that it’s hard to accomplish with this barriers would make

It impossible to learn this new idiom. What if instead of finding an excuse we find a solution to

this border, like read a news article use a dictionary to translate every word where eventually you

would be able to recognize the word an know the meaning of that word and begin to understand

sentences of the article. In the future this person would be able to read not just the news but also

magazines or books; even do this person is not the best reader or speaker of this language, this

person is moving freely in the ocean that’s the point to demolish this barriers since our failures and
Running head: Borders inside Us
accomplishment lies in our brain and “it is not the quantity of life that matters it is the quality of

life” as seen in Philosophy of Life: Connecting Dots (2017). As is mention before mental border

can affects our daily lives but before there is three important questions need to be consider to

understand more about these barriers:

1. How do we create these borders?

2. Is it possible to overcome these borders?

3. What kind of mental borders exist?

The following review on literature will explain the psychology behind these mental borders,

emotions and conditions or factors that affects our way of thinking.

How do we create these borders?

It is hard to think that we have a problem even if we can’t see them, but these mental

barriers are created by self-examination where we look our conscience, and emotions. For instance

it is normal that everyone is afraid of something is part of the human being, this emotion is one of

the causes that deprives us to be successful in life, according to Bernardo Stamatas(2016), since

fear is a defense mechanism to protect us and by trying to do so, it help us to create mental borders

because when we get out of our comfort zone we feel unconfutable and we tend to think any

possible way to avoid that situation for instance a lot of students are scared to talk with their

professor and most of them prefer to ask their classmates instead knowing that they may are wrong.

For years theses students grow with this mentality and when they get to college this would affect

them in a negative way since they would struggle to learn if they can make it to college.

Moreover, another emotion that contribute that limit ourselves is the conformism as mention in by

the author Ashok Kumar Sood (physiological life 2015), by achieving part of the real goal for
Running head: Borders inside Us
some people they conscience feels relieve since once they reach certain comfort they don’t try to

advance anymore or keep working to finish their goals. Being conformist does not have any

positive sides just negatives because is too easy to convince them self’s that everything is fine and

there is no necessity to do an extra to finish or accomplish the next goal, limiting themselves to

keep learning or advance in life. Furthermore, in the video from Crash Course talks about Freud

theory of psychoanalysis where states that our personality realize on the “enduring conflict

between our impulses to do whatever we feel like, and our restrain to control these urges.”(Hank

Green, 2014), Fraud believes that depending on each person’s conscience every one reacts

different; leading to these people either overcome a new mental border or just ignore it, for

example negatives experiences, depending on the severity of this experience trying to live the

present without having accepted or having left behind this bad experience in the past would cause

mental barriers that would affect them in the future. Like during a vehicular accident ignoring the

fact of who is responsible or not been involved in this event can be traumatizing, so much that this

person may never would drive again because after experience this accident the subconscious would

remember all the emotions, such as fear, pain, anxiety etc.; by consequence the conscious would

be fulfil by panic or stress, all this is triggered in seconds and every time that the person do

something or remember the past leading to a mental barrier that would affect them in the future if

this border is not overcome(The power of your subconscious mind, 2011). This subconscious stage

is not just triggered by the bad experiences but also with the great ones making us to feel happiness,

but we tend to remember our failures, and bad experiences because it’s one way that we learn and

most of the times we try to not fall in the same errors that lead us to make our life’s harder than it

should be.
Running head: Borders inside Us
Is it possible to overcome these borders?

In this life is there is a solution to everything and for mental borders is not the exception,

according to the hypnotherapist and psychotherapist Marisa Peer, she mentions that there are four

strategies to collaborate with our mind that we need to be able to avoid or overcome any mental

barrier we may facing (Marisa Peer, 2015). The first one is the to collaborate with your mind,

because if we are not connected to our mind it would be impossible to overcome this problem; as

she mentions in the video every time that we talk to ourselves we communicate with our mind but

it’s so important that we need to say positives though. For instance, when we say a negative though

to ourselves like this homework is so hard or this job is so boring the only thing are we doing is

telling to our mind that we don’t like this job or we don’t want to do the homework so our mind

would not help us to accomplish since it would be try to avoid the homework or can make a

workday more difficult and longer than what should be done. But if we change this thoughts for

“I can do this homework” and “I love this job”, even if do you don’t mean it; because our mind

would start to believe that we really like what we do. If we apply this to any mental border would

be easier to overcome any situation like the language barrier mentioned before.

