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Mental Barriers, How Habits Restrain Your Potential

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posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 01:23 PM
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As some of you may know, I practice Buddhism with the Triratna Order and attend meditation and Dhamma studies with the monks and other followers. I am what is considered a 'friend' of the Order and have not been officially classed as a Buddhist, although I am self proclaimed.

What I want to share with you today is something we covered in our Dhamma studies, we covered what I can best describe as 'shackles'. These are mental gymnastics that we do on a daily basis that restrain our actions and thus, our potential.


As human beings we are creatures of habit, personally, I have a strict morning time routine which, if not completed, I do not feel ready for the day. I take a shower, have a bowl of cereal, make my lunch, iron my shirt, make myself look presentable, watch some news and then I am ready for the day. This is my habitual ritual which I feel I NEED. I'm sure many of you have many habits that you do, some of which is because it is the most productive,or because it's the most comfortable etc etc. What I want to explore is how these habitual things actually hold us back in life, limits our experiences and keeps us running on auto-pilot 24/7.

I will start by giving you an example, say you consider yourself a 'shy' person, you are in a situation where you making tea at your office and someone else is waiting to use the kettle. You will not talk to this person because you have convinced yourself you are a 'shy' person, this is a lie, you have a mouth, lungs and a brain, you can talk to this person, but you are scared, of what? Your own habitual ritual of telling yourself 'that's just who I am'.

I see this all the time, especially with my house mate, she will say "I can't do that, I'm a girl and that's a blokes job", or "That's just what us girls do". She has conditioned herself for gender roles, through habitually telling herself that 'these are things guys do and these are things girls do'. This is all a lie, you are the one who is in control of your mind, you are capable of doing everything or nothing.

How can we break free of this? We will always exchange one habit for another, we need habit for comfort, even I am a slave to habit. What we can do though, is simply be aware of our habits, notice when they take place and how or why we do them. Simply noticing them will help loosen the power they have over us, sometimes habit is OK, it can be useful, but don't let it limit you and don't let it define you.

I want anyone who has taken the time to read this to think about your limitations, the times you go, "that's just not me" or "I couldn't do that because of....", these are limitation you have placed on yourself and these limitations can only be lifted by you. I challenge everyone to do one thing this weekend that you would not normally do, perhaps try a food you didn't think you liked, or go out to a bar if you think you prefer staying in.

We are human beings, capable of moving mountains, stopping rivers and creating life. Realise your full potential and stop being a robot. We are human, live your life to the fullest.

Mettā ~
edit on 7-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 02:40 PM
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This is a great and inspiring post, OP. I appreciate being reminded of my potential.

It also reminds of the Charles Swindoll quote on attitude.


“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company...a church....a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past...we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude...I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you...we are in charge of our attitudes.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

edit on 2014/3/7 by Metallicus because: Fmt



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 02:43 PM
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reply to post by Metallicus
 


Wise words my friend, thank you for sharing. It is sad how people can become slave to themselves, if they only realised that the 90% of lives experiences, that they create (with their reactions), was something that is purely in their power.

It is something that is completely malleable by their own will.
edit on 7-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 02:50 PM
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Thanks for this thread! It was lovely to read and be reminded....

I started a business a year ago because I love making things by hand and wanted to put my passion into a career I was in control of. While the creative side flows easy for me, I struggle endlesslywith my attitude when it comes to setting up a website, doing the books, and particularly promoting myself.

I've always bought into the concept that self promotion was arrogant and to be humble is the higher thought, yet no business runs or succeeds without promotion. Its all very normal stuff but my head really gets in the way. I am going to think more on this...



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:04 PM
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reply to post by igloo
 


You're very welcome, keep feeding your creative side, human beings are at their best when they think outside of the box.

Promotion is fine, it is not a bad thing to make people aware of your work. You just simply need to be mindful that you do not limit yourself and you flow your creativity into your promotion as well.

I wish you all the best.


edit on 7-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:31 PM
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I would like to try this,however I think most of my daily habits in the realm of my " I can'ts" stem from some very deep rooted core beliefs about myself. Would this help,or should I try something else?



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:32 PM
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iRoyalty
reply to post by igloo
 


You just simply need to be mindful that you do not limit yourself and you flow your creativity into your promotion as well.



Very, very good point. Could be a slippery slope all of its own. Thanks for your insight.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:39 PM
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AccessDenied
I would like to try this,however I think most of my daily habits in the realm of my " I can'ts" stem from some very deep rooted core beliefs about myself. Would this help,or should I try something else?


