Worried about making huge leaps in your levels of health, wealth and happiness? Concerned that you might finally get it together, break out of that rut, escape the rat-race and start enjoying a life of blissful abundance and wellbeing?

It’s a common problem; more and more people, just like you, are making dramatic and lasting improvements in their lives, but fear not, help is at hand! This seven step survival guide will help you avoid the most prevalent pitfalls and keep you on track for ever decreasing vicious circles. So let’s dive right in:

1. Blame

Your number one strategy for staying stuck should always be blame, it’s so, so powerful.

What to do: 

Make absolutely certain that you blame someone or something for whatever situation you find yourself in. Whether that be your health, your finances, your relationships, your work or your general levels of satisfaction, happiness, fulfillment, peace, joy or anything else you care to measure, the key is to always hold someone or something outside of yourself responsible for everything that happens to you, everything you feel and experience. That way you lock yourself in to a completely powerless situation, where you are always relying on other people or circumstances to change in order for things to get better for you.

Your best options for blame:

  • Your parents
  • Your childhood
  • God

These should be your favourite, go to choices when looking for somewhere to place the blame. Why? They’re unchanging. You will always have or have had parents, who will always have said or done whatever it is that was so terrible it made your life this bad even to this day.

You will always have had a childhood: just make sure you don’t go doing too much work with your inner-child, especially staying away from anything like EFT or TAT, and you will always have this golden time to blame for everything that’s wrong now.

And God? Well if you believe in a God who would take such a personal interest in making your life as bad as it is, then the chances are he’s going to stick around to make sure it doesn’t get any better – so you can always blame him. If there are any blips of good fortune along the way you can always blame that on your God being temperamental and mysterious – it’s win-win.

Second choices for blame:

  • The government
  • The weather
  • The economy
  • Your boss / company
  • Your friends / family
  • Your education

If you really can’t find a way to pin the blame on your parents, childhood or God then try one of these, they’re all good. The only downside is that these are more likely to change, possibly undoing your carefully laid plans for not doing better.

Governments, weather and economies can be changeable, and have all been known to improve almost without warning. You might change jobs, make new friends or further your education and find yourself, suddenly, on an unbidden upward spiral of success.

To counter this danger, try to spread the blame around a bit. Have a backup blame in place, just in case one area should unexpectedly improve. Blame the economy and your education, or the government and your boss. Keep yourself covered.

What to avoid: 

Here are the pitfalls. Be sure not to have any truck with…

  • Personal responsibility
  • Open-minded discussion
  • Forgiveness

Personal responsibility – this is your biggest danger: As soon as you take full responsibility for any area of your life you start to put yourself in a strong, empowering position where you risk losing all claims of victim-hood.

When you stop blaming people or circumstances outside of yourself, you begin to take control of your life. You start to tap in to your infinite power to create your life exactly as you would like to experience it. Your levels of confidence, self esteem and deserving start to rise, and health, wealth and happiness loom on the horizon!

If you want to stay stuck, avoid personal responsibility at all costs.

Open-minded discussion. Moaning about how bad things are with people who will willingly join you in your misery is one thing. Open-minded discussion is quite another, and who knows where it might lead? The risk here is that you may start seeing new possibilities and opportunities, and even questioning your beliefs about who it is that needs to ‘do something about this’.

Open mind leads to expanded mind – stay closed if you want to stay stuck.

Forgiveness – just say no! The key here is, once you blame someone, make it stick. And the more angry or bitter you can be about it the better.

When you start forgiving people for the wrongs you perceive they may have done you, when you allow them to be who they are, doing the best they can from where they’re at, you experience a joyous, liberating, uplifting freedom.

You need not forgive people in person, or even in writing. In your head, consciously, energetically will do it.  The relief and freedom to live life on your own terms that comes from forgiveness will open up many possibilities.

A whole new life awaits for anyone who dares to drop the blame and start forgiving those who have wronged them. Did your 3rd grade music teacher tell you that you couldn’t sing? Be sure to hold on to things like that. Never sing again – that’ll show her! What’s the alternative? Let it go, forgive and forget, and sing your own song!

Forgiveness or blame – you can’t do both.

2. Worry

Are you a worrier? It seems to come naturally to many people, but here are some pointers in case you need to refine your skills in this area.

