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The Power in Being Skeptical

The Gullible and the Cynical can be Manipulated

Are you gullible? When somebody says something do you automatically believe them? Or are you cynical? Do you automatically disbelieve, assume they have a hidden agenda, and discount everything they say?

Both are reactions, yet a reaction, to re-act, to act again as you did last time, has little personal power. You simply defend what you already think, and put no energy into
changing your life.

Change Your Life

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Yes, but how? Evaluate another person's perspective and their evidence. The extra power comes when you overcome your self sabotage and make the effort to explore their position.

Of course, this increase in power only comes when you think for yourself. One of the hardest things to do, it's easier to adopt their opinion. But you only become wise by paying the price yourself. You need to invest your own time and energy, you don't become fit by delegating your exercise!

When you believe someone else, then you can be taken for a ride. Even if they are concerned about you, they also have their own best interests, which trump yours. Their context will color their opinion. Some people thrive on manipulation...

Be Skeptical rather than Gullible

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If you believe other people all the time, no matter what they say, then you're being gullible. Your predictability means you can get taken for a ride.

If you always disbelieve other people, no matter what they say, you're
being cynical. You lose all the value in what they say. Again, such self sabotage means you can be manipulated.

If you neither believe nor disbelieve what they say then you're
being skeptical. Your unbiased assessment (but not judgement) of their opinion enables you to discover the truth, and the secret of success is to know the truth.

Make up Your Own Mind - the Power in Skepticism

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Examine the evidence. From the outset, how can you know something? Until you've checked it out, of course you're undecided. Don't be in a hurry to pretend you know.

Start out by doubting what they say. Neither accept nor ignore it, but examine it. Will they gain by convincing you to believe their story? Are they trying to manipulate you? Do they have a hidden agenda? Do they have your best interests at heart? Investigate thoroughly.

You know this already, but are you aware this also applies to your thoughts when
hijacked by the self-sabotage mechanism. Remember, you're not your mind - you're you - and your mind is simply the part of you that you use to think, in the same way that your body is the part of you that you use to carry you around.

Be skeptical, which also applies to what your mind says. Ask yourself which thoughts the mind gives you are true, and which ones are not. Learning to investigate your thoughts will change your life.

Another article you might like is #4 in this
Self Sabotage series: Are you Being Right - even though you're Wrong!

Food for Thought

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"Reflection is one of the most underused yet powerful
tools for success."

- Richard Carlson, 1961-2006, Ph.D. psychotherapist, author of Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

This article was originally published at

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