Principle 1. Condemning harms you. You urgently need to stop condemning.
The uncontrolled striving to do good leads inevitably to the destruction of everything you have managed to achieve.
The first principle of a successful life is quite simple. It addresses the fact that:
If you disagree with something, you will unconsciously seek out, in yourself or in people around you, that with which you disagree. And you will attempt to correct it.
Why we behave like that we will investigate later on. But it’s a fact that we do. Possibly, because the ideas which we spend so much time fighting for so heroically are in themselves usually very good.
We have expectations
What are we talking about here? About the simplest and best of our expectations. For example, that people should be honest. Or decent (helpful, not selfish, not louts, not treacherous) and so on.
Or that people are rational beings with whom one can come to an agreement by talking. Without the need to threaten or fight or resort to any other sort of coercion.
Or is it such a bad idea that you should look beautiful? Or weigh so many kilograms and no more? Actually a very laudable expectation.
Or that you should earn a decent wage, to enable you to have a decent standard of living.
And so on.
Good ideas? No doubt. But how many difficulties they bring with them?! Not all of them of course, but definitely one or two of them. Perhaps not the ones just referred to, but some others, certainly.
What precisely is the problem with them?
The problem is that:
By having one or three or five or ten idea-expectations which are very important to you, you will be repeatedly dragged into the struggle to realize them.
The whole of life is a struggle
Who are you struggling against?
Most likely the people around you – it’s easier to get at them. Children, parents, brothers or sisters, other relatives. Colleagues at work, bosses or subordinates. If they don’t behave in the way you consider they should, you will quickly embark on the struggle to get them to mend their ways.
This struggle might be external, that is, you open your mouth and tell another person how he ought to behave. Furthermore, you talk in an energetically charged and emotional way, using the full range of your linguistic and vocal skills and sometimes employing physical force to enhance your credibility.
If you’ve been very well brought up and cannot bring yourself to communicate aggressively, you will achieve all the same ends, but silently, in your imagination.
It’s easiest to struggle with yourself
Another very convenient object to struggle with is yourself. You’re always in the right place to uncover any defects or a couple of small blemishes in yourself. How could you miss the opportunity to take yourself on? Of course you couldn’t.
The struggle with yourself or people in your immediate environment creates the illusion that you can change something. But certain masochists choose to struggle against things over which they have absolutely no control – with traffic jams, officials, bureaucrats, bribe-takers, inert governments and stupid people in general. Certainly it’s possible to have some effect on these, but that would require single-minded, constructive efforts. Certain people do make such efforts – but we are not interested in them here.
We’ll only be examining those who in reality don’t do anything, but simply address the situation by foaming with rage, furiously condemning all those “idlers” and “embezzlers”, and accumulating in their bodies a huge quantity of emotional pollution.
But we ourselves should understand that when we get drawn into a struggle, our lives will be neither happy nor harmonious. What sort of harmony can you have, when you urgently need to explain to your husband how precisely he should bring up a child; or how much money he should earn; or that he should stop looking at other women when he goes out.
How can you have harmony in your soul, when your vile body weighs 15 kilos more than it should?
What sort of harmony can you have, when your idiot-boss doesn’t give you appropriate work and still has the cheek to expect you to work for that derisory pittance he pays you?
And so on.
And in fact it is from such considerations that the first principle of a successful life follows. Whilst you have any sort of expectation which is very important to you, you’ll be continually drawn into the struggle to realize it.
Struggle as an emotionally charged process, potentially giving you a feeling of being victorious, is always more interesting than a peaceful, harmonious life.
Thus, in our system of values the feeling of victory derived from putting the world around you to rights is valued more highly than the feelings which a peaceful and tranquil life can give you.
And as soon as we see our chance of enjoying the buzz of victory, we go for it. Usually we fail, but that never deters us. The hope of helping your neighbor improve himself will, as one says, be the last to die. And usually only dies when you do.
Again, features of our instinctive behavior are manifesting themselves here – we’ll discuss them later.
How do we find a subject in need of correction?
And how do we get this particular sensation of victory? As a result of the struggle , of course.
Who are we struggling against? Anyone we don’t consider to be behaving correctly.
How do we get access to him, this scoundrel, so that we can conquer him and force him to live as we think he should? We have to find him.
That means that we initiate a search for someone whose behavior does not match up to our expectations. We’re looking for him all the time and in the end, of course, we find him.
Superficially this looks like a process in which we are literally taken over by people or situations demanding our immediate intervention.
In fact, it is we ourselves who literally seek out and impose on ourselves the people and situations which feature things which we categorically disagree with.
Obviously such a demanding occupation requires a massive input of our time, energy and everything else .
To correct faults in people around us we are prepared to sacrifice everything which is dear to us and which we earnestly strive for.
Struggle with your child
You’ve just had that precious child and you’re happy? Excellent. But several years go by and you discover that he’s not doing well enough (for what?) at school and you get absorbed in a struggle to improve his performance. It’s easy to predict the result of this long struggle for your brilliant idea: you accumulate a mass of resentments towards each other, your relationship collapses, the child escapes from you at the earliest opportunity and tries to keep communication with you to a minimum. The desired relationship of trust with the person closest to you evaporates.
Struggle in the family
Or, let’s say, you are a woman who has married for love (it does happen). You are enraptured by your chosen one, he’s perfect for you, and you dream of this bliss lasting forever. But after six months to a year you discover that your chosen one does not quite live up to your ideal. On the whole, everything is going well, but the odd small defect needs to be corrected. For example, he allows himself the pleasure of a glass of wine after a hard day’s work. Or he’s too wrapped up in his work and doesn’t give enough (in your view) time to his family. Or something else.
