In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing, the next best thing is the wrong thing, and the worst thing you can do is nothing – Theodore Roosevelt
In Unfu*k Yourself, Bishop explains the concept of Getting out of your head with a series of seven assertions:
I am willing.
I am wired to win.
I got this.
I embrace the uncertainty.
I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
I am relentless.
I expect nothing and accept everything.
Assertion One: I am Willing
Willingness is a state in which we can engage with life and see a situation from a new perspective. It starts with you and ends with you.
No one can make you willing, and you cannot move forward until you really are willing to make the next move. When you are finally willing, you can literally experience that willingness, that innate freedom that courses through your veins and similarly when you are not, the kind of primordial stuck-ness that halts, and presses down on you like some invisible weight on your chest.
In short, are you willing to stop living the life you have and start living the life you’re after? It ALL begins with the emergence of willingness, that liquid, constantly expanding and contracting state where life springs and cedes—and all of it is within you at the flick of a linguistic switch.
It does not matter what you’re facing in life, which obstacle you’re trying to overcome – if you are willing to generate that state of willingness, that’s your doorway to making the effort, taking the steps, dealing with the setbacks, and ultimately creating the progress and change in your life that you’re seeking.
Sometimes declaring your unwillingness can be just as powerful as declaring willingness. Are you willing to live with a body that’s unhealthy? No. Are you willing to continue living paycheck to paycheck? No. Are you willing to put up with unworkable, unsustainable relationships? No.
Unwillingness ignites resolve and determination. It provides an access to taking a robust and urgent approach to your situation. When you are unwilling it often represents a line in the sand where you are no longer willing to go back the way. Only when you’re unwilling to continue just simply existing, feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled, will you make the effort necessary to make a change.
Only when you’re unwilling to put up with the bullshit any longer will you grab your shovel and start digging. At times there is no greater motivation to change than the unwillingness to do “this” any longer. Which one works for you in your life currently? I am willing or I am unwilling? Can you see how being unwilling can potentially be just as powerful as being willing?
Face your reality. Once you adopt the mindset of “I am unwilling”, you will no longer be filled with guilt, resentment or regret every time you see something you think you “want”. You’ll be in a place where you are connected to and in tune with your real life and, if you really want to pursue those things in the future, you’ll be able to locate yourself from that reality and plot your road to accomplish them.
Assertion Two: I am wired to win.
Your brain is wired to win. It doesn’t just apply to your relationships. This dynamic is at play in your career, your fitness, your finances and everything else you do. You are hard wired to win.
You’re always winning because your brain is wired to. The trouble comes when what you really want—on a subconscious level—and what you say you want are different, sometimes radically so.
The path you follow through life is the one dictated by your deepest, most inconspicuous thoughts. Your brain is constantly pushing you along that path, whether it’s the one you would consciously choose to take or not.
Firstly, you have to uncover and realize the ways in which you have limited yourself. The kind of, “absolutes”, that you are currently unaware of. In short, the conclusions that you have come to about yourself, others and life itself. Those conclusions are the limit of your potential. It’s only when you have broken through those conclusions and can experience a life outside of your current existence that you start to understand the power of this phenomenon.
Right now, your mind is unconquerable when it comes to proving that you’re not worthy of love, that you’re lazy, or that you’ll always be out of shape or never have any money.
But if we change our thinking a little, we can use our mind’s unconquerable nature to act on all the positive goals and dreams we hold for ourselves. We are wired to win – we just have to point ourselves in the right direction so we can win at something we consciously choose.
We are wired to win. You are wired to win. Define your game, embrace the challenge and strive to understand yourself in deeper and more meaningful ways. True understanding of yourself and your personal constraints allows for ever-unfolding degrees of freedom and success.
The more aware you become of your hard wiring, the more space and opportunity become available in those areas. Step out there. Trust yourself, give yourself fully to your vast capacity for victory. Set yourself the challenge of winning in new and exciting ways. Demand your greatness of yourself and repeat after me: “I am wired to win”.
Assertion Three: I got this
The thing is, the negative experiences we have rarely stay contained to that one issue. They spread. Like a toxic chemical, they seep into all aspects of our lives. If you’re having financial trouble, you’ll either consciously or subconsciously stress about it at dinner, which means you don’t enjoy our meal. You start feeling on edge around family.
You feel resentful toward your spouse and distant from your children. You’re annoyed when your dog barks or when your neighbors make too much noise. Little things like traffic and long lines begin prompting your frustration.
In this life, you’ll sometimes have to do things you don’t want to, with people you don’t like, and in places you don’t care for. People will leave your life as quickly and easily as they come into it. You’ll lose money, things will break, and your dog will die. But you’ll get through it all, the good and the bad, just like you did in the past. You’ll stand there like the champion you are because they’re all just yet another passing scene in the movie that is your life’s story.
Face your problems as they come, one by one, give them the attention they need and move on. Bundling them all together into a morass of confusion and letting them overwhelm you just won’t help. It takes precision, patience and discipline of thought. Work through each item pragmatically and with a solution in mind. Remember, everything is solve-able, and if you can’t see a solution, it only means you haven’t worked it out yet.
Often the reason you can’t see the solution is because you’re too close to the problem. Zoom out a little, zoom out a LOT and look at the big picture. This is a similar phenomenon to what psychologists call “cognitive restructuring”—Shifting the way in which your problems are presenting themselves in your life.
