Most of us have no clue how crazy we make ourselves, especially when it comes to relationships, weight loss, work issues, and our health.
Over the years, I’ve heard excuses that range from the sublime to the ridiculous. Nothing can change if we don’t first change the way we think about things. If you believe that you’ll never be happy or successful, then no matter what you do, you won’t ever feel happy or successful. This is because you focus all your energy on being right and finding people who support your beliefs. If you believe that certain people or events create your difficulties, then you’ll spend your time trying to change them instead of yourself, which is a pointless exercise.
The thing that needs to change is the way you see your obstacles. We all have thought traps, and identifying them is not easy. I have found some real epiphanies in the book “What Happy People Know” by Dr. Dan Baker. Dr. Baker is a psychologist who has been counseling for years. He realized later in his practice that most people wanted to keep telling the same stories as to why they felt miserable, unfulfilled or unappreciated. He decided it was time to confront his patients in a way that led them to discover how they sabotaged themselves.”
What most of us do is fall into four categories” he says. We are either victims, entitled, looking to be rescued, or seeking to blame someone or something for our woes.
The victim often portrays him or herself as always being taken advantage of. “No one cares”, it’s always me, are part of their usual dialogue.
Those who are entitled feel they deserve to have more, not have to wait for anything, or be acknowledged for just about anything they do.
The “rescue seekers are fixated at thinking someone is going to handle their problems, help them direct their life, or give them the answers to the challenges they might face.
Accountability is not a word they are familiar with. I was very invested in this “thought trap” until I finally realized that “no one was coming” and that I was in charge of my own life. Frightening at first, but incredibly freeing in the long run.
The blame game is something we’ve all heard about and I would almost guarantee that a great majority of us have used it to try to get off the hook for a variety of issues. It’s an easy one to get trapped by. After all why not use it to counter failing at a variety of things, like living with an abusive partner, gaining weight or staying in a job that is filled with stress and disrespect?
It allows us to forget that we are the captain of our own ship and that we have choices on how we perceive situations or individuals around us. We create our own feelings through the thoughts we have. Not an easy concept to engage in since many of us have been doing the same bit for a very long time and it essentially becomes automatic like an actor who has been in the same play for many years.
Change takes work and courage, but the exciting news is that you close the curtain on your performance, get new dialogue and voila, you have a new show that might just get you a standing ovation!