And with the best intentions you tell him that he should change. Naturally, he doesn’t hear you, since from his point of view everything is fine.
Confronted with his failure to understand your impeccable intentions, you get a bit worked up and try to use force to get him to accept a conviction which is very important to you. Confronted with your pressure, he starts to defend his “correct” view of the world. After six months, a year or two years your happy family is in ruins.
Familiar picture? Here again certain pernicious philosophers have put into your mind the idea of “two halves” which are destined to meet. You understand that you were mistaken and that your husband is not your “other half” and you decide you should look for another one. Instead of simply giving up your attempt to correct your dear man with your lectures. You had love, harmony, wonderful relations and …. your excessively important expectation, which in the end has destroyed your harmony.
We struggle at work
Or you had a brilliant job which gave you the income you desired and which you found genuinely interesting. But there was also the, for you, very important expectation that relations with people at work should be as they are in a loving family. But they, as if in spite, were not as sincere and open as you would have wished. They were simply efficient, which didn’t satisfy you. With time you have lapsed into an inner state of chronic indignation, and the job you loved before has become a place of torture, although externally nothing has changed.
Does such a thing happen? Everywhere over and over again.
Examples of objects of struggle
What might they look like? You unconsciously create for yourself situations which will continually annoy you
- For example, you are very unhappy about your loneliness – it will pursue you.
- You condemn weak men (penniless, feeble) – they will bring you down.
- You condemn small incomes – for various reasons you will miss out on large incomes.
- You condemn idiots (can’t stand on their own two feet, anxious, louts, and so on) – they’ll literally stick to you.
- You condemn girls and want your baby to be a boy –you can probably guess what you’ll end up with!!
You can continue the list yourselves
A statement by one of the participants in a training:
When I’m behind the wheel, I’m always getting worked up by the behavior of the idiots around me. They’ve bought the right, but not the ability, to drive.
And what really offends me is that these idiots have crashed into my car 11 times, so now it looks like a mangled up tin can. Maxim
From a letter of a female reader of the blog www.sviyasha.ru/blog (Russian language).
…Everything’s going fine thanks to Alexander Grigorievitch’s system, I’m going to the trainings, I’m improving my self-image and femininity, men are showing interest in me, but I’m still alone, I haven’t got a life partner. So sometimes I’m still being gnawed at by that worm which tells me that if only I can meet the man who is perfect for me, then I’ll be really happy.
But that’s not yet the whole story. From Principle 1 there follows the Result:
Result 1: Any closed group possesses an internal harmony. Deviation from a norm by one member of the group automatically leads to deviation from the norm in the opposite direction by another member of the group.
What does this mean? That if in a family one of the parents takes on him or herself all of the family tasks (and without noticing condemns “idlers”) , then another member of the family will be consigned to idleness and leisure.
If one of the parents is obsessed with getting rich (and condemns people who live on others), then another member of the family (usually a child) will obviously be attracted to philanthropy or the hippy way of life.
If one of the parents is pathologically honest (and condemns dishonest people), nothing remains to the child but to become a liar or even a cleptomaniac.
At this point you might recollect the kinds of seemin disharmony which exist in your family or at work.
What you condemn, you attract to yourself. That means that if someone in your social circle has characteristics which you disapprove of, don’t just rush in and denounce the scoundrel. Look at yourself – perhaps you yourself are ascribing excessive importance to a particular view of the world and are thereby literally forcing the other person to adopt the opposite position.
Start with yourself
And perhaps the best means to resolve this situation is not to get absorbed in a long struggle with whoever offends against your ideal, but rather for you yourself to mitigate slightly the importance which your expectation has for you and thereby reduce the task
which you have laid on your opponent (usually someone close to you) – and give yourself more room for manoeuvre when denouncing the person who is behaving “incorrectly”.
That is, to start establishing harmony it is recommended that you change yourself rather than correct other people.
I think it unlikely that such a simple idea has not occurred to you at least once.
But such an idea on its own will not enable you to cope with all those expectations which have excessive significance for you, and it’s not always possible to put the idea into practice.
And is the Subconscious involved here?
The Subconscious in these processes is the agent of your unconscious desires. You wish to prove to someone what sort of person they should be. Excellent, your Subconscious engineers the presence of people or situations in order that you can realize your wish. Quite inexplicably you surround yourself with those people with whom you are obliged to struggle.
Your Subconscious has carried out your unconscious, but absolutely real, “order”.
Is there a way out?
Is there a way out of such a situation? Can we avoid getting embroiled in an endless struggle, which destroys everything which could make our life comfortable and successful?
Of course we can.
The way out is quite simple and consists in the following: stop condemning that which does not correspond to your expectations. It doesn’t correspond, so let it be. We didn’t create this world, and it’s not up to us to refashion it. No one and nothing is obliged to conform to your preconceptions. Even if you have the most wonderful picture of how the world should be and are under the illusion that you can change anything.
Stop condemning, abandon the struggle, accept the world and yourself as you really are.
And then you can channel the time and energy thus released into creating rather than destroying – into creating a successful, harmonious and, as a result, happy life.
You’ve probably heard similar advice at least once. But nothing’s changed as a result. Because how is it possible to “accept” a child with poor marks, a husband who likes drinking, intrusive parents, dim or lazy colleagues at work, a boss who can’t put himself “in your shoes”, being “overweight”?
It’s totally impossible. Instead you have the struggle and the endless worries; the inner conflicts, whether manifested or suppressed; the increased pressure, the illnesses, the feeling of despair or loneliness; depression because of your impotence to change
anything. Nicotine, alcohol, tranquillizers or having a talk with a “good person” help, but only for a time.
