Learned Helplessness #psychology #behaviormodification #spirituality #bodyandmind
April 7, 2016
If a tiger is put in a cage that is only large enough for it to walk in small circles, for two years, even if he gets put into a huge environment, the tiger is likely to only walk in those same small circles, thereafter. This behavior is called “learned helplessness.”
From Wikipedia: Learned helplessness is behavior typical of an organism (human or animal) that has endured repeated painful or otherwise adverse stimuli, which it was unable to escape or avoid. After such experience, the organism often fails to learn to escape in new situations where such behavior would be effective.
We can see this behavior in humans who have suffered traumatic events as children that seem to give up trying when faced with even the greatest of chances to better themselves. They self-sabotage and commit to less because their minds won’t let them outside of the old paradigm of confinement.
With this being said, how do we change the state of avoidance and belief from a situation that may have caused learned helplessness in our own lives?
I had a recent event in my own life that brought about a feeling of wanting to give up and not try. The event triggered the worst parts of my ego. It brought up insecurity, the need to be perfect to get love, and also pushed me into a dark and scary place.
I clearly needed to get help quickly, otherwise, I would have sunk even deeper into a depression, I’m sure. This, to me, was clearly a PTSD event that brought back some serious, old feelings of insecurity.
I was told that I did something wrong, when I didn’t believe I had. This was one person’s perception, but it was someone important to me. Nonetheless, I let his judgment of a situation cloud my entire mind, until I was curled up in my bed, holding my heart and asking for help from God.
In my quiet, I heard a kind voice say to me, “I have already helped you. I have given you the keys to the kingdom, to your creative mind. I have given you back the power that was stolen from you. USE IT!”
I remembered the scripture in the Bible where Jesus said, “Physician, heal yourself!” And I actually understood it was up to me to change my helplessness into power.
I brought myself back to the time when I was hiding in the closet as a child, one of the few places as a young kid that I felt safe. I remembered that little boy who experienced helplessness and the feeling of being unloved. Those exact feelings as a child mirrored what I felt in that moment. What I faced as an adult was nothing compared to the abuse of my childhood, but nonetheless, I had the same feelings of wanting to give up and quit. No matter how hard I tried, I felt unloved and wrong in the current situation. So, instead of facing my life, I hid in my closet. In this case, it was under my covers in my bed.
My prayer was simple, but effective, when I got the courage to finally pray it:
“I know that God is all in all; in the immensity of the universe and in the smallest memories of my past. The energy of love and creativity exists in God and has been passed to me as a child of the Creator. I firmly accept this challenge to be the man God created me to be. I reject the premise of old that would say that I am less than, not good enough, or my light is not bright enough for the world. I am all that God has made me and much more than I can imagine.
“What would I be without this old, negative thought that I am “not enough?” Would I be more powerful, unlimited in my resource, and flow in divine prosperity? Indeed, I would. So, I lift my eyes unto the source of all good and trust that I c0-abide as love, in love, and am always expressing as love. This I believe to be true about my current situation, as I face it as an adult, not as a hurt, young child.”
This year, if you desire to commit to a change for a New Year’s Resolution, do it with your MIND first. Remember, as in the title of my new book coming out just in time to help you with this (in March)… lol… that all change happens in your mind, first. You must change your Old Story, to make a consistent and long lasting change in Your Life.
Please be looking for “YOUR NEW STORY, YOUR NEW LIFE, Unlock Your Seven Spiritual Discoveries” in bookstores and in online bookstores in May or June of 2016!
Are you in need of Life or Spiritual Coaching? I’ve been a life coach and clinical hypnotherapist and minister of New Thought for 25 years. I do my sessions online, so you can even have your session in bed, so that you can go directly to sleep during the hypnosis session. You must have a laptop or a notebook to do these sessions, either on Skype or Facetime. You can give me a call at 954-253-6493. My fee is $95 for an hour.
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