Your prison – Learned Helplessness
What is learned helplessness?
Learned helplessness in simple terms is learning that you can’t do something. If you believe that you cannot do something you eventually stop trying. The problem with learned helplessness is that it imprisons us. Learned helplessness wraps us in limiting beliefs that stop us from reaching our full potential.
Why fight learned helplessness?
The reason why we must fight learned helplessness is simple. Very often we learn the wrong things! Maybe we learnt that we cannot do something because someone told us we cannot do it. Maybe we learnt that we cannot do something because we tried a few times and failed.
Henry Ford once said “The man who thinks he can and the man who thinks he can’t are both right. Which one are you?”
The biggest problem with learned helplessness is when we start to believe that we can’t even though others around us CAN.
When we make the possible, impossible. This is when we imprison ourselves.
How to fight learned helplessness
For this one time I am going to give you permission to question yourself, to doubt yourself!
- The first step to winning the fight against learned helplessness is to really question your limiting beliefs.
- The second step is to prove your limiting belief wrong.
Drop the T in Can’t
Questioning your beliefs
It is best to start with a goal you believe you cannot achieve. For example you may believe that you cannot achieve a particular weight, or get a particular job.
One of the best ways I have found to really question myself is to find out if someone else has already achieved what I am trying to achieve. I normally approach these people and ask them how they did it.
As you dig deep into the why and openly question your beliefs you will normally find smaller limiting beliefs.
As an example:
I cannot lose weight because I don’t have enough time to exercise.
I cannot lose weight because I have a slow metabolism.
I cannot lose weight because I do not have time to eat healthy.
The list goes on and as the list gets longer you start to find smaller limiting beliefs that are imprisoning you.
As an example “I cannot lose weight because I have a slow metabolism.”
This question actually has other smaller questions you need to ask, such as:
Do I really have a slow metabolism?
Can I speed up my metabolism?
Can people with a slow metabolism lose weight?
Proving your limiting belief wrong
Choose any one of your smaller limiting beliefs and promise yourself to prove yourself wrong! Pick the easiest one first. As an example you may choose:
Can I speed up my metabolism?
Simply typing “how to speed up your metabolism” into a search engine such as Google will provide you a lot of ways to speed up your metabolism.
You need to start proving yourself wrong!
For example building muscle will speed up your metabolism. Eating smaller portions more frequently speeds up metabolism. Drinking more water speeds up metabolism. There are many other ways to speed up your metabolism however these are some of the healthiest ways to start proving yourself wrong!
There are many ways to start unlearning helplessness. Each situation is different but these two simple steps and acknowledging that you may be suffering from learned helplessness is a great place to start!