As we have already learned, the “Over-I” is the echo of your upbringing. The psyche’s representant of the culture in which you were raised. It’s your parents’ voice in your head, and the one of your pre-school and school teachers, the one of old people yelling at you for running through the streets, the media, and all the other forces that tried to form you when you were a child, adolescent and grown-up.
When I recently went to buy groceries, a young couple entered the shop shortly after me. They had a child with them. His name was Brendan. I remember that name because I heard it very often during my shopping. “Brendan, don’t do this, Brendan don’t do that. Don’t touch that Brendan. Be quiet Brendan. No you can’t have that, Brendan. Brendan, what are the people supposed to think of you?”.
I wondered why they would bring their child to the shop, if the only thing he would hear would be all those negative, limiting things?
On the other hand, can you let Brendan do whatever he pleases? Touch the vegetables with his snottery hands, take all the candy he wants, point at people and mumbling baby words at them? Probably not. Children need their limits. But grown-ups don’t. At least not so strictly.
The “Over-I” is a limiter. It wants you to fit in. While your Id demands immediate satisfaction, the “Over-I” will show your Ego the limits of what is possible. Or what it thinks is possible! And fitting in is a feature that is needed in any society. To a certain extent.
However, the problem that most of us have, is that our “Over-I” is a bit too restrictive. Chances are that your parents were not rich and immensely successful people, as were your teachers, society, media and all the others who created your “Over-I”. So, chances are also, that your “Over-I” has a very limited belief about life and possibilities. About what is right and wrong. And this might be a big problem for your success.
But before we really start, we need to clarify two things. It’s not your parents’ fault. First of all, they were limited as well in their perception of the world. And most likely had an even worse upbringing than you. And secondly, the echoes from your “Over-I” are not what they actually said and did, it is what your psyche made of it. That means that your “Over-I”, the limiter in your mind, is already based on a deceptive picture of what your mind thinks society requires you to fit in. And many of the things you did understand correctly, rooted in projections and limiting beliefs of those who injected them into you.
Yet, the larger part of the “Over-I” works unconsciously and limits you without you even noticing it. So when you sometimes become aware about your “Over-I”, you only encounter the tip of the ice-berg. A tiny fraction of this massive and very powerful system that has been created to limit you into your place in this world. The biggest part lies underneath and never get through to your consciousness. And this is very important to be aware of.
You might have learned as a child that being rich and successful is something bad, as you observed your parents either making jealous remarks about those who have made it, or your teacher telling you that the bible says “that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God”. Or you might have seen Dallas, and observed that the rich J.R. Ewing was not a good person.
On a personal note, my mother always told me that the people who drive the shiny cars aren’t that rich in reality. They are all in debt and just have these cars to show-off. She was absolutely sure about this. And still is. Did I believe her? Consciously not. But subconsciously, she definitely left her mark on me. When I went to Monaco however, and saw all those Ferraris driving around there like bicycles here, it just revealed that she couldn’t be right. There are people who really make it.
Now consciously you might want to become rich, but the massive ice-berg in your sub consciousness is struggling with all the limiting thoughts. Your unconsciousness might be in an outright fight against your desires. And maybe your Ego wants to keep peace on the table of decisions and therefore you are constantly subconsciously sabotaging yourself to ensure that your psyche’s foundations stay intact.
But that does not only apply to riches, obviously. How many of us have heard by either a parent or a teacher- or other pupils for that matter- that we are just not good in sports? I loved to run, when I was young. In fact, all the athletic disciplines were something I really enjoyed. But I had no talent for handling a ball. These weird round things just did whatever they wanted to do, when my foot or hand touched them. So, in school, I was always among the last ones who were selected into the teams. And obviously, my “Over-I” willingly learned that I am just not good at sports.
Now guess what has been holding me up from running outside for all these years? Right, my “Over-I” limited me to keep me in my place in society.
And another limiting belief that might have been planted in your mind is the one that you are lazy. You might have heard this from so many different places that you actually believe this yourself now. I heard it from my parents all the time. It even went to so far that when a sloth showed up on TV, my father pointed at it stating: “Look, Dennis is on TV”. But also my teachers, weren’t shy when it came to enforcing that I’m not stupid, just lazy. So, guess what: my “Over-I” didn’t learn that I have to work hard to achieve something, but that I am a lazy person and consequently, I became a lazy person. I guess I am the right person to write this book, don’t you think?
These days, I have retrained my “Over-I”, because I have sufficient proof to show that I am not lazy at all. And I also have sufficient proof to show it to my girlfriend, when she accuses me of laziness. Occasionally she enters the room, accusing me of being lazy. But as I am well prepared to fight these suggestions, I just remind her what I have done so far. Undisputable evidence that makes her specify her statement to “okay, you’re just lazy when it comes to cleaning” – that might be true, although I would limit that to: “I have a problem to motivate myself to clean”, as in my opinion, I am doing my fair share in the household each week.
