Avoiding negative thoughts and taking control of your life

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life.

Click here to purchase Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life

In 2007, I picked up this book at a book store. I had no idea who Wayne Dyer was and I wasn’t really interested in self-help books, but I felt like I was at a dead-end in my life and something about this book sounded promising. I felt like I was always at the mercy of others doing things to me and I felt helpless and unable gain control of my own life. According to the back cover, “Dyer reveals how you can take charge of yourself and manage how much you let difficult situations affect you.” Maybe this book could help me….

Let me say that, by the time I got a few chapters in, I was incredibly impressed! Some of the ideas in this book are so simple–maybe so much so that we often don’t even stop to realize or understand. We just get into habits and live our lives the way we always have. We follow society’s conventions, but do we ever question what WE truly want? One idea that is a common thread in all of Dyer’s books is the idea that we should do what we want to do–not in a selfish way, but in a thoughtful way. Do what YOU want–not what others think you should do.

A breakdown of the chapters:
1. Taking Charge of Yourself
2. First Love
3. You Don’t Need Their Approval
4. Breaking Free From the Past
5. The Useless Emotions–Guilt and Worry
6. Exploring the Unknown
7. Breaking the Barrier of Convention
8. The Justice Trap
9. Putting an End to Procrastination–Now
10. Declare Your Independence
11. Farewell to Anger
12. Portrait of a Person Who Has Eliminated All Erroneous Zones

Dyer explains that we can control our feelings and reactions and should not define ourselves by what we’ve done in the past because we will get stuck in a cycle. He also points out that worry and guilt are a waste of our time. They drag us down and don’t change anything. Longing for justice will do the same. He warns us not to get caught up in pleasing others instead of ourselves and encourages us to stop worrying about what we “should” do and focus on our actual needs and wants. There are so many excellent lessons for living your life instead of just letting it happen to you, but I don’t want to copy the whole book here :) I’d say in a nutshell, this book is about being self-directed and positively assertive instead of letting ourselves get steered around by other people. I can’t say enough good things about this book and I think it is a great start for learning to really live and change your life for the better!

Lasting Lessons:
Not everyone is going to like you or what you have to say…and that is okay!
You have a right to make your own choices even if others don’t approve.
Life will be unfair sometimes, but you will only do more damage if you remain negative and angry about the lack of justice.

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