Simple advice such as “sod it all” or “accept the world as it is” sometimes work, but very rarely. We need a more effective instrument.
What shall we do?
Let’s look at the instruments.
To start with it is absolutely essential that you identify those highly important expectations which can destroy (or have already long since been destroying) your life.
In our system they are called “idealisations”.
An idealisation is a kind of idea or expectation to which you ascribe excessive significance.
When the expectation is frustrated you have an unbearably strong urge to correct the situation, and so you automatically get absorbed in an inner or external struggle to re-establish “order”.
We usually assimilate idealizations in clusters – of two, three or even more. As a result your life is transformed into a continuous search for and struggle against deviations from what you consider correct.
Despite the fact that your struggle does not usually lead to the desired results, but probably the opposite, you never give up. You don’t even notice, it’s part of your life.
It doesn’t occur to you to think about the question whether it’s worth continuing to squabble with your parents, given that you’ve been in conflict with them for ten, twenty years and nothing has changed over that time.
It doesn’t occur to you to stop condemning your “excess” pounds – you haven’t managed to get rid of them, and yet you’ve wasted a large amount of your nervous energy, money and time struggling against them.
How do you put a stop to it, given that you obviously think you’re right?!
But stop it you have to, otherwise a successful and happy life will get further and further out of your reach.
Let’s expose our most precious expectations
Somehow we have to expose this secret enemy pretending to be your best guide on the path to the “correct” life.
To expose it , over a period of two to three months, you need to write down ALL your feelings in a special form of Diary, a Diary of self-observations.
This diary comprises three columns.
In the left-hand column you write down one of your feelings.
In the middle column you reveal the idealization which gave rise to your feeling. Initially you write down your expectation: how the situation should resolve itself in a way which you would satisfy you. And then draw a conclusion as to precisely which idealization led to your dissatisfaction.
In the right-hand column you commit yourself to henceforth remaining calm and positive when a similar state-of-affairs is imminent.
Here’s an example of someone doing this.
Which of my idealisations
led to the feeling
What I’m committed to in future
Today was my mother’s birthday. I’d asked my husband beforehand not to be late, as we were going to visit her in the evening to wish her a happy birthday. But he didn’t come back at 6pm as I had asked him and there was no reply on his mobile. I rang him at work and they told me he was on an urgent call-out. I had to go to my mother’s on my own, I was extremely upset. He only arrived at mum’s after 11 pm, when everyone was already leaving. It turns out that there was an emergency at work and he had to deal with it urgently. Although it seems the reason was serious, I still can’t calm down.
Why do his emergencies always happen when he’s needed for some important family matter?
It seems to me that he arranges them just to spite me.
I think that I will only be happy with the situation when my husband takes an interest in family matters and doesn’t just live for work! Outside of work he doesn’t need anything! I sometimes wonder why he got married. Though of course it wasn’t he who took the initiative in the decision to get married and his work is very responsible. But all the same the family should stand together, and it’s no use bringing in more important reasons. Nothing can be more important!
Probably, I attach excessive importance to my family relationships, and I always get upset when my husband yet again fails to fulfil the elementary family obligations of father and husband.
No doubt, this is due to my exaggerated expectations of how a normal family should live. It’s an idealization of my model of family life
Henceforth I commit myself to maintaining a completely calm attitude to situations in which my husband upsets my plans because of external circumstances.
I elect to concentrate on the virtues of my husband. He is a strong and responsible person, he loves me and my child, he cares about us and fully provides for us.
This morning a girl-friend rang me up and asked me to help her with the organization of her mother’s funeral.
I Know her mother’s been ill for a long time, I even helped her get the occasional medicine. I promised to help and rang work to ask for a day off. But my manager didn’t allow me to take time off, as we are actually run by a committee and I have to provide it with the necessary documents.
I took a stroll to ring my friend to say I wasn’t able to help her. She said not to worry, she’d find a way round it, but I was tortured all day by a feeling of guilt . And I’m afraid it’ll prey on my mind for a long time.
If I had helped my friend in her hour of need, everythingwould be alright. But I wasn’t able to help her, admittedly because of circumstances beyond my control. That means I’m a bad friend.
Probably I entertain an idealization (exaggeration) of my imperfection. A good (perfect) friend is obliged ALWAYS to help, no matter what circumstances arise. And I couldn’t. I am a bad person.
I forgive myself for not always being able to be perfect human being. I accept and approve of myself under all circumstances.
I am always ready to help people around me . But if life turns out in such a way that I can’t do something, this is not a reason for self-condemnation.
I accept and approve of myself in all situations.
As you can see, writing the Diary is quite simple, but you have to do it regularly. And then all your excessively important idea-idealizations will stand before you in all their glory.
You can write up your Diary in a notepad, but do it so that no one else can read it.
It’s also possible to build up a file on a computer. And it’s possible to use the site Self-transformation Helper www.selftrans.ru – there at step 4 you’ll find a special form for the writing up of the Diary of self-observation and the subsequent working off of the idealizations.
Be careful! Don’ try to identify your idealizations without recording your feelings and by just observing them for yourself. Your feelings are such a natural part of your life that you simply won’t be able to capture the idealizations which lie behind them.
Idealizations are a common phenomenon
The experience of work on the erroneous convictions of people over many years has shown that they all fall into the same traps. In other words, most people have roughly the same set of ideas of special importance for them. The combinations of idealizations vary from person to person, but they’re all common.
I’ve set out below a brief description of 23 typical idealizations, which cover 99% of all the possible variants of the expectations which have special importance for us.