Our minds naturally play tricks on us, twisting and distorting our thoughts in ways that are not always rational. Even though we’d like to think we’re always logical, we’re not. We’re at the mercy of cognitive biases, emotions and misconceptions and most of it is completely unseen by us. Sometimes we’re too close, too involved in it to even realize. It’s up to us to slow down, take a step back, and understand what’s really going on
You can handle this. It’s not going to kill you. Your life isn’t over. You’ve got plenty more left in the tank. Plenty. “I got this” doesn’t mean you have the perfect solution. It just means you have your hands on the wheel, you have a say in this just like you’ve had a say all along. I mean come on, you live for this shit! It’s not always pretty. It’s not always fun but you’ve got this.
We’re not just saying this to paper over the cracks or to make yourself feel a little better for a split second. Look at your track record; you’ve really got this! You’ll make it work, just like you always have. You had it then and you got it now. Get in touch with who you really are and say it. I got this. I got this. I got this
Assertion 4: I embrace the uncertainty.
Nothing is certain. You could go to sleep tonight and never wake up. You could get in your car and never make it to work. Certainty is a complete illusion. Voodoo. Some of you might find this terrible to think about, but it’s true. No matter how hard we may try, we can never predict exactly what life will bring. Our plans will falter at some point eventually. By running from uncertainty in search of certainty, we’re actually rejecting the one thing in life that is guaranteed in favor of something that’s nothing more than a fantasy.
In reality, even many of the things we think of as hard facts aren’t. They’re half-truths. They’re assumptions. They’re misinterpretations. They’re guesses. They’re based on cognitive biases, faulty information, or conditioning. Use science as an example. What we believed 5, 10 or 20 years ago has since been disproved. We have made radical leaps in understanding and those leaps are continuing every day. What we know today will one day be looked upon as archaic and outdated. Consider those same limits of understanding are everywhere in your life. If we can’t even be certain about what we “know” today, how can we know what will happen tomorrow?
The more we try to stay comfortable today, the more uncomfortable we’ll be tomorrow. There really is no destination, there is only exploring, exploring and exploring.
Do the things you normally wouldn’t. Shake up that daily routine. Dare to dream, dare to risk and startle your life into life. Start with simple things. Take a different route to work. Instead of bringing your lunch or eating at the same few places, try somewhere you’ve never been. Start a conversation with the waiter or cashier. Smile and say hello to the people you pass on the street, or give them a friendly nod. Talk to that girl or guy who caught your eye.
Instead of simply stretching our comfort zones, let’s blow the thing up completely. Try acting in a way you’d never think about acting. Doing something completely out of character would be a great start. Embrace that uncertainty and strike a blow for your future!
Assertion 5: I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.
“You are not defined by what’s inside your head. You are what you do. Your actions.”
You change your life by doing, not by thinking about doing. In fact, when you become closely associated with the actions you are taking, something magical starts to become apparent. Thoughts without actions are just that, thoughts and your negative thoughts about yourself, others or your circumstances will have no impact on your success as long as you leave them where they lie.
Assertion 6: I am Relentless
The key to becoming relentless is to focus on the problem in front of you. Give it your full attention. Become someone who progresses even when all seems lost. The answer is always out there; all you need to do is find it. Then you can move forward to your next obstacle. And you give that obstacle your full attention until it’s taken care of.
Then there’s the next and the next and the next. By doing this, you never have to wonder where you’re going. You’re not worried about how many miles you have left to walk. You become someone who loves obstacles rather than avoids them because obstacles are your keys to success and growth. You simply take one step at a time.
Relentless is the bodybuilder who goes to the gym for hours every day. Relentless is the prospective entrepreneur who has been ridiculed or rejected for their completely original idea but keeps pitching it anyway. Relentless is the overweight Mom who feels like she’s never going to get there. Relentless is the newly minted college graduate at the bottom of the corporate ladder barely making enough to pay her rent and yet staying at the office later than anyone else just to learn as much as she can. Relentless is you.
Assertion Seven: I expect nothing and accept everything
When you expect nothing, you’re living in the moment. You’re not worrying about the future or rejecting the past. You’re simply embracing your situation as it comes. When you accept everything, that doesn’t mean you are ok with it or that you agree with it, but simply that you are owning it and in charge of it. Remember you can always change something when you can take ownership and responsibility for it. Sometimes it’s the single most effective way of resolving your “stuff.” Own it!
Again, this doesn’t mean you need to put up with shitty or abusive relationships. But the only thing more unpredictable than one person is two unpredictable people. If you are in one of those kinds of relationships, it’s time for you to invoke the boat analogy. Stop rowing, the game has changed, shift your plan. Your partners, friends, and family members all have their own desires, perceptions, and feelings. While you’re thinking one thing, they’re more than likely thinking something completely different. That thing that’s got you feeling pissed may not have even registered on their radar. They could be completely oblivious to what’s going on with you.
Don’t expect victory or defeat. Plan for victory, learn from defeat. The expectation of people loving you or respecting you or a pointless exercise too. Be free to love them the way they are and be loved the way that they love you. Free yourself from the burden and melodrama of expectation, let the chips fall where they may. Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have.
Your job is to not get caught up in that crap, to stay out of the swamp of mediocrity and drama, to reach for your greatest self, your greatest potential and to challenge yourself to live that life every single day of it. Your life, your success, your happiness, really is in your own hands. The power to change, the power to let go, be adventurous and embrace your potential all lies within your reach. Remember, no one can save you, no one can shift you, all of that is your responsibility and what better time to embrace that change than now?
The Unfu*k Yourself Book is a no-nonsense straight to the point get your shit together, no one is coming to the rescue manual. All the Best Unfu*king Yourself. Don’t Settle: Live with Passion.
Buy the Book: Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and into Your Life by Gary John Bishop