Since it’s our attitudes and beliefs that power our hooks to each of the seven stages, let’s take a look at exactly what they are and how to gain mastery over them, so that they don’t control you.
To start this process, here are examples of the most common attitudes or beliefs behind the hooks that disrupt your stage climb at the various stages. Resolve, on an ongoing basis, to challenge and change any of them that continue to get in your way or hold you back:
- Stage One―“I must be taken care of”… “I am inadequate”… “I am a victim with no way out”… “I am incapable of change or taking the initiative to better my life.”
- Stage Two―“I must have and do whatever I want, regardless of the effect I (or my actions) have on others (or even the long term consequences I cause to myself)”… “I don’t want to change”… “I will be whatever I have to be to get whatever I want at any given moment.”
- Stage Three―“I must fit in by doing only what I should do and by being what I should be—that which is expected of me—or some dire consequence will result.”
- Stage Four―“I must be loved or approved of by others and meet their expectations”… ”Failing at something (e.g., a relationship, a job, an exam, or to meet a goal) makes me a failure (to myself, in the eyes of others or both).”
- Stage Five―“I must keep it all together and step up to the plate with respect to all of my roles (e.g., spouse, breadwinner, etc.), regardless of whether or not they provide me feelings of satisfaction or gratification.”
- Stage Six―“I must not only have passion, but also must feel personally gratified around everything I do” … “Changing the world that is larger than me―or helping someone else―is not my mission, problem, or concern.”
- Stage Seven―“There are larger, grander, bolder, and more challenging missions to undertake.” (This is a disruption only to the degree that it undermines a mission you are committed to and not pursuing.)
To challenge a self-defeating belief, first ask yourself if that belief is “absolutely true.” Once you’ve established “reasonable doubt” as to whether the stifling belief is the truth and one you want to live by, look for a higher stage attitude or belief that works for you to replace it. The easiest way to get a higher stage alternative is simply to ask yourself, “What would I prefer to believe, think or feel about this?” Then make sure you tweak your answer to that question until the new attitude or belief fits you exactly. This simple exercise puts your attitudes and beliefs under your control, which can be the critical factor for living your life at the target stages.
In next week’s blog, I will give examples of ideal attitudes for removing a lower-stage hook and thus climbing to a higher stage.