It sounds like you are already aware of them, perhaps find the reason why you can't get rid of them. Once you are aware of the full situation, you can then start to take control and help break those barriers.

At the end of the day, you are the only one who can break those barriers. Simply try not doing them and doing something completely different, even if it's just how many sugars you have in your tea.

You have free will, you should exert it where you can.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 03:57 PM
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I've been trying this anyways because I became aware I was doing things by habit.
Do yes good advice.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 04:19 PM
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reply to post by violet
 


We are capable of good and fantastic things, being a slave to habit will only limit your interactions and impact you can potentially have with this world.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 05:05 PM
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iRoyalty
reply to post by Metallicus
 


Wise words my friend, thank you for sharing. It is sad how people can become slave to themselves, if they only realised that the 90% of lives experiences, that they create (with their reactions), was something that is purely in their power.

It is something that is completely malleable by their own will.
edit on 7-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)


This is so true and something I've come to realise only recently. I used to hate my job and pretty much every job prior. I decided that my fears were controlling me; the fearful thoughts were along the lines of what do management think of me and that they're out to get me. I recently decided to like and then love my job and it was MY choice! It's not the job of my dreams but once I became happy with where I was in life I began noticing opportunities arising and new experiences coming my way.

I wrote a thread about how I got to this point (it's in my signature); it was simply changing my mantra (yep, still a habit but one that is more conducive to happiness and experiences that serve my higher purpose.

SnF for your post and also star for you Metallicus as you both said what I was thinking and feel you're both on the RIGHT path.



posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 06:04 PM
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comfortablynumb
The trick isn't some magical, new ager, mystical hogwash but simple mind over matter. Your mind can create your reality and being happy, for the most part; I know life isn't always roses but being happy is a state of mind and a choice! I'm not suggesting that you can use your mind to change the reality that the desk you’re sitting at isn't really a desk but a new sports car but how you interpret the images and sounds that are the inputs to your mind can help you begin to see opportunities where previously you thought there were none; the nay sayer will always find reasons for why an opportunity is not as good as it promises to be. Remember that not every opportunity will eventuate in the desired outcome, but never following an opportunity will ensure you never get anywhere you desired.


This is from your page you mentioned, I really liked this paragraph. The way I deal with the world and keep (as my driving instructor calls it) an annoyingly sunny disposition all the time. Is not because I imagine that the desk in front of me is something I desire, I do not lie to myself, but it's me saying, this desk will never be a sports car if I sit and mope about it.

Things are the way they are, you can either work with them, or give up on them. A quiet resignation which will only lead to depression stems from the barriers you erect. You have decided that this life is not good enough, and become a fortune teller and decided it never will. These are more mental gymnastics that you do to yourself.

A friend of mine has just started taking anti-depressants, I told him to not take them for one night and I took him to my meditation meeting to help him explore his mind with me. He said he is never taking anti-depressants again and he'll be coming every week with me to meditate. Mental barriers and limitations cage us and can drive us mad, but they are sold to us for profit all the time, in fitness regimes, work schedules, lunch time deals etc.

I just wish people could see the world through my eyes, then we could all have an annoyingly sunny disposition together.




posted on Mar, 7 2014 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by iRoyalty
 


This is so true ! It's not always so easy to do or practice though. I will push myself harder.

I gota remind myself all the time...especially when I'm going through hard times...

Your post is inspirational, Thx. :-)

leolady



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 03:38 AM
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I don't think you can do that all by yourself. I've got the Spirit, the Spirit is my potential.



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 10:31 AM
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oktopus
I don't think you can do that all by yourself. I've got the Spirit, the Spirit is my potential.


All you have to do is notice your habitual rituals that put you in a mental box. All you need is spirit and a bit will power to break out



posted on Mar, 8 2014 @ 10:46 AM
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leolady
reply to post by iRoyalty
 


This is so true ! It's not always so easy to do or practice though. I will push myself harder.

I gota remind myself all the time...especially when I'm going through hard times...

Your post is inspirational, Thx. :-)

leolady


No it's not easy, habit is comfort, we do not like being outside of our comfort zones. In our habitual lives we have predictability, and control, it can be useful.

However this life (I find) is not fulfilling, unless you use it to raise a child, I believe it's something that should be sacrificed, even if it's just every now and again.

I'm glad you found my Dhamma study inspirational, it's always such a practical part of my meditation classes.
edit on 8-3-2014 by iRoyalty because: (no reason given)



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