Solve 👏 YOUR 👏 Problems 👏 With This EMPOWERING Mindset

Take 100% Responsibility

Solve 👏 YOUR 👏 Problems 👏 With This EMPOWERING Mindset

“Imagine that changing one belief could increase your life by fifteen years, protect your close relationships from breaking up, stop you from getting depressed even in the most challenging circumstances, speed up your healing, make you a more generous and helpful human being, and enable you to make the other life changes you’ve always wanted to easily. Imagine there was research to prove that this one belief could do all that. This article is about that belief: the belief that since you are able to choose what you think about, you can create your own future.”

This is a quote from an article by Richard Bolstad. And before I continue with this post, there’s one more excerpt I want to share:

“William James, the nineteenth-century medical doctor, suffered from severe depression. Graduating as a medical doctor at the age of 27 only left him more depressed and anguished about the pointlessness of his life, which seemed predetermined and empty. In 1870, he made the philosophical breakthrough that enabled him to pull himself out of his depression.

This was the realization that different beliefs have different consequences. James had been puzzling for some time about whether human beings had genuine free will, or whether their actions were the deterministic results of genetic and environmental influences.

He now realized that such questions were insoluble and that the more important issue was which beliefs have the most useful consequences for the believer. James discovered that the belief in determinism made him passive and impotent; the belief in free will allowed him to consider alternatives, to act, and to plan.

Describing the brain as “an instrument of possibilities” (Hunt, 1993, p149), he decided, “At any rate, I will assume for the present -until next year- that it is no illusion. My first act of free will shall be to believe in free will. I will go a step further with my will, not only act with it, but believe as well; believe in my individual reality and creative power.” His depression lifted, and James went on to become the central figure in the development of “scientific psychology.”

Hats off to you, William. Pretty amazing story isn’t it?

This same mentality is what took me from being bedridden with depression, anxiety, etc to being back out in the world living life again in a short matter of time.

The good news is that this mindset can radically transform your life for the better as well.

I highly encourage anyone to read the entire article here, however, if you’re stubborn, if you hate being told what to do, or if your older sibling always got their way - I’m going to summarize the article in this post anyway. You’re welcome.

The mindset I’m referring to is what’s known in NLP land as being “at cause.” Outside of NLP, you can think of it as taking 100% responsibility for your thoughts and your life.

Now, this isn’t to say you’re responsible for any traumatic events that have happened to you. That would be terrible and misleading. It’s rather to empower you to realize you have the ability to overcome whatever is in your way, whether this is traumatic memories or something else, and to achieve everything you want in this life.

Cause and Effect

In life, cause and effect is a relationship between natural phenomena. Something happens, and this causes more stuff to happen. There are effects of the initial something happening.

For example: Because it rained, we canceled our trip. Boohoo. In this instance, the cause was the rain and the effect was the cancellation of the trip. When someone is living in effect, it means they’re disempowered, and failing to recognize any relationship between their problems and themselves. So in this instance, someone who’s living in effect would complain about how it’s raining, how it always rains when they want to go on vacation, and how frustrating it is.

On the other hand, someone who is living at cause would approach this situation by finding alternative activities to do indoors, or by planning a different trip to a location where rain is less likely. They would take responsibility for their own happiness and adapt to the circumstances, rather than blaming external factors for their disappointment.

Which of the above two types of people would you rather spend time around? Exactly.

It’s draining to be around people who are always complaining and not taking action to resolve the issues they constantly complain about. Sometimes you want to look at them and say:

Living Life At Cause

Being “at cause” means taking ownership of the problems in your life. It means taking 100% responsibility for the results in your life. It doesn't mean you caused every problem in your life, it means you're responsible for finding solutions to overcome them.

One more example of being at cause vs being in effect is someone with a boss who drives them NUTS (we’ve all been there lol). Being at cause means recognizing that you have the power to change your reaction to your boss's behavior and find ways to improve the situation, such as applying for a new job or reaching out to HR, rather than constantly blaming your boss for your frustration and doing NOTHING to resolve the problem.

Living in effect would mean you’re constantly complaining about your terrible boss and how you can’t sleep at night or how your life is miserable because of them. Living in effect means you don’t realize any relationship between the problems in your life and you.

One more time for fun - the mentality of being “at cause” is what took me from being bedridden with depression to out in the world living life again in a short matter of time.

It wasn’t simply shifting the mentality that changed everything of course, it was the empowerment this mentality gave me to resolve my mental demons.

These gifs are just too good I have to include another one:

Victim Mentality

Before reading into the cause-and-effect relationship and how it relates to our lives, I wholeheartedly believed I wasn’t embodying the victim mentality.