The list has been constructed in the alphabetical order of the names of the idealizations.
. idealizations about money and goods . Usually this idealization is of the form: “I should be getting enough money to cover all my needs”. The idea (conviction) is on the whole good and correct; every human being is worthy of a prosperous life.
But the problem consists in the fact that God did not create a free dispenser for all the different types of goods. No doubt He forgot . So you have to earn goods. And most people, who don’t have idealizations about money, do this.
But a person with idealizations about money is convinced that he should receive a sufficient quantity of goods independently of his efforts. And when he is confronted with reality, in which he is paid less, in his opinion, than he SHOULD, he is plunged into an inner protest.
As a result, instead of simply finding another job with a bigger salary, or a bonus, he channels all of his energy into feelings of the type “It’s impossible to live on this money”.
. Idealization of trust, or belief in something. At the basis of this idealization is the perfectly good idea: “One must trust (and help) people one knows”. Basing himself on this, a person shows an excessive trust in other people. And gets very upset when they don’t justify his expectations. What’s peculiar about this idealization is the fact that it doesn’t disappear even after being confronted with facts which show that reality doesn’t correspond to the person’s expectations. Accordingly, when confronted with cases of deception by people he knows, the person continues to trust them and lend them money, for example. And continues to get upset by their dishonesty.
It’s one of the aspects of the more general idealization of relations between people.
- Idealization of spirituality. This idealization arises when a person ascribes excessive importance to his, on the whole, good conviction that “all people should be spiritual”. Spiritual, moreover, in precisely that tradition to which he himself belongs.
Confronted with the fact that people are completely indifferent to questions of spirituality, or subscribe to a completely different model of “spiritual” or religious life, he is assailed by the feeling that they are “wrong”.
Any manifestations of religious or national hostility are related to this idealization.
- Idealization of Life, fate. This idealization is characteristic of people who are sincerely convinced that Life or fate for some reason doesn’t favour them. They are victims of circumstances unknown to them and are therefore condemned to permanent suffering.
In other words, there appears to be no positive attitude here. Although, probably, deep inside these people are convinced that they deserve more: wealth, well-being, recognition and everything else. This is their positive expectation.
Confronted with the reality that all these blessings are simply not handed out to them like that (as they are, for example, to the children of rich or distinguished parents), and that to achieve them one has to put in a lot of effort, they choose to adopt the role of wounded child. And all their efforts are directed to confirming their rightness and proving that fate is unjust to them.
Another form of this idealization is being in a state of grief. The person has the totally positive expectation that people known to or close to him will remain healthy and live forever. And if this expectation is not fulfilled , that is, one of the people close to him gets seriously ill or dies, a sense of grievance against Life for allowing such a mistake takes a hold of his mind.
- Idealization of beauty and external attractiveness Underlying this idealization is a perfectly positive conviction “I should look beautiful” and no less. When people with this conviction are confronted with the reality that they fail to measure up to the ideal of beauty conceived by them, they become obsessed by worries about their appearance. They are totally unable to reconcile themselves with how they actually look in reality. People with this idealization are permanently anxious about their appearance, how much they weigh, whether they’re sufficiently well-groomed, whether they’ve got a good figure, whether they’re well-dressed, whether they’re hair looks good, and so on.
It is one of the aspects of the more general idealization of one’s imperfection.
- The idealization of control of the world around you. Such an idealization arises when a person is firmly convinced that he “should know about everything that happens around him, and control everything”. On the whole, it’s not a bad conviction, since control is the basis of any management of processes.
At work the idealization of control manifests itself in chronic irritation at people’s failure to do something “just right”; as a result “control-freaks” don’t trust anyone, constantly interfere in everything, or even try to do everything themselves, since their colleagues “mess everything up anyway”.
In family life this idealization manifests itself in the authoritarian behavior of one of the spouses, who imposes his will on others. Or as constant fears for the lives of people close to him, or anxieties about the unknown future.
- The idealization of independence. This idealization occurs when a person, for some incomprehensible reason, is firmly convinced that “no one dares to encroach on his freedom”. On the whole this conviction is a good one, but it leads to lots of problems. A person with such an idealization is forever on the look out for someone who is infringing his independence and will rebuff the “oppressor” in no uncertain terms.
Naturally, in his immediate environment there will be people who will try to take care of him (parents, spouse, wife), but this will elicit an intense desire to rebuff the “oppressor”.
Moreover, the main thing which a person with such an idealization is concerned with is, not the content, but the form of his treatment by others. He can’t tolerate any manifestation of authoritarianism, harsh control, or coercive pressure.
As a result people with such an idealization cannot work in large organizations, where they will always find an “oppressor” from amongst managers, no matter what their level, and enter into a conflict with him. So people with such an idealization are destined for private enterprise or a business run by himself.
Excessively independent women usually choose to marry a man with a marked tendency to dominate and then struggles against him heroically for years on end.
- The idealization of norms of morality or ethics. Underlying this idealization is the perfectly good conviction that : “people should behave themselves in conformity with the norms of morality”. By morality here is meant the norms of behaviour accepted in a given society, time and territory.
Such an idealization occurs primarily in elderly people whose education corresponds with the norms of their time. They are quite often extremely annoyed by the amoral or unethical (from their point of view) behaviour of young people, by a change in the system of life-values and by many other changes taking place in real life.
