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Unfu*k Yourself: Get Out of Your Head and Into Your Life

By Gary John Bishop

Summary by Ali Salah

10 min read

This book will help you understand the complexity and power of self-talk, and how to use it as a force for good in your life.

If you are caught up in a constant loop of internal chatter that tells you that you’re lazy or not good enough, this is a conversational slap from the universe to wake you up to your true potential. To unfuck yourself and get spectacularly into your life!

Why self-talk is profound?

The kind of talk you engage in dramatically affects how you deal with life and confront problems. Positive talk can improve your mood, boost confidence and increase productivity. The bad news is that the reverse is also true; your self-talk can fuck you over in ways you can’t even imagine. The more you tell yourself how hard something is, the harder it will seem. We sometimes resist simple things like folding laundry when they actually take little time and effort. Why? Because we have negative self-talk about these kinds of tasks. Look into your life for “stuck-ness” and you’ll see: you have a serious self-talk blockage! If you self-talk about how unfair life is, you’ll act according to that view. While the person who views success as if it was just around the corner work his butt off to achieve it! It’s entirely within our power to determine how we think and talk about our problems.

I am willing!

If you think about it, willingness is missing in your life. Willingness to change, willingness to let go and accept. That’s why the first personal assertion you should have is: I am willing. Ask yourself: Am I willing to go to the gym? Am I willing to work on the project I’ve been putting off? Am I willing to face my social fears? Also, “I am unwilling” can be just as powerful. When you’re unwilling to continue to simply exist and feel unfulfilled, you’ll make the effort necessary to make a change.

We’d probably all like to be filthy rich, but are you willing to do what it takes to make that much money? Too often, we only focus on what we don’t have, even though we don’t really need it and don’t even want it. If you really want something, take the action required. If you’re not willing to do the extra 20 hours a week just to drive a BMW, give up the complete waste of headspace. When you start to view the world in terms of what you’re willing and unwilling to pursue, rather than what it seems you want and don’t want, things start to become a lot clearer. Instead of worrying about things other people have, you’ll start focusing on what’s really important to you. Bear in mind that we all tend to build things up in our minds to be a lot bigger than they are. If that’s the case for you, try breaking the task down into smaller declarations of willingness to “stand up,” “get out of bed,” “open email,” etc. Ask yourself: “Am I willing?” over and over until you can hear it! Ask and ask till a resounding YES echoes through your consciousness. I AM WILLING.

I am wired to win!

You think you’re losing in life, but you’re actually winning! Everything that happens to you is a victory. Our thoughts are so powerful that they constantly pushing you toward your goals, even when you don’t realize what those goals are! What if you are actually driven to prove that no one will ever love you? What if it was planted there as a subconscious reaction to a bad childhood? What if you’re actively and deliberately undermining the success of your relationships? You were convinced that you weren’t worthy of a loving relationship, so you set out to prove it and you succeeded. Congrats! You have to uncover and realize how you have limited yourself. The conclusions that you’ve come to about yourself, others and life are the real limits to your potential. Whatever the domain you’re winning in, you’ll start to realize something - you’re good at it. You can avoid those dirty dishes in the sink for days. You’ll use every plate, cup, and piece of silverware in the house and then you start getting creative until you’re eating cereal out of a handy Tupperware container using a wooden baking spoon. It’s impressive in a weird way. You’re wired to win! Think about the things you’d like to change in your life, and break them down. What exact steps do you need to take to achieve it? What are mile markers you need to set to identify your progress? When you’ve set out your goals in life and relentlessly take the actions to produce, it’s only a matter of time. You are wired to win!

I got this

Negative experiences we have rarely stay contained in that one issue. They spread. If you’re having financial trouble, you’ll stress about it at dinner. Little mess can influence all areas of your life until your emotions surrounding that one area becomes the lens through which you see everything. The reality is: if you’re reading this, chances are that your life isn’t as hard as a child in Somalia. Get connected to your real-life instead of your emotionally soaked self-talk narrative about your life. Put things in perspective, so you can face life with a powerful attitude. Remember all the problems you faced and eventually overcame. A lot of them may be very similar to what you’re dealing with today. You probably felt a lot of the same emotions back then too. That you’d never get over an ex, neven find a better job, or that you wouldn’t live through the humiliation of a situation. But you did. You raised up and kicked on. Looking back they might even seem silly now. Face your problems as they come, one by one, give them the attention they need and move on. Bundling them together and letting them overwhelm you won’t help. Look at your track record: You’ve got this!

