Is it correct (or the best way to say) the expression I have a "lock" or "block", when talking about a emotional obstacle to start something (like a public presentation)?

  • 5
    I'd say you have "a mental block" about that activity. (Though fear of public speaking is a well-known and distinct psychological fear.)
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 10 '15 at 12:54
  • 4
    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it's erroneously conflating [mental] block with "lock". Sep 10 '15 at 13:00
  • 1
    Maybe you "freeze up"?
    – vstrong
    Sep 10 '15 at 13:02
  • 1
    You can have a lock on something you can block about something. I don't see why the OP's error requires his question be closed.
    – deadrat
    Sep 10 '15 at 14:09
  • 1
    The technical term for fear of public speaking is "glossophobia", though in the vernacular it is generally grouped in with "stage fright".
    – Hot Licks
    Sep 10 '15 at 16:36

You have a block. Examples: writer's block.

You could lock onto a topic. In Star Trek, they would "lock onto So-and-So's coordinates in preparation for beaming the person up or down.


Personally I think I would go with phobia

I have a phobia that prevents me from speaking in public.

or as mentioned in one of the comments mental block is also a good fit.

  • why the down vote?
    – user263399
    Sep 11 '15 at 12:34
  • I don't feel strongly enough to downvote, but I'll explain that I'm not upvoting this one because phobia is longer term than block. Also, the way one experiences the two things is quite different. Sep 12 '15 at 4:52
  • didn't realize letters were at a premium
    – user263399
    Sep 12 '15 at 11:05
  • 1
    I have to apologize -- I think I must have been sleepy when I wrote my comment. I meant stronger, not longer. Sep 14 '15 at 1:23

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