What to do:

Wherever possible try to follow any negative thoughts you may have to their logical conclusion, preferably blowing things up out of all proportion along the way. Of course you can’t think negatively all the time, so if you have any positive thoughts, do your best to invert them by adding a “yeah but” statement, and then chase that down to its, now illogical, but satisfyingly troublesome, conclusion.

Best subjects for worry:

  • Death
  • Financial ruin
  • Public Humiliation

Death might seem a little extreme at first but, once you get used to this way of thinking, you can get there surprisingly quickly from the most innocuous of beginnings. Here’s a typical example:

Hear that noise? It could have come from the basement. Probably just something settling from where the camping gear got stowed earlier. Yeah, but it might not be, it might be the boiler. It might break down, or blow up. Do boilers actually blow up? Well knowing my luck… yeah, it’ll probably blow up, destroying the house and killing everyone inside.

Of course you may wish to spend longer on it than this. Some awful alternatives and dreadful details will add spice and realism to your worrying. Take your time and enjoy the worrying journey as you head towards your terrible fate.

Note: If you believe that we all come from, and return to Source, and that death is nothing to fear, then this one isn’t going to work straight off. Fortunately it can be modified. Try replacing death with public speaking, the fear of which actually outranks death for some people. Worry that someone else might die and you have to speak at their funeral – that should do it!

Like death, financial ruin and public humiliation are quite extreme for most of us and the fear of them is great for inducing long term stress, your number one cause of continuing ill health. There’s a side benefit here too – you also get to worry about your worrying and the stress it’s causing – bonus!

Other worrying options:

  • Ill health
  • Loss of job
  • Getting old
  • Making mistakes
  • Not being good enough
  • Loosing / forgetting things

Good areas for worry in themselves, all having the potential to be disturbing, scary and stressful, but it gets better too. You will find that, with a little inventiveness, most subjects can be followed back to one or more of the top three:

Making a small mistake at work, will clearly lead to losing your job and income, and losing your house. Financial ruin and public humiliation quickly follow. Ill health and, ultimately, dying alone and penniless on the streets are the logical conclusion.

It’s good to have some variety though, so use the power of your your imagination. Constantly worrying about the same thing could be boring. Or it could be an OCD…!

What to avoid:

Be especially wary of any form of…

  • Visualisation
  • Daydreaming
  • Fantasising

The problem here, of course, is that if you’re a great worrier then you’ll also find it easy to slip into any or all of the above. Daydreaming and fantasising are simply your old friend worrying turned on its head: positive thoughts followed to their logical, joyful conclusion.

Doing something rather well at work leads to thoughts of praise from your boss. You’ll probably be in line for promotion, get a lot more money, join the management team and, before you know it, you’ll be heading up the company’s new office in the Bahamas. Oh dear!

Too much of this positive thinking and you’ll find yourself catching your negative thoughts, turning them round and dealing capably with the situation or solving the problem. Why waste good opportunities for worrying by imagining positive outcomes?

Visualisation takes this a stage further. Of course if you’re a natural worrier then this kind of strategic, formalised fantasising will come easily too, but beware! Visualisation is a powerful tool and even casual use of it may be enough to break you out of your rut and start experiencing a far more joyful and abundant life.

Go beyond that and you’re heading for real trouble. Sit down regularly to visualise the same result and you start to energise that thought and give it form. Your powerful subconscious mind will go to work to create what you imagine and, once again, health, wealth, happiness and whatever you desire are not too far away.

No, no! If you want to stay stuck, stay away from visualising. Instead let your subconscious be occupied with bringing you visions of your impending doom.

Imagine how good things could be or worry how badly they might go wrong. You can’t do both at once.

3. Negative Self-talk

Worry and blame are great, and here you get to put them together and direct them against yourself in a most insidious manner.

What to do:

The basics of negative self-talk are: 1) think that something is wrong, and 2) blame someone for it. However, instead of blaming someone else, this time you blame yourself. Ideally you want to imagine that something is terribly wrong with you, blame yourself for being that way, and then tell yourself, repeatedly, how bad you are for continuing to be like that.

Negative self talk is a versatile tool; it can be used in your head or spoken aloud to yourself or the world in general. It can also be used to great effect in conversation, where you will often find people to sympathise with, or even confirm and amplify, your low opinion of yourself.

