Your erroneous zones: Escape negative thinking and take control of your life by Dr. Wayne W. Dyer
Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explores the different areas in our thinking that we err and looks at the different ways we can overcome our erroneous zones. He looks at the different ways we are our own enemies and our irrational thoughts are based on all the kind of negative thinking we do even when we are unaware of it. This book became popular in the 1970s but the lessons are still relevant and we can apply them in our lives.
Break free from your past
One of your erroneous zones is being stuck in the past. First, Dr. Dyer talks about how people can break free from their pasts. Our past determines our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors today.
We carry on perceptions and we develop our self-concept from our upbringing. If you were taught that you’re dumb from the very beginning, you grow up thinking you’re dumb. If you were given the indications that you are not lovable or likable, we carry on the same concept that you are not likable.
As a result, you tend to sabotage all situations that make you feel vulnerable because, well, you are not likable, so why bother. Breaking free of your past is the first step towards self-awareness.
I teach this in my self-awareness exercises that one way to explore your identity is by exploring your past, understanding how it influences your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors today and doing something about it.
Constantly seeking approval
This book also explores how we are constantly seeking the approval of others as another erroneous zone. I know this has stood in the way of many dreams as people seek approval from others to go ahead with something, and the approval doesn’t always come and as a result, they don’t make efforts to achieve their goals.
If you find yourself saying things you don’t mean or like just so that you can be liked, or doing things you don’t want to just to please another person, then these are signs of seeking approval.
Other signs of seeking approval include apologizing even when you know you are not in the wrong, feeling anxious when someone disagrees with you, seeking attention the wrong way, failing to express yourself because you’re being afraid of being on the wrong, among others, you may constantly be seeking approval.
The downside of approval-seeking is that you hardly ever stand for something, you are anxious most of the time and you never get to be authentic.
Dealing with Anger, Guilt, and Worry
Anger, guilt, and worry are popular erroneous zones. Dr. Dyer explores how we can deal with common emotions such as anger, guilt and worry and finding love for ourselves. Since this book was published, Daniel Goleman could go ahead and publish a book about emotional intelligence talking about the above emotions and how we can deal with them.
I have written about emotional intelligence and how not being in charge of our emotions can stand in the way of living our best lives since we are not in control. You can also check out this book 3 thoughts that could completely transform your life which discusses emotional maturity.
As a lot of us struggle with procrastination, Dr. Dyer proposes some strategies to deal with procrastination. He especially covers one idea I agree with, that procrastination is not largely a time management issue, but an emotional issue.
This is because we procrastinate when we don’t want to deal with an unpleasant event. The task we are about to undertake makes us uncomfortable and so we seek other easier things that we are comfortable with and avoid the tasks that matter.
Why I recommend Your Erroneous Zones
This summary gives you the idea of what the book is about and if you’re interested in exploring your erroneous zones, then this is for you. Discover some of your inner self faults, defense mechanisms and even lies you tell yourself and get past them.
If you are new on self-awareness and personal development journey, I highly recommend this book. It covers some of the areas covered in developing self-awareness and you can see some of them in my self-awareness course.
(Note: psychologist Albert Ellis criticized Dr. Dyler for plagiarizing his Rational Emotive Therapy (RET). If you are familiar with RET you can agree that the techniques used in this book are highly borrowed from RET and yet Albert Ellis is not acknowledged).