The second strategy is to “move the pleasure away from the pain”, Marisa Peer mention

that our mind how it works is that we try to avoid pain and would move on to the pleasure, we are

the only ones who can choose what its pleasure or pain in our minds for example, when we eat

spice food we tend to feel stomach pain but we told our mind that since was has spicy then we link

that food like pain where in reality could be anything else and we stop eating that plate, this also

happens when we face a mental border we tend link this border to pain either physically or mentally

so we try to avoid them, but if we link it to the pleasure part then our mind would not try to avoid

them instead would try to find the solution to it in order to feel the pleasure.
Running head: Borders inside Us
The third strategy is related to the first one because depending on how we picture this

mental border in our mind it would determine if we can demolish or not this border, as peer

commented when we picture and say negative thing to ourselves we would make our life harder.

We need to collaborate with our mind not just with positive thoughts but also with a positive

picture in our mind. Like flying in an airplane if we think in the worst-case scenarios we would

not enjoy the trip and inclusive the hold fieldtrip because we begin picturing the negative sides.

There is cases where people unfortunately had lost an extremity of their body this can be a

disability but never a mental barrier, for this people is so easy to make this mistake in their situation

since they picture themselves less than others, rejection from other people, or accepted by the

society, while in reality this should not be affecting them because there is a lot of role models that

even has any disability have found the way to be successful, for example there is runners that train,

they workout, and they do not have legs inclusive some of this runners compete in the

Paralympics. If we apply these strategies to picture ourselves by controlling our emotions,

convince us that we have the strength, say to ourselves that we can do anything and we can break

any barrier it doesn’t matter the size of the wall or the time to break it, by patience and a positive

and strong mind everything that seems impossible can be possible.

Lastly the last strategy is to make the unfamiliar into familiar and what is familiar

unfamiliar , because our minds how it works is that it loves what is familiar, every time that we

don’t feel uncomfortable it’s because we are familiar with the situation that we are living on,

basically our routine life is familiar since we always do it, but The constant fear of the unknown

is the what defines what is unfamiliar since we are afraid of anything that we don’t have control
Running head: Borders inside Us
or knowledge about it. But the problems are that we tend to make familiar everything that

contributes to a mental border. Like she procrastinates, no study after class, and eat unhealthy food

etc. subconsciously we familiar anything that contribute with a mental border for example for

many people is not possible to pay they education and most of them do not have any choice than

work in fast food restaurants, gas station or mall’s stores where they can earn money. In this

situation is very common that this people would prefer to work instead to back to college first

because they make familiar to earn money where they can be self-independent, buy whatever they

want, and secondly they are afraid to return to college to get a better job because they are unfamiliar

of being a college students, instead of make us familiar with the money we need to make it

unfamiliar and make familiar the idea of study any career it doesn’t have to be a prestigious college

first can start with a community college and then move on to other school to go to the next level

but is not obligatory but always picture yourself positive and change the way you think by seen

college something familiar where you can get a pleasure for any reason like think that when you

finish your first semester would give you peace, so every time when you finish a semester it would

not be so harder to take another semester and every time you think it get harder make it unfamiliar

so when you take the next one your mind would not remember how hard was the last semester and

even the next one is a little bit harder your mind would tell you that is like the first semester.

What kind of mental borders exist?

The human brain is so powerful since can store so much data that is impossible to

forget something we may not remember but it still sored in or brain so it’s impossible to have one

mental border because of this massive data and emotions but there is common mental barriers that

we tend to make to ourselves, which are the following discourage yourself to do new things or try

it, Unreasonable feelings, negative ideas, and hold our mind with negative experiences (Diario
Running head: Borders inside Us
Norte, 2016). Most people normally discourage themselves without thinking they just negate

themselves and they refuse to give it a try like when writing an essay to a scholarship most people

don’t do it not because they have money but because they say why write it if I’m not gone a win

against the other essays that maybe would be better than mine or why do it if there reward is not

too much, so at the end they are not even going to try to write it because they block themselves.