Anyway, the point is that all of us need to retrain our “Over-I”. We are not Brendan anymore, who is literally not allowed to do anything other than walking next to his parents, in silence. We are grown-ups and only if we manage to escape that artificial, imprisoning “Matrix” in which our “Over-I” has put us, can we reach the success in life that we want.
But how can we escape the “Over-I” programming?
Professor Cittoor Girija Navaneedhan made an experiment on ten participants on the influence of self-hypnosis and affirmations on bringing Id, Ego, and “Over-I” in balance. In her study, she had them repeat five affirmations each day for six weeks and measured their feeling in a questionnaire. It turned out that the affirmations showed no influence in the first three weeks. But after week six, at the end of the experiment, there was a significant improvement measurable.
Now, we need to consider that this study was done with only ten participants, so the results are by no means representative or reliable. What also needs to be mentioned is that Professor Navaneedhan tried to change her participants in a way that made them consider the “Over-I” more than before. So quite the opposite of what I am suggesting here.
Nevertheless, it makes sense that we can change the beliefs of the “Over-I” by bombarding it with changed circumstances. By essentially going back to day one of our lives and constantly advising ourselves that reaching our goal is possible. That we love to work. That we have an abundance of motivation. That we are in fact able to resist any temptation. And that it is very possible to get wealthy and rich.
After all, the “Over-I” is very likely laid out in a flexible way, as humans are very versatile animals. We were able to strive in changing natural conditions and environments throughout our existence as a species. So why shouldn’t the “Over-I” be able to adapt its input on appropriate behavior when we move- say- from the Western World to the middle- or far east? Sure, it would take a while until our mind would automatically advise us that it is inappropriate to drink alcohol, or appropriate to smack and slurp, but eventually it is very likely that we would adjust.
This is where the Law of Attraction comes in. I am sure you have heard about it, but in case you haven’t, I am explaining it in a few sentences. This so called “law” is nothing else than an unproven concept and has been promoted by numerous books, movies and seminar-programs since the 1950’s. The theory is: you get what you wish for. With some deviations.
Most of its promoters state that it will be the universe or some other magical power that will attract these things into our lives.
Now calling something a law that doesn’t hold up to scientific rigor is a bit over the top in my opinion. When confronted with the fact that the law of attraction isn’t reliable and hence cannot be called a law, those who are advocating in its favor, usually state that it was just not applied correctly. Yeah, right. To put it bluntly, I don’t believe in the effects of action-less wishing.
However, considering the hidden actions of our “Over-I” and the chains it puts us into, I believe that constant affirmations can help to change that.
If we get up each day, look at a picture of ourselves, and tell us that we accept and love ourselves and that it is possible to reach the goals we set, our “Over-I” will eventually change its opinion and enable us to achieve them, rather than limit us.
Once our “Over-I” understands that it is possible to get rich, slim, healthy, and happy, it won’t yell at the ego when the ego decides to take action. Once the “Over-I” has understood that in our culture we are expected to be exceptional, it will serve to spur us on, when Ego and Id decide that procrastination, premature giving-up, or falling back to old, ineffective habits, is the way to go.
So, yeah, the things that are done when practicing the “law of attraction”, might be helpful do reach our goals. But it is of paramount importance to understand that it is our consciousness, the Ego, that makes the decision on what we do. The Ego is the one that acts at any time. It’s neither the “Over-I” nor the Id. They are merely consultants. And these consultants can and must be challenged consciously.
And obviously, there won’t be a result without the effort. My favorite example for this is the invention of the hammer. You know, there must have been one person who had the idea for a tool that would work in a way a hammer works. Now, do you think this idea made the hammer become reality? Or do you think that if this person had drawn the hammer, and put it up as a poster on her wall, thinking of it, letting go of it and thanking the universe in the expectation that the hammer is already there, would have done anything to make that hammer more real?
Obviously not. Nobody would argue that wishing, desiring, hoping, being grateful or anything that the law of attraction preaches, would have made the hammer come to existence.
The hammer was created by work. Ideas. Trial and error. Tweaking it here a bit, tweaking it there a bit. And after some trying, there eventually was a hammer.
So why should anything else in this world work in a different way? Why would money suddenly appear in your bank account if you’d attracted it? After all, it would have to come from somewhere. From another person for example. But why would another person give you money? Because they received something from you that would make the loss of this money to them acceptable.
There is still the lottery, you might argue. Yeah, but as we all know, the numbers won’t fall into different places, just because we wish for it. And even if that would be the case, there would probably too many people be wishing for their numbers to appear. And that in itself would randomize the outcome. Maybe that is the reason why you never won?
Joking aside, to close this chapter, I hope that you understand my argumentation in regards to the law of attraction. It certainly is a very good way to motivate ourselves on a daily basis. And it, very likely, has an influence on our psyche and the limitations that our “Over-I” sets upon ourselves. We can change our social conditioning to one that is more in line with the fact that almost everything is possible in our western civilisation. But only wishing for success, will not lead to it. The only way we can reach our goals is by working towards them. And we’d better be working hard.