I embrace uncertainty

You’re an addict, out of control and so dependent on your drug that you don’t even realize how it’s affecting your life. You have a craving for prediction. We all seek certainty and avoid uncertainty. We want to know what to expect, where to go and what to wear. We all know the bumper stickers that praise risk-takers and urge us to embrace uncertainty, and we already know that taking risks directly correlates with our potential for success. Yet many of us still stay inside our own little, organized, certain world. Here is striking news: Your boss isn’t going to kill you when you ask for a raise. If you ask someone out, your pants won’t fall to the floor and expose your Spongebob underwear.

Uncertainty is where things happen.

How can you make friends and start romances without meeting new people? How can you do anything new by doing what you’ve always done?

Missing the target isn’t the worst thing you can do. Not taking the shot is.

Successful people didn’t succeed because they were certain they were going to succeed; they succeeded because they didn’t let uncertainty stop them! Our aversion to uncertainty comes from our fear of being judged by others. We are still afraid of what the tribe thinks and being thrown out into the uncertainty of the wild. Survival instincts that once kept us alive are now what keeps us from actually living.

If you want to do something great, you need to accept that some people are going to think you’re an idiot.

Start with simple things. Take a different route to work. Instead of bringing your lunch or eating at the same few places, try somewhere you’ve never been. Start a conversation with the cashier or waiter. Smile and say hello to people who pass on the street or give them a friendly nod. Talk to that girl or guy who caught your eye. Embrace uncertainty.

I am not my thoughts; I am what I do.

We all have feelings of dread when faced with something we’ve been resisting. You’d rather do anything than the task at hand. The truth is, we all do this, even the most driven and successful. What separates them is that they understand one simple thing: What they think and what they do don’t always have to align! They don’t always “feel” like doing, but they act anyway. The truth is: it’s difficult to control what you think about. You’re going to have negative thoughts, maybe every day or even hundreds of times per day. You have days where you don’t want to get out of bed and go to work, but you do! Every day you engage in activities that you don’t want to do. That means you already act independently of the thoughts you’re having. You change your life by doing, not by thinking about doing. Plus, doing is also the quickest way to change your thoughts. When your reality is one of acting on things that are in your best interests, your thoughts will eventually shift to match that. You’ll build self-confidence and trust in yourself. The next time you’re feeling negative thoughts, move on immediately. Act independently of that thought in a way that’s in your best interest. It’s all about momentum. Once you’ve started rolling, it’s easier to stay moving. It’s when we challenge our bodies and minds and face our fears and accomplish, that we truly change who we are.

I am relentless.

Don’t be fooled by the self-help bullshit that tells you that “you deserve it.” Because you don’t. No one does. You will need to make it happen. Being relentless is the one thing that can keep you going. The momentum to keep moving and moving, no matter what happens. It doesn’t matter what we’re feeling. True relentless comes when the only thing you have left is relentless! The key to becoming relentless is to focus on what’s directly in front of you. Give it your full attention. Become someone who progresses even when all seems lost. Relentless is the bodybuilder who goes to the gym for hours every day. Relentless is the entrepreneur who has been rejected but keeps pitching anyway. Relentless is the new employee at the bottom of the corporate ladder barely making enough to pay her rent, and yet staying at the office later than anyway just to learn as much as she can. Relentless is you! Even when you don’t see anything happening. It is. Even when you’re not quite hitting the mark, you’re making progress. When you’re trekking through the jungle, you don’t know if you’re three days from civilization or 30 minutes. All you can do is walk. The only way out is forward.

I expect nothing and accept everything.

Many of your life’s upsets are the result of your expectations. The gap between how it is and how it should have been. You stress when trying to make life fit your expectations, and get disappointed when it doesn’t match up to them.

Your problems don’t derail you, your hidden expectations do!

The stone-cold attachment to expectations is like falling out of a row-boat and continuing to row even though there is no boat under you anymore. Your plan is no longer relevant. It’s much more powerful to come in terms with life’s unpredictability and to engage with circumstances for what they are rather than getting bogged down by your refusal to let go of unproductive expectations. Simply take things as they present themselves rather than constantly expect. Also, your interactions with other people will improve the moment you let go of expecting and accept things as they happen. If there’s something you want, how about asking for it with no expectation? And when you do something generous, do it because you genuinely want to rather than expecting a return. When you accept everything, that doesn’t mean you are ok with your circumstances, but simply that you are owning it and in charge of it. You can always change something when you take responsibility for it.

Love the life you have, not the one you expected to have

Final words

If you want to change your life, you have to make it happen. Thinking, meditating and planning won’t help if you’re not willing to go out and take action and make changes. To improve your internal world, you have to start by taking action in the external world. Get out of your mind, and get out into your life.

Two steps to freedom:

  1. Stop doing what’s holding you back.
  2. Start taking actions that propel you forward.

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Written by Basile & Ali