- The idealization of a way of life. This idealization arises when a person creates for himself an image of the conditions in which he thinks he should live. Confronted with the harsh reality in which his house or flat does not match up to his expectations, the make of his car is not very prestigious, and his children don’t go to a very high-status school or HE establishment, he is assailed by inner feelings about the imperfection of life. In other words, instead of making an effort to improve his life in the way he would like, he expends a vast amount of energy on feelings of envy of the type: “Some people have it good! But me…”
This is one of the aspects of the more general idealization of Life.
- The idealization of public opinion. This idealization occurs in people who are sincerely convinced that “their behaviour should never provoke disapproval, condemnation or even gossip in people around them.”
So they try to manage their behaviour in such a way that it never under any circumstances elicits public disapproval.
As a result they put themselves in a strait-jacket in their attempt to guess which of their actions might displease people around them, often when they don’t even know who. They can’t allow themselves to dress colourfully, laugh loudly, indulge in behaviour which is spontaneous or not approved of by society (like the work of internet marketing in a MLM-company), and so on. Often the personal ideology of such people is simple: do what you want, so long as no one finds about it. “Don’t air your dirty linen in public”, as the popular wisdom has it.
Naturally, such people are always repressing their natural desires to live freely and independently; such a model of behaviour does not increase one’s zest for life.
- The idealization of relations between people. Such an idealization arises when you have a precise conception of how people around you should behave – they should be honest, carry out any duties they have undertaken, not be rude, not betray and so on. When you find yourself in a situation where people behave otherwise, irritation starts to build up inside you or you get aggressive, and attempt to impose on them your model of honest and discreet mutual relations.
Or, if you are not aggressive by nature, as you cannot bring yourself to accept their strange behaviour, you lapse into an energy-sapping mental state.
- The idealization of personal development, education, intellect. The idealization (exaggeration of the significance) of these qualities are characteristic of people who work in the areas of science or art, of the intelligentsia. It is characterized by the perfectly positive conviction: “A person should be an evolved and educated being”.
As a result this idealization generates a contemptuous attitude towards uneducated or unevolved people.
- The idealization of work. Many people are “workaholics” and cannot imagine life without their beloved work. They are moved by a perfectly good conviction of the type: “man is born to work”. When a situation arises in which either the holder of the conviction himself or someone else ends up without work, it has a long-term effect on his mental state.
- The idealization of people’s rationality. This idealization manifests itself when you are convinced that “all people should behave rationally”. On the whole it’s not a bad idea in itself, but when confronted with reality, you might get irritated by the stupidity (or irrationality) of the behaviour of other people.
You consider that all people are rational, that one can always negotiate with them or explain something to them. But they behave in accordance with a logic which strikes you as strange and incomprehensible, or do insane (from your point of view) things. And the more strongly you feel about it, the more they persist in their deluded behaviour.
- The idealization of people’s of family, children. This idealization arises when you are firmly convinced that “you should have a family and children”. Or when you have a clear model of how spouses should behave, how relationships between them should be, how family responsibilities should be allocated, how children should be brought up and so on. Obviously, you consider your convictions the most correct and are totally closed to any other point of view on the matter.
When it transpires that people close to you have a different opinion on these matters and have no desire to conform to your expectations, you get absorbed in a struggle for your ideals; in other words, it affects you emotionally in the long-term.
- The idealization of sex in all of its manifestations. This idealization arises as a result of the perfectly correct conviction that “sex has to happen”. And precisely in the way you imagine it should.
Correspondingly, if a situation arises in which for various reasons sex doesn’t take place or it doesn’t match up to your expectations, you experience long-lasting negative emotions. That is, you might sleep with lots of girls in your imagination (if you are a man, of course) and not have any real, intimate relations because of shyness, distrust, etc. Or you might be anxious all the time about whether you’re an adequate lover or not; or attach inordinate significance to intimate contact, regarding it as a big sacrifice or a blow to your self-esteem.
- The idealization (i.e. exaggeration) of one’s imperfection. This idealization arises when a person considers that he “absolutely must be good at everything, the very best”. As a result he can’t relax even for a second – he must behave all the time in such a way that he avoids ever being “not good, not the best” at anything. He cannot allow himself to be imperfect.
Naturally, it’s impossible to be perfect at everything, so the person is continually condemning himself for the apparent lack in himself of certain very important qualities (one’s decisiveness, education, calling, birth, ability to socialize, etc.).
Another manifestation of this idealization is the continual fear of making a wrong decision, as a result of which the taking of a decision on any question (what to buy, where to go on holiday, etc.) drags on forever.
It’s usually said of a person with such an idealization that he has a “poor self-image”. He does not love himself, does not consider himself worthy of receiving anything good, can’t stand up for his interests, can’t turn anyone down, etc. All the grievances of a person with this idealization are directed only at himself.
This idealization is more common in women.
- The idealization (i.e.exaggeration) of one’s abilities. This idealization arises when a person has the theoretically sound and correct conviction that “he is very capable, is an excellent professional”. Usually he really is a very capable specialist in some particular field of activity.
However, by exaggerating the importance of this idea, he starts to have an inflated opinion of his professionalism and no longer wishes to listen to anyone’s advice or hints. Outwardly this manifests itself as arrogance, dissatisfaction with small achievements, a desire to be first in everything. He often finds himself in conflict with a manager, as he considers himself more worthy of that position.
If they don’t achieve success, people with such an idealization start blaming life or people around them, etc., for their problems. All of their grievances are always directed solely at people around them or circumstances, they never doubt their own infallibility.
He is very touchy and is very offended by any comment or doubts about the correctness of his actions.
This idealization is more often found in men.
- The idealization (i.e.exaggeration) of one’s exceptionality, pride. This idealization occurs when a person believes that he is exceptional, sometimes called “having delusions of grandeur”. Because of it the person considers that the world revolves around him; and that everything that happens in the world is directed against him or for him.