When talking yourself down in this way remember, as much as possible, to generalise and universalise. The words ‘always’ and ‘never’ are your friends here: I ALWAYS get this wrong and, I NEVER remember that, are classic examples and should be used frequently.

Best areas for negative self-talk:

  • There’s something wrong with me
  • I’m not good enough
  • I don’t deserve…

The assumption that there is something fundamentally wrong with you, that you’re broken or damaged in some way, is a great basis for negative self-talk. This can serve you well when making statements such as “I can’t draw, sing, cook etc”. When possible try to universalise here as well, as in “I ALWAYS mess up my relationships” and “I can NEVER remember names”.

Repeated often enough, these statements start to take on a hypnotic quality. Your subconscious, open to suggestion and instruction as it is, will take them on board and go to work to make them true, often providing helpful images of past failure to confirm and compound your miserable state!

Remember also to disregard anything that might simply indicate a skill you have yet to acquire, such as reading a map, so: “I’ve never been able to read maps, I’m hopeless”. Note the implication that ‘I never have and so I never will‘, and the extra ‘I’m hopeless’ which confirms this as a personal fault rather than a missing skill, and adds a nice general downer for good measure.

Feelings of not being good enough or not deserving are quite common, but it really helps to make a frequent habit of confirming this to yourself. There is plenty of variety here, so be sure to avail yourself of as wide a range as possible. Not smart enough, too old, not fit enough, too set in my ways, not strong enough, not flexible enough, and so on.

Don’t be afraid to use actual or apparent opposites in close proximity. You can be too old for something one minute and too young the next, or not smart enough yet overqualified. It’s your mind that’s being programmed, so if you say it’s true, it is!

What to avoid:

When talking to, or about, yourself be sure to avoid saying anything positive, and specifically steer clear of:

  • Positive affirmations
  • Self praise or approval
  • Accepting compliments

It probably goes without saying, but positive affirmations are anathema to the negative self-talker. If you’re in the habit of talking to yourself a lot, and there’s really nothing wrong with that, as long as you remember to talk to other people too sometimes(!) then make sure your affirmations are strictly negative.

Repeating phrases like “I like myself” or “I love myself” and “I’m awesome” or “I’m a confident, capable, professional…” may seem harmless enough, but no! Over time these simple words can build your self esteem, improve your self image, increase your confidence, courage, conviction and have all manner of undesired effects. No, if you want to stay stuck, stick with the self-loathing.

Naturally you also need to avoid any form of self-praise. Major achievements are usually best ignored, simply roll straight into the next project without a break. Certainly don’t entertain any form of celebration.

Further, when you do something well, rather than recognising this, always try to find some fault with it. Perhaps you should have done it quicker, bigger or better – be sure to tell yourself so.

Comparison is useful here too: someone else might well have done a better job. No matter if the object of your comparison has year’s more experience, is better equipped or financed, or is a professional where you are just playing – criticise yourself for not being as good as them!

When someone compliments you, whether in an attempt to lift your spirits, or simply out of admiration for some skill, possession or attribute of yours, be sure to deflect or downplay their well-meaning words. If you won’t praise yourself then take care not to let others do it for you!

Counter such phrases as “Wow! You did an amazing job there.” with “Oh, it was nothing really” or “Well I just copied it from…”. The inevitable “I like your dress” or “Nice tie!” should always be greeted with “Oh this old thing? I just threw it on.”

Compliments of your physical appearance or natural talents can be particularly troublesome, especially if you wish to avoid offending the giver at the same time as avoiding the compliment. Have some stock answers lined up for such occasions.

Answering compliments of your appearance with “It’s this lighting that does it” or “I have a good makeup artist/stylist/plastic surgeon” is likely to go down far better than “I think you need glasses” while still nicely deflecting the praise!

Be careful out there!

Following these guidelines will stand you in good stead, but it’s a rich, abundant universe out there and you can’t be too careful. Opportunities for growth and connection abound, tempting you from the safety of your stuckness with the real promise of all your heart desires. Be on your guard!

Coming soon…

In part two of this article we shall examine the various merits of perfectionism, pessimism, friends and television and ponder the perils of positive association, action, self-help and desire.

Stay tuned, and stay safe!

IanB

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