For much of my life I seem to have had some sort of mental constipation that stops me from functioning at my peak capacity. I have never figured out how to cure myself of it. I can overcome it for short periods of time, the longest of which got me back into school through a B.A. and a Ph.D., but it has long since faded. I had a coherent driving goal at that point in my life, but that's gone, and I'd like one back.
The title of this post is a statement I came up with in my last year of grad school as advice to a first year student in our research group. He was (and I assume still is) pretty smart, but was having some difficulty understanding some stuff. I knew he could get it, but his biggest problem was that he was convinced that it was supposed to be difficult. As a result, he was making the material much harder than it really was.
Essentially that's what I need to do - to get out of my own way. I'm pretty sure that I'm what's holding me back. When I was teaching highschool students a couple years ago, one of the things I told them was that "Most human failure is not a failure of ability, but of the will."
Funny how the person who gives advice is frequently the one who needs it most.