The Dog Just Rolled Over And Died! – The Art of Learnt Helplessness

Learnt Helplessness

A weird title, no doubt but hey it got you reading, right :-D!  I am not above cheap attempts to get your attention.  So what has the dog got to do with anything?

I am reading a book at the moment by a dude called Brian Johnson called ‘A Philosopher’s notes’ (Everyone should get a copy) and… Oh wait, before I get into that, let me quickly mention that yesterday and Saturday were awesome days for the Mum in Business.

(Totally Random Alert 🙂 ) I was hanging out with all these cool coaches like Rich Litvin, Steve Chandler, Steve Hardison, Stacie Smith, Pete Bryceland, Michael Serwa, Monique Debose, Oh Man, I could go on for another 100 names but yeah, you possibly don’t care :-).  Ultimately, life has shifted again after this last conference in London.  It is impossible to hang out with inspirational people without something changing.  So… who are you hanging out with?

Anyway, back to the dog.

Brian Johnson in his book, mentions an experiment performed with 2 dogs.  Now, he words this a lot better than I do but I want to get across my thoughts, not his.

The experiment goes something like this… (and yes, it is a little cruel but please do not kill the messenger!)

2 Dogs are shocked periodically – 1 has the ability to press a button to stop the shocks, the other has no such luck.  Both get shocked intermittently for a period.  One learns to stop the shocks, the other can’t

They are moved to another place and the same thing happens except this time, both dogs are given a button to stop the electrical shocks.  Still, only one dog presses the button.

How come?

The poor other dog has learnt to be helpless and he has given up hope.

I was sitting in the bath, reading this and my brain started running ten to the dozen with how this applies to us in life and I had to carefully place the book on the window sill and think.  I really wanted this to sink into me.

Here are my thoughts on learnt helplessness…

How many of us have learnt to be helpless?  Life comes with its fair share of challenges and there are times when it seems easier to just drop down and give up.  I understand, I have been there.

Most of you reading this are in business or aspire to be and the truth is, sometimes, running a business can be pretty tough and the ones that quit have forgotten what it means to be optimistic.

They have learnt to give up as for so long, there has been no respite form the hardship.  They feel all hope is lost and the truth is, when you are wrapped up in your business concerns, it is pretty difficult to see any way out.

A lot of the people I speak to, work hard, very hard at their business and still have not realised the success they had dreamt of.  Happiness seems a million miles away and some reach out and still remain optimistic that there is a way out so they call me while, there are innumerable business owners who give up or keep doing the same thing over and over, moaning and groaning about the banks and the economy and the governement and everything.

I worked as a pharmacist for a while and to this day, I am amazed at the learnt helplessness that occurs to very intelligent professionals. The complaints are everywhere – the multiples are taking over the world, the NHS does not care about us, The patients treat us like dirt and expect us to hand out their medication in seconds of arrival (even though they will go to the surgery and wait 2 hours for an appointment), and many many more statements of helplessness.

(Sorry, but it is true!)

The truth for any health and wellness professionals is this – There are sick people who need our help, there are average healthy people who will live for another 50 years and get progressively unwell if we do not assist them in remaining healthy.  We have learnt the art of health, beauty and wellness but now refuse to market it whilst hiding behind our stories of unfairness in the powers that be.

Enough, I say!

We all have a button we can press that could make a world of difference to our pain and frustration but it seems, we have learnt helplessness.

Hear me now – You can choose differently if you want.  THERE IS ALWAYS A WAY!

Are you willing to learn optimism or are you content to have learnt helplessness?

Think about it and pop on over to grab your copy of this amazing new report I have put together to help you all market yourself soooo much better.  This is certainly your magic button – Are you ready?

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