Accordingly, such a person only attaches importance to his own opinions, needs and interests, and despises everything else.
- The idealization of one’s pastimes, hobbies. This aspect of our lives only becomes an idealization when a person has a very high opinion of his professionalism and success in some field (for example sport or politics), and gets extremely irritated when someone expresses doubts about them.
- The idealization of the body, of physical health. This idealization often occurs in people who are convinced that “one must lead a correct way of life, take care of one’s health”. On the whole this conviction is correct, but at times it gives rise to contempt for people who are not in good physical shape and lead an incorrect way of life.
Another form of manifestation of this idealization is extreme hypochondria, a permanent anxiety about the state of one’s health. People with the idealization of health are constantly paying visits to doctors and pharmacists, although objectively they might be perfectly healthy.
- The idealization of a goal. The idealization of a goal arises when you are firmly committed to the achievement of a goal which you have set yourself (I always achieve a goal I set myself!), and any obstacle or delay causes you intense irritation. You might get edgy and blame yourself or other people, it doesn’t matter which. The main thing is that you can’t bear it if you don’t achieve your goal in the time you’ve set yourself.
A more detailed description of this idealization can be found in the book “Smile before it’s too late”  or in “The encyclopedia of Idealizations” – you can see them in the Internet-shop Psymarket www.psymarket.ru
You can read the book “Smile before it’s too late” at the site “Self-transformation Assistant” by clicking on “Read”.
Let’s reduce the significance of your ultra-important ideas
Let’s say you’ve made the effort and identified 3 – 5 of your idealizations. They’ve been poisoning your life for many years, but it’s never occurred to you that it might have
been a good idea long ago to stop the pointless or even harmful, judging by the results, struggle for your ideals.
What do you do with them next?
The answer is very simple: you have to act in such a way that these brilliant ideas no longer drag you into the struggle, whatever happens to you or around you.
And when will this happen?
When the idea which before was very important to you becomes simply a good idea, but not as important as before.
In other words, you have to reduce its significance in your system of values. And once it’s no longer very important, it’s no longer necessary to be provoked when something happens which is “not right”.
For example, before you always got worked up when someone didn’t arrive at the agreed time. You had the idealization of relationships in the form of the splendid expectation: “if someone has promised to arrive at an agreed time, he is obliged to keep this promise”.
Probably, amongst the people who are close to you and who have been around you for a long time, there are several who are continually late, and you invariably condemn them, at the expense of your mental health.
Now you have changed something in yourself, and your expectation has taken on a somewhat different form: “if someone has promised to arrive at an agreed time, he might arrive at that time, or he might not, because of various circumstances”. And now, having arranged the meeting, you calmly wait for the person, if you need him for something. Realizing that he might be late, you take a book or a tablet beforehand and occupy yourself with reading.
And if you don’t really need the person for anything, you wait 10 – 15 minutes, then calmly leave to sort out your own affairs. Now let him stew trying to work out whether you turned up or haven’t yet arrived. Probably next time he’ll try and get there on time (although that’s by no means guaranteed).
So we see that
To free yourself from the endless struggle, all you have to do is revise you expectation a little, make it less important, less crucial.
How can you do this?
In the book “A rational world. How to live without unnecessary emotions” 9 examples of work on idealizations are described. Here we examine just one of them.
Let’s replace our inner attitudes.
For every idealization there are several external indications that it is present. One of
them is the recurrence of characteristic thoughts which keep going round and round in our
heads at the time of the emotion.
For example, with the idealization of relations such characteristic thoughts are of
- Now how can he behave like that, he promised, didn’t he!
- How can he raise his voice (shout, be rude, express himself) at me! It’s awful! I
can’t bear it!
- How can she say bad things about another person behind his back! It’s awful!
- He just doesn’t listen to me at all! It’s awful! Is really possible to be so insensitive
(selfish, think only about oneself, not take into account the interests of others)!
- My girl-friend has deceived me (betrayed me, let me down, gone off with my boyfriend)!
I can’t bear it!
- How could he forget that yesterday was my birthday (anniversary of wedding, of first
meeting, birth of child, engagement, divorce, etc.)!
- He’s an insensitive oaf! He could have guessed that I was expecting some
consideration and help!
With the idealization of control the following are characteristic thoughts:
- I can’t relax if I don’t know where my child (husband, mother, brother, etc.) are,
what he’s doing, whether he’s OK.
- Why didn’t he do as I ordered? You can’t trust anyone to do anything, you have to
do everything yourself!
- I can’t allow myself to rest, otherwise everything will fall apart straightaway!
- I know how people around me ought to act and I’ll do whatever it takes to make sure
they behave correctly!
- I’m very frightened of the future and I’m constantly worried because of this.
- I can’t concentrate on what I’m doing because I’m always eavesdropping on what’s
happening around me.
- I can’t relax so long as I’m not absolutely sure that today I’ve done everything I
could (within the time set, like that, as one should, etc.).
With the idealization of one’s imperfection some characteristic recurring thoughts
- I’m always worried that I’ll fail to do something correctly!
- I have no right to spend time or energy on myself, I’m not worthy of it!
- It’s awful if someone suffers because of me!
- I can’t allow myself not to pay back the debt! I’ll do it at any price!
- I’m to blame for not being able to help this person in time! I’ll never forgive myself
- I’d rather put up with the situation or do everything myself than burden people with
- There’s no point my even trying, I’ll fail anyway!
- I absolutely must make the right decision, I don’t have the right to make a mistake!
