Life gets busy. Has Unfu*k Yourself been gathering dust on your bookshelf? Instead, pick up the key ideas now.
Unfu*k Yourself is a book that provides a simple outline of how we can achieve success in our lives. Gary John Bishop emphasizes the importance of taking action rather than spending time altering our thoughts or emotions. Unfu*k Yourself also places the importance of your success on your approach. There is a tendency for people to blame external circumstances and to accept self-doubt and inaction. However, John Bishop encourages readers to stop making excuses and start doing.
About Gary John Bishop
Gary John Bishop is one of the world’s leading Personal Development experts. His “urban philosophy” approach represents a new wave of personal empowerment and life mastery. Gary started his career as a Senior Program Director but now uses personal development as his tool to change people’s lives.
Chapter 1: I Am Willing
“We often view ourselves as procrastinators, lazy or unmotivated. When in reality, we’re simply unwilling. We put things off or avoid them completely because we tell ourselves we just don’t want to do it or that we can’t do it.”– Gary John Bishop
Gary explains that people struggle to change their lives because of their unwillingness to take the first step. If you are willing to take the first step, few things can prevent you from attaining your goals. One of the most common factors preventing people from taking this first step is a perceived lack of skill. However, every time you tell yourself that you don’t have the necessary skills, you convince yourself it is impossible. The least that you can do is try. For example, even if you don’t know how to paint a picture, you should always give it a go. Try regardless of your insufficient skills. Ultimately, most tasks aren’t as difficult as we think they are. Trying is more critical than possessing specialist skills.
Being willing allows you to open up to the possibility of making your dreams a reality. Comparatively, if you are unwilling, then you should not blame yourself. Suppose you are currently unwilling to pursue your goals yet willing to offer self-forgiveness. In that case, this keeps the door open for the possibility of future change. Casting blame on ourselves creates a negative perception that encourages self-doubt and inaction.
Chapter 2: I Am Wired to Win
“You change your life by doing, not by thinking about doing.”– Gary John Bishop
Refusing to lose will always allow you to win. Just by choosing to ‘do,’ you are in a state of winning.
Bishop explains our subconscious is crucial for our daily wins. Specifically, our subconscious is responsible for 95% of what we do daily. Therefore, you must learn to understand how you can break away from your subconscious’ habitual nature and start taking action. Through doing this, you may conquer any new task.
Bishop guides how you can start changing your problems into something that you can deal with. Firstly, you must create a game plan for how you are going to transform the situation. This game plan involves determining precisely what you want to change, how you will make changes, and the result. Bishop argues it is always your choice whether you decide to play or change the game.
You need to learn to only engage in tasks you care about winning. Then, you can genuinely focus on the more important matters.
Chapter 3: I Got This
“Remember, everything is solve-able, and if you can’t see a solution, it only means you haven’t worked it out yet.”– Gary John Bishop
The Unimportance of Perception
This chapter focuses on the unimportance of perception. Bishop warns readers against basing their lives on perceptions. In real life, nothing is perfect. If you perceive that your world could be perfect, this will only make your hard times even harder. Pitying yourself when things get tough will only leak negativity into the rest of your life. Bishop describes this as a chain reaction of negativity. Therefore, instead of allowing this negative mindset and frustration to ooze into your lives, you can listen to Bishop’s advice. Bishop offers a two-step approach to changing your perception of any situation and keeping your negativity at bay.
- Take an optimistic view. You must start to determine downfalls as nothing more than opportunities to grow.
- Shift your perspective entirely. Rather than simply being optimistic about certain aspects, you must change your whole mindset toward seeing all experiences as positive.
Historic Frustrations Lose Their Control
Every individual on Earth has problems. It is a fact that there will be another person on this planet that has more problems than you have right now. Bishop encourages readers to ponder the problems they have encountered in the past. It is likely that these issues now seem relatively unimportant. At this moment, these issues are less impactful than they once were. This concept is the same for all problems you will encounter in the future. Therefore, instead of letting these problems impact us in the present, we should overcome them through a positive outlook. By doing this, we are fast-tracking our ability to move on from problems.