Moreover, the next mental border is the irrational beliefs, this often occurs when we feel

sadness, depression, or fear. Basically, everything that makes us feel negative emotions that makes

us to “ignore the positive, exaggerating the negative, and generalize” (Dra. Araceli Flores León,

2012). The Dra Flores gives a perfect example where she explains that when the things aren’t how

we wanted, we usually get used to it instead to trying to chance it, like when we feel anything

abnormal in our body but since we don’t feel pain or intervene with our daily activities then we

create this border to avoid thee doctor.

Another type is the negative ideas, as is mentioned before the negativity is the number one

factor that creates barriers, everything that is related to think, talk, imagine, and describe ourselves

in a negative way is going to lead us to create immensely barriers there is a lot of example such as

saying “I can’t” , “is too difficult”, “I don’t want to do it” ,”I’m not strong enough” etc. depending

on the situation and the personality of each person it may not affect them at all.

Moreover, a very common barrier that we face is to hold our mind with negative

experiences as is mention before is when we don’t leave the past behind, since is our past is like

an anchor that the only think that it does is to hold us back and its impossible to forget our past,

most metal borders are related to our experiences because when we suffer a negative experience

we try to avoid to repeat this mistake and then we create a border that unconsciously we block not

just that experience but also perform other activities related to this bad experience.
Running head: Borders inside Us
According to a survey asked to fourteen people about mental borders in order to know if

people Is aware or have experience any kind of mental border, these are the questions asked to the

surveyed: have you experienced any kind of mental border? if yes which experience, and if they

were capable to overcome this border? During this survey most of the time first it was give a

context before ask these questions like what a mental border is, and many examples. Four people

out of fourteen responded that they have no experienced any type of barrier or they were not sure

of having experienced anything like it, 10 out of fourteen say that they have experienced a mental,

but 3 of them denied to tell if they were able to overcome this border, and 6 of them said that they

face the language barrier and thanks to their schools, teacher, and other resources were able to

learn this new language may be not perfect but the necessary to continue with their education,

lastly this person struggles to move from his country to the united states where he has to leave

every thing behind and start new and learn how to adapt to this new environment in order to

construct a better future for him and family.

In summary mental borders even do they exist in our mind, not necessary means that we

have a problem. These borders are what defines who we are, without these borders everyone would

be the same with the same personality but as humans no one is the same, no matter how similar

we look there is always a difference. But some of them can limit our capacities, or inclusive can

affect our style of life since it does not allow us to make a change in our life. And in order to

eliminate these borders it’s so difficult to overcome because everything starts with ourselves, our

way of thinking, habits, economic situation, and people that surround us. Since this affect our way

of thinking and lead us to either think in a positive or negative way, and in order to overcome these

mental borders is to live the present don’t think about your past, everything happens for a reason

and it doesn’t matter if was a great or bad experience, learn to avoid the same mistakes but at the
Running head: Borders inside Us
same time know yourself all your ups and downs and always picture yourself as a person that is

not afraid of anything, that you are capable to do everything that you want, and every time that

you are out of your comfort zone always try to think in all those memories that makes you feel that

your are familiar and related to that moment that you fell uncomfortable. and most importantly

recognize that you have a mental border it doesn’t matter how you end up with it, what matters is

that you are conscious that there is an obstacle that you need to overwhelmed and use all the

resources to accomplish it.

Running head: Borders inside Us

- Kumar Sood, Ashok (2015) Philosophy of Life: Connecting Dots

- Bernardo, Alfredo (2011) nudos mentales retrieved from

-Murphy, Joseph () the power of your subconscious mind retrieved from

- Peer, Marisa (2015/ 1/ 22) To reach beyond your limits by training your mind retrieved from

Green Hank - (2014/ 7/14) Rorschach & Freudians: Crash Course Psychology #21 retrieved from

- Flores, Araceli (2012) retrieved from


- Diario Norte (2016) Retrieved from