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Self Improvement Sabotage

Self-Improvement Sabotage – Learned Helplessness

By  Dan Bimrose

Learned helplessness quite simply occurs when you have learned to believe that you are helpless in a particular situation. The end result is that you believe that no matter what you do the result is written in stone even though you may actually have the ability to change the outcome.

It is theorized that depression occurs when you perceive that you have no control over your life based in large part upon what has happened in the past.

It is my belief that mistakes and failures by definition are adjectives which describe past events. Therefore those of us who have chosen to grow and evolve into someone who is infinitely wiser than we once were, quite frankly, could care less about what happened in the past.

Sometimes it is easier to believe that there is no point in trying yet again to obtain that dream. It saves much effort and the risk of yet another failure. Perhaps we have learned from yet another mistake. Perhaps we choose another path or go at our dream from a different angle.

I have seen and known many people who have learned to accept their lot in life. Either they were taught this by people they trusted or they learned through repeated failure that there was no point in trying.

Thomas Edison’s teachers said he was “too stupid to learn anything.” He was fired from his first two jobs for being “non-productive.” As an inventor, Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.”

Can you imagine failing 1000 times and still be determined enough to try 1001 times. The definition of insanity is attempting something over and over again and expecting a different result. Perhaps this is why many genius’ often appear off their rocker.

Winston Churchill failed sixth grade. He was subsequently defeated in every election for public office until he became Prime Minister at the age of 62. He later wrote, “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never – in nothing, great or small, large or petty – never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never, Never, Never, Never give up.”

Many of us have suffered many let downs in our life. Many times I have attempted something and failed. Often I have vowed to just be content with whatever it is that I had. But slowly over time I forget that failure and start to believe that there is more. That I deserve more. That I can attain my dreams. And that it is way too early in the game to roll over and die.

Maybe, just maybe it is a little too early for you to do the same.

Dan Bimrose is the creator of [] a website devoted to helping people help themselves.  His “Attack Your Life” series aims to give people simple, easy to understand methods to profoundly change their lives.  Help with depression, anxiety and stress.

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