“In simple terms, the language you use to describe your circumstances determines how you see, experience, and participate in them and dramatically affects how you deal with your life and confront problems both big and small.”– Gary John Bishop
Chapter 4: I Embrace the Uncertainty
“Life won’t stop for your pauses and procrastinations. It won’t stop for your confusion or fear. It will continue right along without you. Whether you play an active part or not, the show will go on.”– Gary John Bishop
We experience feelings of uncertainty because we have a natural tendency to crave safety. Hence, we seek out any knowledge of what is happening and what is going to happen. We use this knowledge as an indicator that we are in control of our lives. However, certainty is a safety blanket Bishop recommends we stop carrying around with us. Risk is one of life’s great necessities. Without risk, humans would still be stuck in a cave, spending all day hunting, foraging, and building fires. However, fast-forward millions of years, and risk has helped establish advanced societies that reward those who are willing to embrace uncertainty. Modern science and electricity are both built on a foundation of historical risks. Although taking risks may not bring you the innovation shown by the invention of electricity, it will change your life for the better.
Bishop explains that becoming comfortable with uncertainty opens up our lives to immense potential. Becoming successful relies on you being willing to take some risks. Nothing productive comes from living in the past and doing the same as others have for centuries. Instead, those who are highly successful took a risk and tried something different. Humans’ fear of uncertainty can be partly attributed to our fear of judgment. However, Bishop explains we cannot allow other people’s opinions to cloud our judgment or vision. Relying on others’ opinions of us will lead to us losing our perception of a successful self. As uncertainty is inevitable, we should embrace it.
Chapter 5: I Am Not My Thoughts. I Am What I Do
“If you took the time to be with what I’m saying, you’d realize that what causes most of your worry is trying to predict the future and then refusing to accept things when they don’t or aren’t going to go your way.”– Gary John Bishop
You Are Not Your Thoughts
Bishop explains our thoughts can be as harmful as other people’s opinions. We should never let either of these opinions stand in our way of accomplishing our goals. Our thoughts are not there to decide whether we are successful or unsuccessful. Instead, it is the actions that we take are crucial. Bishop believes that trying to control our thoughts is a waste of time. Instead of attempting to control every thought we have, we should be aiming to decide which thoughts are the best to put into action.
Bishop consolidates that you are not your thoughts. Therefore, your actions, not your self-perceptions, should be based on these thoughts. The reality is everybody has negative thoughts. Some people have more negative thoughts than others, but this does not change Bishop’s advice. Instead, the most important thing is how we act on these thoughts. These actions are what determines who we are. Hence, if we choose to ignore our negative thoughts and only act on our positive thoughts, we will become more positive.
Bishop also highlights that changing our lives relies on us acting on the thoughts that relate to our desires. If we start acting on our desires, then significant change will happen in our lives.
We can also become more confident by taking action. Worrying about our thoughts will only breed doubt. Instead, acting on all positive thoughts will remove any self-doubt. Actions you would have previously been unsure about will be underpinned by unique confidence in your abilities. Subsequently, you will also be willing to take more risks in the future.
Replace Envy, Lust, and Desire with Change
We are naturally emotional creatures. Our desires and actions are highly influenced by the way we feel. Bishop also argues we cannot completely block our emotions, nor should we try to block them. Instead, we should try to control our emotions. You can become far more productive if you only acknowledge your emotions. Then, you act despite how you feel at that moment. Adopting this approach will allow you to make decisions that are more rational and logical.
One of the most important considerations based on this advice is how we react to constructive criticisms. Others criticizing our ideas can feel like a personal attack. Therefore, it is common to experience feelings of anger and embarrassment. However, this criticism is key to your idea’s improvement. Ignoring these criticisms will leave you with a product or idea that won’t make you successful. Similarly, overreacting and completely abandoning your product or idea will put you back to the starting line of your journey to success. Instead, take these criticisms on board and make changes.
Finally, envy and lust are some of the most common emotions when pursuing success. It is easy to observe others who are successful and feel you deserve their success more than they do. However, instead of viewing their success negatively, you should view their success as a positive opportunity. Observe how these individuals became successful and use their approaches as inspiration for your journey to success.
