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Home » Confidence Building, Decision Making, Featured, Goal Setting, Headline, Motivation, Problem Solving, Self Esteem

Breaking the Cycle of Helplessness

Submitted by on April 18, 2012 – 11:52 pmNo Comment

Author: Jacob Lumbroso

One of the biggest obstacles to achieving goals and realizing success in life is a sense of helplessness. So many people go through life assuming that they can do absolutely nothing about their circumstances and simply wait around until someone else intervenes and creates a better life for them.

Of course, in the vast majority of cases, no superhero is going to jump into your life and take care of everything for you, and so many people who do not take responsibility for their own lives end up wasting most of their potential and only achieve mediocre success and happiness. Why is this the case? Is learned helplessness really a major problem in our society?

A professor from the University of Pennsylvania dedicated over 25 years of study to a syndrome he labeled ” learned helplessness.” In this study, the professor studied thousands of people and concluded that most individuals in our society (perhaps even 80%) have acquired some level of learned helplessness.

Even if it seems that these numbers are exaggerated, it is clear that a large portion of the country (perhaps a majority) have learned to feel helpless about their own situation. No matter what goal they would like to achieve, they always end up telling themselves that they simply can’t do anything about it.

They tell themselves (either subconsciously or quite consciously) that they cannot do anything to improve their career and earning potential. They really believe that they cannot really save money and improve their financial health, and this kind of attitude pervades every aspect of their lives. These people feel helpless when it comes to health and being fit physically, starting their own business, improving or maintaining a relationship, and just about everything else that is important in most people’s lives.

The root cause of this symptom is probably an accumulation of failures and destructive criticism in a person’s past. At some point in life, a person begins to experience failures in various aspects. These may include breakdowns in relationships, academic work and school, business, and just about all other parts of life that we can think of. On top of this, there is often a great destructive criticism that comes from friends or family members at the same time, and this only compounds the idea that a person is no good at doing this or that task.

Regardless of the root cause of learned helplessness, it is extremely important for every person to begin taking steps toward accepting responsibility and taking action to achieve goals. We probably all have a sense of this helplessness at some time in our lives, for all of us have been plagued with negative thinking and a failure to act at the appropriate times.

However, some people are truly paralyzed mentally or emotionally and never seem to get started toward achieving their goals. It is important for these kinds of people (and probably for all of us) to begin setting small, easily achievable goals. Accomplishing these goals will only lead to confidence, and this will help people achieve more important goals down the road.

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About the Author

Jacob Lumbroso is a writer and an enthusiast for foreign languages, history, and foreign cultures. He recommends for anyone looking to buy dual reclining loveseat.

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