Monday, 26 January 2015
How to remove your self-imposed restrictions
A crucial question
Why are restraining beliefs so ingrained in society? What makes human beings support fantasies in word and deed? How is it possible that some people devote their energies to pretending that paralysis is an acceptable approach to living?
Three reasons explain why human beings are often deeply invested in immobility. Social convenience is the first, since it feels good to belong to the majority. Financial benefit is the second, since many doors are closed to those who ask uncomfortable questions. The third motive, fear of rejection, is perhaps the strongest.
Each of those justifications possesses extraordinary appeal on its own. All three combined are almost irresistible. Nevertheless, experience proves that, in the long run, doubt and psychological paralysis will destroy a man's life.
Social convenience can lead people to repress their best initiatives. The habit of seeking conformity deprives men of the force to pursue their dreams and stake their claims. However, the financial benefits of immobility, although sweet, tend to be short-lived.
In industrial societies, the negative consequences of rejection tend to be exaggerated by the media. Nowadays, global markets allow innovators to find their customers anywhere in the world even if their ideas are not appreciated by friends and neighbours.
Thinking for yourself is difficult in the face of opposition. The golden advantages of social convenience always seem, at first sight, the obvious choice, but conformity and passivity make man's happiness impossible. Becoming aware of long-term consequences of immobility and taking rational initiative mark the path to success.
Inaction and conformity have so many advantages that, for some people, they become the choice by default. Few are told that those short-term benefits are dwarfed by their lifetime costs. Seldom is the fact mentioned that long-term passivity wipes out man's capacity for attaining success and happiness.
Psychological immobility arises when people are overwhelmed by problems, threats, or obstacles that look insurmountable. Logic and evidence provide the means to dispute and eliminate from our mind the fallacies that feed mental passivity. Rationality is what allows a person to make reasonable calculations and take action to improve his life.
For instance, if you want to avoid psychological exhaustion, you should never take it personally when people do stupid things. Never allow yourself to be paralysed by the fact that other persons have made a large mistake.
Stand up and resume your efforts to attain success. Get back on your feet and avoid the temptation of passivity, since it produces nothing and leads to nothing. Motivational paralysis only serves to waste your life.
Make a point also to ignore gloomy predictions from the media, friends, or family. Most depressing statements are not true anyway and the world is not coming to an end. Do not join people wallowing in their misery. Never fall into immobility out of fear of things that, most likely, will never happen. Asses your alternatives, pick up the best, and begin to move in the right direction.
What looks today as universal malignancy often turns to be just another benign local problem that is quickly forgotten. What today seems a serious challenge has often little long-term significance. For those who refuse to be paralysed, catastrophes frequently contain the seed of profitable opportunities.
When people embrace passivity, that's the best time to take swift action. A crisis, personal or otherwise, should be faced through relentless initiative, not with immobility. Nobody but you can decide when a game is over.
Psychological paralysis is the worst enemy of achievement and happiness. Immobility is always a losing proposition. What you learn on bad days builds your creativity and strength of character. For those who remain alert and active, opportunities are created every minute.
For more information about rational living and personal development, I refer you to my book The 10 Principles of Rational Living
Image by duff_sf under Creative Commons Attribution License. See the license terms under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/us