Have you become a slave to superstitions? Do you walk across the street when you see a black cat pass in front of you? Do you feel uncomfortable if you accidentally walk under a ladder and are convinced that the day is going to be bad? Have you ever broken a mirror, despairing that your life will turn into a succession of horrible events for the next seven years? If you think all of this, then it's time to put a stop to these superstitions and learn that you have the power to make your own fortune.
Part 1 of 3: Correcting Your Thinking
Step 1. Learn what superstitions you believe in originate from
To begin with, one way to overcome superstitious beliefs is to understand where they come from. For example, did you know that the belief in getting bad luck by walking under a ladder stems from the idea that it was dangerous to walk in an area where the risk of falling work tools is more likely? The more superstitions are debunked, the more we see that, even if they are fun to believe, they have no basis for truth. Below you will find other common superstitions and their surprising provenance:
- In 18th century London, metal-rayed umbrellas became quite common and opening them at home was a danger. Therefore, the idea spread among the people that opening an umbrella at home would bring bad luck, a gesture from which you had to stay away to keep people safe!
- The superstition according to which it is bad luck to overturn the salt dates back to 3500 BC, thanks to the ancient Sumerians. However, it was born because in those days the salt was a very valuable commodity and not because it has the effective power to influence one's fate, if it was overthrown on the ground.
- In some cultures, black cats were actually believed to bring bad luck. However, the ancient Egyptians considered them a harbinger of good luck when crossing their path, and in the 17th century King Charles of England also had a black cat as a pet. Unfortunately, during the Middle Ages and at the time of the Pilgrim Fathers - the first settlers in the New World - many people associated cats with witches, a belief from which the idea that they bring bad luck still derives today.
Step 2. Realize that there is no rational evidence that these superstitions can affect your life
Is there any real reason why angel number 17 must be ominous? Why does a black cat bring more bad luck than any other cat? Can finding a four-leaf clover really make sure that an auspicious event falls from the sky? If a rabbit's foot really brought luck, wouldn't the original owner (i.e., the rabbit) go to great lengths to keep it? Even if you believe that rational thinking is off topic when it comes to superstitions, if you want to overcome this obsession of yours, then you must use critical thinking to overcome it.
Superstitions date back to ancient traditions. Like many other traditions, they continue to spread, but in reality they are of no use
Step 3. Consider which superstitions are a continual source of inconvenience
Do you always stick to the ground to avoid stepping on cracks to the point of bumping into people on the street? Do you take winding detours to avoid crossing the road after a black cat? The superstitions that regularly cause difficulties are the ones you should focus on first. Maybe it took you ten minutes longer to get to work, because you think you have taken a "lucky" path. Maybe you rush home and arrive late for a night date to wear your "lucky" earrings. If your daily behavior is actually influenced to such an extent by a belief pattern, you may find that the superstitions you believe in actually hurt you rather than bring you luck.
Ask yourself if it is true that anxiety associated with superstition actually gives you positive energy
Step 4. Avoid superstitious beliefs when making decisions
When deciding, rely on common sense and a solid reasoning model rather than on strange sensations and presumed supernatural signs. If your friend asks you to meet him in a certain place, take the most sensible route instead of the "lucky" one. When walking to work, choose clothing that is more appropriate for the temperatures of the day rather than your "lucky" coat when it's 80 ° C outside. Let reason rule your choices, not superstition.
Start small. First, if you spill some salt, don't throw it over your shoulder and see what happens. Then, you can work to free yourself from superstitions that scare you the most, such as petting a black cat or walking under a ladder
Step 5. Realize that you have the power to make your own fortune
While it is not possible to control all circumstances in life, you can control the way you react and act about it. This is much more important than being lucky or unlucky. Anyone who has to deal with adversity from time to time - some people more than others, sadly - and, while it is not possible to be in control of the worst situations, you have the ability to deal with them with a positive attitude and organize yourself to improve yours. conditions, instead of thinking that superstitions and superstitious rituals can influence the consequences.
It can be convenient to believe in superstitions, because it takes you away from the responsibility of keeping control of your life. Of course there is more fear or hesitation to move forward if you are convinced that you are the one who has the power to succeed or fail
Step 6. Expect the best instead of the worst
Another thing you can do to understand that superstitious beliefs are irrelevant is to expect the best to always happen instead of just imagining the worst possible consequences from a given situation. If you are convinced that everything will go wrong, then most likely a conflict or setback will occur. If you think you will have a fantastic day, it is much more likely that it will and you will not be forced to respect all the superstitious rituals so that it goes as you hope.
