“Everyone is out to get me” – used to be one of my key beliefs.  That is, deep in my subconscious (and conscious mind) I was totally convinced that people were out to get me.

In fact, I had lots of proof.  Bosses being mean to me.  Kids beating me up at school.  Girls using / leaving me.  Teachers marking me unfairly. The list goes on.

Also, if someone was nice to me I had all this “Proof & Evidence” that this was untrue.  Now, guess what I wasn’t collecting evidence on? The amount of people who were very kind – and not out to get me.   After all – come on? If someone was “Acting Nice” – surely it was some scheme to take advantage of me?

Do you pick up a pattern? Years later I had.  What I was doing was that because I “Just Knew” people were out to get me, I was:

– Only Focusing on the bad stuff that happened to me.

– Deleting / Ignoring the positive things that happened to me.

I have really started to get into Neuro Linguisitic Programming (NLP) which teaches one about the power of beliefs.  That is – it makes the old cliche true:

– If you are Right or Wrong you are right.

Regardless of what you believe, i.e. there is a god, there isn’t a god, white people are bad, white people are good, people hate you, people love you etc – your “Ego” & “Mind” will justify it for you by selectively focusing you only on the “Evidence” in the world that supports it.

This can be good and bad.  The beliefs I had above did to some degree keep me out of danger, however it had the unwanted side-affects of isolating me – and worse; making it hard for me to relate to other people. My new belief is that:

– There are good and bad people out there. Just be careful.

This new belief protects me from the “Sharks in the fishing tank” as well as allows me to really build quality relationships. Not bad huh? I wish I learnt this stuff 10 years ago. Now…What other crappy beliefs do I have to take care of?

* Many thanks to Cynthia Lou from Flickr for the Poor Teddy Pic.


One response

  1. Hi Ed,

    We are all nutty in some aspect of our lives. You held beliefs that made you paranoid. You assumed people were out to get you thus you had your blinkers on and focused your attention on the “evidence” to support your assumption. But much of the evidence is distorted as you would have interpreted anyone’s behaviour towards you as a means to “get” you (e.g. “They are only being nice to be polite and they have an ulterior motive”). As you stated this had an impact on you relating to others and this was not helpful. I speculate that your unfortunate experience with bullies may have aided in the development of your unhelpful belief as you generalised the belief to everyone not just attributing it to the bullies.

    I teach people to look at the facts not mere interpretations for and against their unhelpful beliefs and the against column is often the longest. A logical way to challenge unhelpful beliefs is to ask yourself “If a friend came to me with the belief what would I advise them?” and follow that advise! It is so common for people not to practice what they preach thus setting up double standards in their belief systems.

    It is good to see you have devised a more realistic belief that there are good and bad people; and it is usually the not so good ones that are out to get you. This is reflection of them not you!

    There are people out there who love you for who you are.



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