Self Sabotage

Gary really knows how to cause himself pain. I sit amazed week after week as I watch him wage war on himself. Sure, sometimes he is yelling at his girlfriend, or the guy at his job who he thinks doesn’t show him enough respect, but for the most part he isn’t at odds with them so much as he is simply just compelled to continuously stir drama in his own life. What is he thinking? Why is it that he seems to crave drama in his life?

A few days ago, Gary and Melinda had a fight. I know because I was there as it happened. I live next door to Gary. It’s the exact same thing as you hear it on TV talk shows. Melinda is on prescription medication for being bipolar. She skips out on taking the drugs, goes crazy, and bingo bango they are fighting. She physically attacks him. He pushes her away a little too hard and she trips. One of her girlfriends calls the police, and next thing you know, Gary is in handcuffs. The punch line to this joke is when she later says, “but I love him.” This reoccurs every few months or so. Now, you would think that Gary would wise up, get a restraining order, and find a “normal” girl, but no, he doesn’t. Not more than 24 hours after the police have left, he tells me that his apartment is just so quiet without her. He misses her. He is just as crazy as her to say something like this! He would rather have a clinically insane girl occasionally attacking him than a quiet apartment.

I’m sure you know people who behave like this. Maybe they habitually use drugs to get as high as the moon and then suffer though the hangover after. Maybe they are in a bad relationship like Gary and Melinda. Maybe even you have something repetitive that you do that takes you through emotional highs and lows for no logical reason. It’s time for you to finally understand what’s built into every human that compels us to behave in this way.

Everything I teach is rooted in evolutionary psychology. If you want to understand why people do what they do, evolutionary psychology will give you the answer. Your brain and how it works is the product of evolution. Evolution is not a fast process. The “software” that is running in your head is about 40,000 years out of date. So you are living in today’s world, but your head is wired for the world of 40,000 years ago. This mismatch is the number one cause of all the bad decisions that people make today.

40,000 years ago, life was harsh. If you were alive back then all you thought about was hunting/gathering food, trying to not become dinner for some other animal, and if you were lucky, reproduce before dying at a very young age. Life was very, very stressful. It was programmed into you that survival and huge emotional swings went hand in hand. The reason we developed this over 40,000 years ago was because it was an advantage to us. Your ancestors craved situations like this because it was to their benefit. There were two options back then:

OPTION ONE: Cower in the back of a cave too scared to leave to gather food and hunt. They sit there until they get so weak that they either just die or the first fierce animal that finds them has no problem making dinner out of them. – This group dies out quickly.

OPTION TWO: Be a prehistoric adrenaline junkie. They leave the safety of their cave and risk death as they hunt and fight off animals that are hunting them. We are all decedents of prehistoric adrenaline junkies because they were the ones who survived at least long enough to have children. Our brains are wired for desiring huge emotional swings because 40,000 years ago it increased our chances of survival and replication.

As life changed for us over the years and got easier, we created new ways to satisfy that evolutionary need for highly charged emotional swings. We replaced hunting tribes with sports teams. We replaced quests for conquest with movies. We replaced inter-tribal rivalry with day time TV soap operas. Our brains are wired for drama and that is why we create it in today’s world.

So where does this leave us? Are we doomed to create useless drama in our lives to satisfy some outdated evolutionary need? Thankfully, no. We can use the logical part of our brains to actually use this to our advantage.

How? The first step is to understand why this exists in you, and now you know the answer. The second step is to choose the emotional roller coaster you are going to ride and do it wisely.

Stop watching TV habitually. Stop drinking and doing drugs habitually. And if Gary happens to read this, stop getting into relationships with women who are clinically insane.

Like our ancestors, get your fix of emotional highs and lows from things that make your life better via participation.

One hour of strenuous exercise a day will do it. When those endorphins start to kick in (once you make habit of working out every day) you will feel great after you workout. As a side note, you’ll hurt like hell when you push it and that will provide the emotional low. If this isn’t enough for you, start kickboxing. Beating the hell out of someone and having the crap kicked out of you (in the safest way possible) a few days a week will definitely do it.

If you want to learn more, click on the below link to get a free copy of my eBook.

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