The 9 Illusions That Hold You Captive

Personal Development
This is a guest article by Justin Dixon of

When a man goes to train a hawk. He will have a glove, some meat, and a rope tied to the hawk. After a long enough time of flying around with a rope preventing the hawk from going anywhere far, the hawk will seize to try. At this point, the trainer removes the rope, and the vast majority of the time, this now free bird of prey will continue to fly no further than the limit of the rope, which had previously held it. The hawk is now free to move, but in its mind it is not able to go past the length of the rope which held it.

Often times our own view points can work much like that rope. We get trained into a certain mindset, and it tells us, things like, you can’t go further than this. And then we much like that hawk are bound by this limit in our mind. The right or wrong mindset is a very powerful thing. It is the difference between achieving a goal, or not; between trust, and suspicion; between possible and impossible; between flying free, or being forever bound to a limit that is not really there. There is great news in this. If the hawk had just realized that it was free, a whole new world would open up to it. Likewise, if there is an illusion holding you back, then just realizing that it doesn’t have to be that way can radically change your life.

Here are nine common illusions that can keep you from living your most fulfilled life.

1. Easy life.

That’s right, easy life is an illusion. Everyone has some challenge to face. Everyone has some burden to bear, and while you may not be starving to death, the problems you face are still a challenge otherwise you would already be past them. No matter what you do, you are going to have to face some challenge. Don’t despair though, this is good news. If life is not going to be easy, no matter whether you choose to do what is “practical” or do something that you are passionate about, then all the excuses saying it would be too hard to take your dreams seriously, start losing their power. Life is going to be hard no matter what you do. People are going to judge you no matter what choices you make. So make the choices that will make you happy. Don’t worry about life being hard, that happens anyway. The question I challenge you to ask yourself is: Do you want to go through a hard life for things that have been deemed practical, or for things that have meaning to you?

2. That Magical Someday.

“The road called “someday” leads to a town called “nowhere.”- Billy Cox

You can look on your calendar for it, you can check your watch for it. You won’t find it there. There is no right circumstance that will make someday magically happen. You have to make it happen. You have to set calendar dates on your goals for your mind to register it as real. Someday does not exist, but you have the power to set up the things that will make your someday happen. You have the power to start now, on the things you were putting off. Either something is worth doing, or it’s not. Decide and act accordingly. Do not put things off to that magical someday.

3. A Magic Plan.

I spent a long time myself, looking for this one. I already had determined that someday did not exist, but I needed a plan. In fact, I needed a magic plan, something that would make everything line up perfectly. There is no magic plan. Something can go wrong with any decision you make, no matter how well informed you are. Don’t make the mistake I did. Don’t wait for your plans to be perfect. Don’t wait for the plan fairy to come and make it magical. Pick a goal, and start walking towards it. Be patient with yourself, and correct the mistakes you make as you go along. Just get started. You’ll never learn how to swim if you never get in the water, and that’s whether you have a good plan or not.

4. The Wrong Turn.

While there are several mistakes that we can make, there is no one mistake that will completely ruin your life. If the way you are heading does not look good, then you have the power to start changing your actions. At any point in time, you can choose to be responsible for yourself. In any situation, you can find a lesson, and you can start moving today in a positive direction. This change does not happen all at once, but if you are willing to commit to stop repeating your mistakes, then you can and will change your life for the better.

5. The Past.

The reason it is called the past is because we passed that already. It is not here anymore. This is a new day, and this is a new opportunity. What you do today; what you do right now determines who you are. Now is the time that you can make yourself into anything. Now is the time that you can start building the habits that you have always wanted.

6. Not Being Enough.

According to PhD Susan Jeffers, this is the root of all fear. We fear death, because we don’t know if we can handle it. We fear change because we don’t know if we are enough to handle it. A quick test to see if you are enough to handle the situation you’re in is, are you in it? Yes? That means you have enough to get through it. You will not be given more to carry than you are capable of. This does not mean you won’t need help sometimes, but it does mean that you can get through whatever trouble you are facing now.

7. Lack.

There is an order to this universe, I don’t understand it, but I’ve learned some things from it. We lack nothing. Time? ideas? opportunity? food? I have a practice, that whenever I’ve done everything I can to get my needs taken care of, I say the following prayer:

“I’ve done everything I can. I am going to trust You (the order in this universe) to take care of the rest.”

So far, on days that I have said this prayer, I have eaten when I should have gone hungry. I have had new doors open up to me, when I didn’t know where else to go. But if you accept the idea that there is not enough of something, you stop looking for it. You stop looking for things that you can do without, you stop looking for ways to make good things happen, and you just let yourself wallow in defeat. When you believe there is a lack, you create it. When the hawk believes that rope is still limiting it, then the hawk recreates that rope.

8. Separation.

All matter has a frequency. In order for you to physically be able to touch anything, it must be vibrating at the same frequency as the matter you’re made up of. In fact, what quantum physics has found is that everything is connected. Reality is a frequency spectrum where all the matter and energy is connected. It’s one big string. So rejoice with others. They are a part of you. When they have succeeded, part of yourself has succeeded. Help others. When you help them, you help part of yourself. You cannot do something to someone else, without also doing it to a part of yourself; it is a physical impossibility. The reason this way of seeing things makes you free is, that it sets you up to lead as an example. It sets you up to give and to help. Earning that kind of reputation can open up new opportunities that you never thought could exist.

9. Chaos.

Chaos is what you see when you are not looking at the big picture. There is always something good going on. There is always a way for things to work out. There is always a reason that things are the way they are, and there is always a reason that they can become something else.

These illusions that I’ve listed can all be extremely paralyzing. They all can limit your ultimate potential. You can however, choose today, to stop moving like a hawk trained by a rope. You can choose today to start moving in freedom. You can choose today to accept that life won’t be easy whether you do what you want or not. You can choose to stop putting things off until someday. You can choose to stop waiting for the perfect plan, or letting the past paralyze your potential. You are enough to handle what you are in, there is no true lack of what you really need, there is nothing that separates you from the worlds greatest leaders, and there is no chaos. Times may be hard, but there is always a reason for it. There is always an opportunity.

So what are you going to do now?

This is a guest article by Justin Dixon of

9 comments… add one
  • Thanks for this post, Justin.
    I complete agree that there are numerous ways we create our own cage and imprison ourselves. You illustrate so many good points here. I especially like that you bring up connectedness. Too often we think in terms of me vs. you; a limiting way of thinking that dvides needlessly when there could be unity and synergy.

  • Justin this is a magical post which should be bookmarked and read often. I especially liked 2,5 and 7 and feel these are all things we tell ourselves a lot and it’s now time to take action. Thanks for a great read just before going to work.

  • Thank you much I hold a very loose definition of reality so that I’m on a constant look out for what things are illusions, and what things are just preoccupying our time and mind with no real benefit.

  • Nicolas

    Wow, great article. Really, the best thing about realizing your true potential I have read in a while!

    Best Regards

  • Hello there! This blog post couldn’t be written any better!
    Looking at this article reminds me of my previous roommate!

    He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to forward this post to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a great read. Thank you for sharing!

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