Many people believe in superstitions because they think that life is full of adversity in all its aspects and that, therefore, they need to stick to certain superstitions, such as not whistling around the house to ward off bad luck. If you believe that there is goodness and love everywhere you turn, then you should realize that superstitions are not what makes your life meaningful
Part 2 of 3: Taking Action
Step 1. Prove that these superstitions have no basis in reality
Leave the rabbit's foot at home and see how your day goes on. Go straight and step on the cracks you encounter when walking. Don't bother looking for a four-leaf clover in a meadow. Consider the number 13 as important throughout the day (spend 13 euros when you are in a shop, send 13 emails to your friends, edit 13 wikiHow articles, etc.). If it is too difficult to do all of this at once, work little by little to prove to yourself that these are all wrong superstitions and see how far you can go.
You can even take a black cat indoors if you are really willing to give up your superstitious habits. These lovable creatures are the least adopted kittens and, therefore, are the most clinically suppressed. If you have an adorable black cat, you will see that it brings you no bad luck, only happiness and that superstitions have no basis
Step 2. Gradually abandon superstitious beliefs or abruptly abstain
The choice depends on what's best for you. It can be difficult to decide to completely break with a superstitious ritual within a day, although you can certainly try to do so. You may also decide to abandon superstitious habits one at a time to ease the blow. You can leave the rabbit's foot or the lucky cornet at home for a week and then, once you have overcome this obstacle, you can go up to the thirteenth floor of a building and so on.
- You can continue gradually until the most difficult superstitions are dropped. It may take months to completely stop following these habits, but you will succeed.
- You may find that superstitions will still dwell in your mind a little longer. That is to say that you manage to abandon a superstitious habit, still continuing to believe in its power. Give your mind time to recover the detachment with your actions.
Step 3. Be positive
Another way to stop being superstitious is to commit to transmitting positive energies throughout the day. If you face life with a smile on your face and have hopes for the future, then you won't go looking for rituals or superstitions to make your days easier. You need to know that you have the power to make good things happen instead of becoming the victim of baseless rituals and actions.
- When you talk to people, discuss what excites you instead of complaining.
- Write down five good things that happened to you at the end of each day.
- Get into the habit of having a positive attitude and the superstitions you believe in will appear useless.
Step 4. Learn to ignore the need to act on a superstitious belief
You can watch your favorite team and feel the urge to cross your fingers, take three sips of beer, or whatever you think is useful for victory. Just throw away these annoying thoughts and think of something else. After ignoring this urge, you recognize the little effect it would have on the end result. Talk to whoever sits next to you so you can confirm that you should ignore any unnecessary superstitions.
If necessary, just count to ten or up to one hundred in your mind. Focus on something else while you wait for the impulse to pass
Step 5. Know that a superstition only works because you believe it has charm and power
Although a study has shown that some athletes, such as Ray Allen, are incredibly attached to their pre-match rituals as they believe it will help them play better, this behavior is actually due to the fact that these people strongly believe in the game. power these rituals have in influencing their performance. They feel they are playing a great game because they have made 37 free throws from the same place or because they are wearing a lucky pair of socks, when in reality, it is the belief that these things have a certain power that makes them play well, not the action itself.
- This means that the rabbit's foot or lucky horn will have no effect on the performance of an exam. However, it predisposes the person in a positive way, enough to allow them to take a good exam. It is necessary to realize that the mind has the power to generate positive feelings without the help of any superstition.
- The same is true when you believe that something brings bad luck. If you pass a black cat and start to believe that you are going to have a bad day at school, you are almost certain it will happen.
Part 3 of 3: Changing the way you think
Step 1. Spend time with people who aren't superstitious
It can be of great help to hang out with people who have no superstitious beliefs. Watch sports matches with those who don't feel the need to wear the lucky jersey for their team to win. Go find someone who lives on the thirteenth floor of a building. Walk with those who step on every crack on the sidewalk without noticing. Getting used to the idea that other people can behave in daily life without caring about superstitions at all can show you that it is possible for you too.
You can also talk to them to find out how they manage to behave in daily life without worrying about broken mirrors and the like. You may also learn some new strategies to stop believing in superstitions
Step 2. If you intend to stick to the most widespread superstitions in your culture, you must know that they only hold a symbolic value
Some cultures are full of superstitious rituals that make everyday life possible. In Russian culture, for example, people believe that hugging on the doorstep leads people to fight, or that walking over a person lying down will prevent them from growing. Even if you can't let go of certain habits, you need to understand that they are related to simple cultural habits and that they will have no effect on events. You can always respect them, while knowing at the same time that they have no power.
If these rituals are being observed by other people from the same cultural background as you, talk to them about how you are trying to let go of your superstitions. They may feel hurt or try to discourage you at first, but they will have to understand
Step 3. Get help if your superstitious beliefs indicate OCD
It is one thing to be terrified of black cats or to respect a couple of superstitious rituals that you cannot really give up, but if you feel that your life is governed by a series of rituals, that you cannot move in everyday life without respecting a particular series of actions and panic if something unexpected happens, your superstitions may actually indicate that you have obsessive-compulsive disorder. If so, then you can stop being superstitious on your own, so your best bet may be a doctor to discuss steps to manage your anxiety with.