Chapter 6: I Am Relentless
“Here’s the deal: true relentlessness comes when the only thing you have left is relentlessness. When it seems all is lost and all hope and evidence for success have long since vanished, relentlessness is the fuel that drives you through.”– Gary John Bishop
Bishop starts this chapter by encouraging readers to visualize their previous successes and how they were achieved. He points out it is likely that some amount of discomfort, risk, and sacrifice was required to achieve these successes. Subsequently, these successes would not have been possible without being relentless in your desire. Bishop encourages you to adopt a concept of relentlessness in all parts of your life. Relentlessness is how we can overcome obstacles that present themselves as distractions.
Push Through Obstacles
Bishop explains the most challenging obstacles are self-doubt and confusion. We must adopt relentlessness when these crop up in our pursuit of success. One way to adopt relentlessness during these circumstances is to remind yourself of why you began this pursuit in the first place. Think about the ultimate goal and identify the roadblock preventing you from reaching this goal. Explicitly identifying this roadblock will help it become your reality. You can then prevent this roadblock by disagreeing with the notion that this roadblock stands in your way to success.
You must remain resolute in your determination to reach your goal. It is acceptable for you to make mistakes when pursuing your goals. However, do not let these mistakes discourage you or distract you from your path to success. Your journey doesn’t have to look exactly how you imagined it would.
No matter what you do, do not stop for anything. Keep going, push through, and be relentless. Life will not pause and wait for you. No matter how you feel or where you are at the moment, life will not care. Instead, worries about being too sick, tired, or busy will prevent you from doing the work you need to be doing. The sooner you realize that life moves forward while you are not taking action, the sooner you will succeed. Additionally, you must make the decision yourself to move forward. There will rarely be other individuals who share the same views, interests, and goals as you. Therefore, it is your job to figure out challenging times and keep taking the actions required to reach your goals. Putting things off will only allow the world to keep moving forward while you are standing still. In effect, putting things off is like moving backward.
Chapter 7: I Expect Nothing and Accept Everything
“You must first accept that while there are things that have happened in your life that you had no say in, you are 100 percent responsible for what you do with your life in the aftermath of those events. Always, every time, no excuses.”– Gary John Bishop
Bishop explains throughout Unfuck Yourself that life is uncertain. Therefore, things will not always go according to plan. It is common for people to view their journey to success as doomed when their plan starts veering off-track. Bishop reminds readers that we are not always able to control what happens. Still, we can control how we respond to the situation.
Setting expectations for what will happen is only setting ourselves up for disappointment. Often we will not even realize we have expectations for a task. However, Bishop explains we almost always have expectations, and these expectations can distract us from other possibilities.
Natural emotional reactions to unexpected failures are to become angry or disappointed. It is uncommon that people naturally respond to these unexpected situations with relief or a sense of control. Therefore, Bishop recommends expecting the unexpected. If something unexpected does happen, then we must quickly accept this and move on. Moving on involves making a conscious effort to prevent disappointment from taking over us. In doing so, we can become much more flexible and better appreciate the process.
Bishop states that getting to your goal is not always the most important aspect. Instead, he believes that making it to the end of your journey is the most important thing. You must allow yourself to start doing rather than wishing.
I Do Not Blame Others
Our expectations of others are another factor holding us back from achieving success. Blaming others for your failures is generally due to two reasons:
- People do not like taking responsibility.
- People’s self-admiration is too high to accept any fault.
Refusing to admit any blame is a more significant mistake than any that another person could have performed. By refusing to admit your mistakes, you are refusing to learn. Your mistakes are essential tools for improving areas that will be crucial for your future success. Good things only come to those who are willing to do the work and take responsibility for their actions.
The Two Steps to Freedom
At the end of the book, Gary John Bishop outlines his two-step process of achieving freedom at a financial and emotional level.
- Stop doing what you are currently doing – It is easy to fill our lives with unuseful tasks that waste our time. However, life does not care what irrelevant tasks you are engaging with. Each task not moving you toward your goals is just another excuse. Therefore, if you want to move forward, you need to stop and look at what you are currently doing. Identify the behaviors that are holding you back and do your best to stop doing them.
- Start taking actions to propel you forward – Firstly, you must identify the actions that will make you a better person. Although it should be relatively easy to identify the actions, it won’t necessarily be easy to continue taking these actions. Therefore, you have to be willing to accept that reaching your goals will take time and many individual actions.
Comment below and let others know what you have learned or if you have any other thoughts.
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