I had been spending a RIDICULOUS amount of time devouring books on mental health, experimenting with different diets, and consulting with practitioners all over the world. Heck, I even did a 16-day water fast at one point. I was absolutely being proactive.

However, deep down I was still blaming people. I would think, “If only my parents hadn’t done x, y, or z, I wouldn’t be dealing with these problems right now…” It wasn’t just my parents, there were a few other experiences where I ultimately realized I had been blaming others for my mental state.

So how did I shift my perspective?

Essentially it boiled down to this: I realized no one ACTUALLY hurts OUR feelings.

Read that again.

No one actually hurts OUR feelings.

Rather, people say or do things, events happen, and we CREATE feelings based on the way WE interpret those events.

We consciously and subconsciously decide how to respond to all events in the world. Let’s say someone cuts us off in traffic - we can either get angry and chase them down, or we can breathe, think “Hey, no one’s perfect, I cut people off on accident sometimes,” and express gratitude an accident wasn’t caused.

So in relation to my mental health issues - instead of continuing to blame anyone for my agony, I started taking 100% responsibility.

My mindset became, “My parents did the best they could, and I responded the way I did, I started thinking and acting the way I did, which resulted in me creating a poor level of self-esteem that eventually manifested as severe mental health issues.”

Regarding the panic attacks, shame, anxiety, etc that I was dealing with at the time, I would think to myself, “I notice these mental patterns I created in my mind and I’m going to figure out how to make them safe so they no longer get in the way of me living the life I want to live.”

If you’re struggling with Misophonia in particular - the mindset I used was, “I created an unnecessary rage response to this sound, and I’m going to figure out how to update this sound to safe in my neurology.”

It was absolutely VITAL to cut out language like “it’s so hard when my anxiety flares up” and to shift the dialogue to “when I flare up my anxiety.” Do you see the difference in those two sentences? The first treats anxiety like it’s something outside of our control, and the second sentence takes ownership of anxiety.

This is SO important. I know it can feel like we don’t have control over our mental agony at times, but we do. We 100% do.

Now this shift to living at cause or taking 100% responsibility didn’t occur overnight, it took some practice. Even to this day sometimes I catch myself in effect and have to shift myself back over to being at cause. So be patient with yourself.

Further Benefits Of Living At Cause

Okay so now you have a better understanding of what it means to live “at cause.” It’s taking 100% responsibility for your problems, your results, and your actions rather than relying on excuses and complaints.

Mental health challenges are undoubtedly complex, and there's no one-size-fits-all solution. However, the "at cause" mindset equips you with a powerful frame for taking charge of your mental well-being. It empowers you to recognize that your responses and actions play a pivotal role in your journey toward healing and recovery.

Why Living "At Cause" Is the Best Way to Live

So, why is living "at cause" the best way to live? The answer lies in the transformative impact it has on every aspect of your life. Here are some compelling reasons why this mindset is a game-changer:

  1. Empowerment: Living "at cause" is all about empowerment. It means you no longer passively accept the circumstances life throws at you. Instead, you actively shape your own destiny. You become the author of your life story, making choices and decisions that align with your goals and aspirations.

  2. Resilience: With the "at cause" mindset, you develop resilience. You're better equipped to bounce back from setbacks, whether they're related to your career, relationships, or personal challenges. Adversity no longer feels insurmountable; it's an opportunity for growth and learning.

  3. Improved Relationships: Living "at cause" leads to more harmonious and fulfilling relationships. By taking responsibility for your responses and emotions, you become a better communicator, a more empathetic partner, and a more understanding friend. Your relationships benefit from the positive energy you bring to them.

  4. Personal Growth: If you aspire to be the best version of yourself, living "at cause" is the way forward. It allows you to break free from self-imposed limitations, develop healthier habits, and embrace personal growth opportunities. You're no longer held back by excuses and external factors. You are in control of your growth journey.

  5. Happiness and Fulfillment: Ultimately, living "at cause" paves the way for a happier and more fulfilling life. You are not at the mercy of external circumstances or the actions of others. You are the architect of your own happiness. You choose how to respond to life's challenges and setbacks, making the most of every situation.

In conclusion, the "at cause" mindset isn't just a belief; it's a way of life. It's a choice to be proactive, resilient, and empowered. It's the path to a life filled with purpose, personal growth, and the ability to overcome whatever challenges may come your way.

Thank you for sharing Mental Martial Arts. You’re awesome. Come say hi at the social links below!

Lots of love,

Chris

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