With the idealization of one’s abilities the following are characteristic thoughts:
- Who are you to teach me? I’ll teach you everything you want myself!
- How can such a talentless person be a manager? I wouldn’t take him on as a
- I don’t need small results. It’s either all or nothing!
- I’m a professional in what I do and I don’t tolerate advisers!
- I can’t tolerate suggestions or preaching!
A complete list of characteristic thoughts for all 23 idealizations can be found in the
“Encyclopedia of Idealizations”.
In the course of keeping your Diary of self-observation try to identify your
characteristic thoughts and enter them directly into your Diary.
Let’s replace our characteristic thoughts by others
One can examine these recurring thoughts as stable negative attitudes which
determine our behaviour unconsciously (although you consider them positive and
wholly correct), and from which we somehow have to free ourselves.
That means that to prevent your ideas becoming idealizations, you have to replace your negative attitudes by other more positive ones, which don’t drag you into a struggle for your ideal.
For every negative attitude (your characteristic thought) you must initially form an opposite positive attitude.
And then install the positive attitude into your Subconscious using the various devices for self-programming.
We’ll talk about self-programming later on, but for now we’ll discuss how to correctly form a positive assertion (attitude, idea, expectation – these all refer to the same thing).
Set out below are the basic conditions for the formulation of a positive assertion [PA]:
- The positive assertion must be opposite in sense to the negative attitude and must cancel it out. In other words, you must declare what you wish to have instead of the quality (or assertion) which you find undesirable.
- Positive assertions must be positive, that is, formulated without the particle “not”. That means that you must indicate what you want to have rather than what you want to get rid of.
- A positive assertion is always formed with reference to yourself, that is, one always uses the pronouns: “I”, “me”, “myself”, etc. You’re changing yourself , not people around you or circumstances.! Don’t attempt to program a change in other people – they don’t want it and you won’t have any success.
- A positive assertion should be “yours”, that is, it should be pleasing to you, and its repetition should summon up good feelings inside you.
This is only the basic set of conditions for the formulation of a PA; a more complete inventory is drawn up in the site “Self-transformation Assistant” at Step 2.
It’s essential to observe these conditions, otherwise you’ll end up loading yourself with the usual verbiage (as with various kinds of affirmation), and your Subconscious will not understand what precisely you want.
Let’s examine what the positive assertions, which are the opposites of the characteristic thoughts cited above, might look like.:
The thought characteristic of the idealization – negative attitude
Positive assertion, cancelling out the idealization
I can’t relax if I don’t know where my child (husband, mother,
I trust in Life and myself. I’m sure that all the people close to me are quite alright. I’ll let Life take
brother, etc.) is, what he is doing, whether everything is OK with him.
care of people close to me
Why haven’t they done as I ordered? You can’t trust anyone to do anything, I have to do everything myself!
I will gently and calmly direct the activity of people under me. I will gradually develop in my subordinates an attitude of initiative and responsibility towards the job being carried out.
You can’t trust anyone to do anything, they have to ruin everything.
I will start to trust my colleagues. I will create a mode of operation which will enable my colleagues to learn do all tasks responsibly and to an excellent standard. With time I can easily get rid of those colleagues who either don’t wish to or can’t justify my trust.
I’m always afraid of failing to do something correctly!
I trust Life and myself! Everything I do is correct from the start. I completely approve of myself and my actions.
I don’t have the right to waste time or energy on myself, I’m not worthy of it!
I’m worthy of the best of everything! It’s a pleasure to allow myself take care of myself first.
Who are you to teach me? I’ll teach you everything you want myself.
I will allow people around me to show concern for me in whatever way they see fit. In a spirit of goodwill and interest I will nurture their attempts to help me.
And how can such a talentless person be manager? I wouldn’t take him on as caretaker!
I accept that every person determines his own fate himself. My attitude towards people who have achieved important results for me, by whatever means, is one of respect.
A large number of the various positive assertions are cited in the Appendix to the book “A rational world. How to live without superfluous emotions”, and in the “Encyclopedia of idealizations” – you can look at them there.
But here you must learn to independently formulate the new positive assertions. They’ll be more successful at solving your problems insofar as:
– they’ll be formed by you, which means that they’ll reflect more precisely what you want to replace your present inner convictions, which you want to get rid of.
– As you free yourself from certain negative convictions, you’ll acquire new ones, which you also want to get rid of, and you’ll do this easily and quickly yourself.
If you haven’t been lazy, kept up your self-observation Diary for a couple of months, and thereby recorded your characteristic thoughts, then the process of forming the positive assertions itself will require a couple of hours of work from you overall.
As a result you will acquire a list of those positive assertions (PA) which you would like to be guided by in future.
But so far it’s just a list of nice phrases on paper or on the computer screen.
Now you have to bring it about that:
The Subconscious accepts them as commands which it has to follow in future.
This is by no means a simple matter, as we are all quite well protected from external influences. We’re constantly being assailed by adverts “buy that, go this way, do this”, so we’re well-adapted to telling these appeals to get lost.
In just the same way our “internal censor” will tell our positive assertions to get lost – from its point of view they’re no different from adverts appealing to us to do something.
How will we install a PA?
This means that we have to somehow get round it and get PA’s into our Subconscious ourselves.
At this point there are two ways: direct and indirect.:
The direct way to install a new conviction into the Subconscious is to make a huge effort and thereby convince our “censor” that we’re not having a passing fancy, but a perfectly serious intention.
