This is a continuing series on how you are infected with negative memes, developing limiting beliefs from them. This causes you to work to become prosperous on your conscious level but undercut your own efforts because of your subconscious self-sabotage programming. The crushing side effect is that you decimate your self-esteem, stop dreaming big, and settle for a life of mediocrity. Last post we explored why you love to hate rich people. I told you that we had yet one more timeless universal meme to explore. And that is…
“The hero’s journey.”
Another mind virus almost certain to cause you to self-sabotage your health, happiness, and success.
The hero’s journey is another archetype that has been with us in storytelling – and self-sabotage – for thousands of years. The basic premise of the hero’s journey is an average person (the chosen one), is confronted by an extraordinary challenge. They initially reject taking the challenge, then have their “stasis = death” moment, accept the challenge/journey, find a guide or mentor, and ultimately prevail. We love hero’s journey stories because we can project ourselves in the place of the protagonist, and view ourselves as the noble, spiritual little guy (or girl), fighting the force of evil.
“The fates lead him who will; him who won’t they drag.”
- Joseph Campbell
And if we want to analyze the redundant and formulaic tropes in hero’s journey stories – and how once again, they relate to you, you, you – notice this: Usually at around the midpoint of the story, the hero undergoes a death and rebirth — sometimes literal, sometimes figurative — that forever cements their transformation. (This is the underlying element tying together all of these posts. I’m working on my next book Radical Rebirth, about how to kill off the old you and start fresh.) You’ll see this death and rebirth theme in ancient mythology, comic books from the ‘50s, Puccini operas in the 1800s, bestselling novels in the ‘70s, and the blockbuster movies of today. Some examples of the hero’s journey formula in action:
The Lion King
The Chronicle of Narnia
Star Trek (The 2009 JJ Abrams movie)
To Kill a Mockingbird
Lord of the Rings
The Hunger Games
The Wizard of Oz
These are the ones that pop off of the top of my head in a hot minute. There are literally millions to choose from. (You get more bonus points if you noticed the stories that made both the orphan and the hero’s journey lists. If so, you’re starting to see how the emotional manipulation of mind viruses really work.)
Now let’s explore how your love of hero’s journey stories as a child – could turn into self-sabotage once you reached adulthood...
It all begins with the programming, usually from organized religion, based around the “you’re not worthy” theme. Once you’ve bought into the not worthy mindset, you’re basically doomed to a life of self-sabotage because you don’t believe you deserve happiness and success. And when you start achieving happiness and success, you’ll subconsciously feel guilty about it. (This is a huge cause of imposter syndrome.) The root cause of all your behavior from this point forward will be based on your low self-esteem. Put in emotional terms, you feel unworthy and desperately want to feel worthy.
This leads to all kinds of crazy, dysfunctional behavior. One of the craziest things I see happen from this situation is you subconsciously set out to create a more heroic hero’s journey for yourself.
In my coaching program I have worked with people who blew up their marriages, bankrupted successful businesses, or found some other way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory – because they were subconsciously trying to create a more heroic story, in an attempt to assuage their feelings of unworthiness.
You subconsciously believe that if you overcome bankruptcy not just once but twice – or beat cancer four times instead of three – or survive getting fired, your dog dying and the house burning down all in the same week – you’re going to finally deserve to be loved and accept yourself.
But if you don’t eviscerate the negative beliefs causing you to manifest all of that trauma and drama, it will all be for naught.
The perfect storm of negative brainwashing…
The education system programs you to be a worker drone in the collective. The government trains you to be needy and dependent. Organized religion convinces you that you’re not worthy and need them to make it to nirvana. Finally, the Datasphere throws all these mind viruses into the crockpot with your subconscious mind and simmers them 24/7.
Is it any wonder that you grew up to be a mess of conflicting emotions, incongruent philosophy, and self-destructive tendencies?
It is what it is. But it doesn’t have to remain that way. Because you really can kill off the old you and replace it with a new and improved model. That process begins by eviscerating the limiting beliefs and sending them back into the nothingness from which they came. And replacing them with beliefs that empower you. That’s what we will explore next. Until then, would love to see your thoughts below.