In other words, we start to repeat to ourselves our PA’s, at the same time imagining ourselves to be the possessor of a new quality – and not just once or twice, but a thousand or several thousand times. The number of repetitions should be directly proportional to your level of education and skepticism. The more degrees you’ve got, the more difficult it is to change something in the structure of your expectations – you already know everything. So you need a very long time to convince yourself that new PA’s are very necessary and important for you.
Most people who try this way usually lose interest in the techniques of inner changes – you’ve probably given it a go and not achieved anything.
So people have devised lots of roundabout ways of installing the programs we need into our Subconscious by evading our “inner censor”.
What are these ways?
One of them, developed thousands of years ago by various Eastern teachers, is called meditation.
Classical meditation is a process whereby one achieves total inner silence, a complete emptying of the mind of all thoughts for long periods of time. It’s possible to achieve this by sitting motionless for hours on end, concentrating on certain processes in the body (breathing, pulsation of the blood), or on external objects such as a flame, a point on the wall or a mandala (a special drawing).
As a result of prolonged (months, years, decades) meditations it is possible to achieve a state in which one’s mind is empty (there is no flow of thoughts, at this moment our unwanted “inner censor” is switched off), allowing you to calmly introduce the idea you need into your Subconscious.
This method is completely ineffective in our frenetic times, when people simply don’t have the opportunity to meditate for months (or years) in order to achieve inner silence. And all the trainings or sound recordings, which prompt you to concentrate on something or imagine something, have absolutely no effect on your “censor”, which remains on the alert and thwarts any attempts at serious change; although, of course, you do achieve pleasant momentary states.
Technologies which, for example, force you to switch off the “inner censor” are more effective. And for this you don’t need to bang yourself on the head till you lose consciousness.
It’s possible to use sleep, for example, when your “censor” switches itself off. That is, you dictate your PA’s into a recording device and then set it on play-back all night at a low volume.
Another method is the use of the “25th frame effect”. You download your PA’s into the computer program “Matrix of Success” and then it brings them up on your computer screen for a split second over all the other programs which are working on the computer. You occupy yourself with your own jobs on the computer whilst the PA’s install [the Russian is literally “download”.tr.] themselves into your subconscious. You can read about this program in more detail at the site www.psymarket.ru .
Another way of “downloading” PA’s “free” is the use of special audio-recording with a set of PA’s about a specific subject-matter. With the help of special technology, the PA’s, dictated by a speaker, are rendered imperceptible to the human ear and superimposed onto the sounds of nature. As a result you listen to the sound of the sea whilst the attitudes you require insinuate themselves into your Subconscious – your “censor” is not able to make out the PA’s in the noise of the waves and then block them. But your Subconscious picks them up easily and assimilates them. The recording of the discs is done by a patented American technology .
For example, the effect of the “audiomood” “I am delighted with myself” is to improve a woman’s self-image, that of the “mood” “Tender Amazon” to increase the femininity and sensuality of excessively active and business-like women. The “mood”
“Real leader” increases the self-confidence and leadership potential of men who lack self-confidence. You can look at the details of this technology and a list of ready-to-use “moods” at the site www.psymarket.ru .
These technologies do not require any great effort on your part, but are time-consuming – a matter of a month or longer.
The quickest and most effective method is to mentally repeat your PA’s after you have forced your “censor” to switch off. And it’s switched off by raising the energy level of your body – remember how at moments of emotional arousal you stop controlling yourself and carry out ill-considered actions.
But it turns out that it’s possible to bring about a controlled arousal without emotion and, as a result, carry out necessary actions after thinking them through.
How do you achieve such a state of excitation? All you have to do is breathe as quickly and as intensively as you can with the full force of your lungs for several minutes. If you do this standing, you will always remain conscious, which will enable you to repeat the PA’s you require. But as a result your “controller” will switch off, your PA’s will pass directly into your Subconscious and there replace the unwanted negative convictions.
This process is not very simple, but it’s very effective. Its use does carry with it contraindications for certain categories of debilitated and psychologically unbalanced people.
It’s described in more detail in the book “Start Your Life Anew. 4 steps to a new reality”  – you can read it at the site-trainer “Self-transformation Assistant” www.selftrans.ru by clicking on “Read”.
And on this site this technology of “Effective Self-programming” is applied in full at Step 2.
It’s now time to bring together the results of this chapter.
- The first principle of a successful life is equivalent to: Condemning harms you. You urgently need to stop condemning.
- This implies that probably you have several wholly positive convictions of great significance to you about what or how things should happen to you or around you. These hyper-important convictions are called “idealizations”.
- Idealizations are convictions, whose source is probably unknown to you and which, as a result, have a very powerful influence on your life. Confronted with a situation in which something doesn’t correspond to your idealization, you
immediately get drawn into a struggle to make the situation correspond to your expectation.
- Your struggle ends up on a collision course with circumstances and people who don’t consider it necessary to follow your ideas. This gives rise to a very long-drawn-out and usually unsuccessful struggle, which takes up an inordinate amount of your time and effort.
- You do not notice that you unconsciously condemn everything which does not correspond to your idealizations and launch yourself into a struggle against it.
- Wishing to realize your hyperimportant expectation, you unconsciously seek out people and situations which fail to match up to your idealizations. As a result, you literally surround yourself with people (and situations), against whom (which) you are compelled to struggle.
- Having got immersed in the struggle for your ideals, you either destroy that which is dear or close to you, or are diverted from your progress towards those goals which would have given you success and happiness.
- In order to make your life more joyful and successful, you need to reduce the value of your hyperimportant ideas to the level of ordinary ideas. As a result, your grounds for condemning anyone will disappear. And the idealizations will no longer thwart your efforts to achieve your goals.
- All of this is probably quite straightforward, but practically no one makes this simple step.