To listen to the blog post “How The A Slave Mentality Is Holding You Back” over reading it then click the play button below.
In this post, I am going to tell you how to break out of the slave mentality. So many people are holding themselves back because they are stuck in the WRONG type of mindset. Before I get into how to break out of the slave mentality let’s first get into examples of what the slave mentality is.
1. Common signs of a slave mentality
- Thinking that you are limited because of where you came from.
- Being too scared to move forward in life so therefore you just stay still.
- Not thinking that you can be better or that you deserve better.
If you notice there is a common theme among the slave mentality. Each and every one of these signs starts with things that you believe about yourself and because you believe these things about yourself you are actually holding yourself back.
2. Slave mentality ~ Case In Point
I feel like the best way that you can get the whole “slave mentality” is if I actually use an example of it in the literal sense of the word. So, we have all seen the commercial about ancestry.com in which people look up there ancestors and they find that someone in their bloodline did something great and amazing. I remember when I went on this site and I wanted to trace my bloodline back.
I wanted to find something spectacular that my ancestors did. BUT the further I dug, and dug, and dug, the more disappointed I was. To make a long story short, my family is from the south. I traced my ancestors all the way back until I reached an “unidentified African slave.” It seems that all of my ancestors were slaves or sharecroppers. They all sat in one small little town in Alabama, for hundreds of years, nobody ever doing anything great. Even after slavery ended.
I want to best illustrate my point with the Israelites who were slaves in the Bible. They were set FREE from Egypt and headed toward the promised land. But instead of looking forward to being free and doing great things, they long for the days in which they were a slave, saying this:
If only we had died by the LORD’s hand in Egypt! There we sat around pots of meat and ate all the food we wanted, but you have brought us out into this desert to starve this entire assembly to death Exodus 16:3
They wanted to go back to being slaves even though they were free because that is what they were used to. Also, check out my video below for more lessons on the Israelites. Click here to subscribe to my channel.
But back to my story. I couldn’t understand. It made me think to myself, didn’t anyone want to be free? The fact of the matter is that the FIRST people to get out of that small Alabama town were my grandparents. After 100s of years, only them. My grandfather joined the Army and he was the first person in his family to break the sharecropper career path.
He spent 26 years in the military where he became an E-9 which is the highest enlisted rank you can go. (You can also check out my grandparents 55th anniversary blog). I use this example above because it is a metaphor of how the slave mentality is created. AND it has nothing to do with being black but everything to do with a mindset.
Slave mentality ~ 4. Fear is Holding You Back
The reason why most of my ancestors did not try to escape is that they were afraid. If they tried to flee slavery it was a large possibility that they were going to be found, beaten, and probably hung. BUT the great people like Harriet Tubman did escape the south. And she and people like her that took a chance time and time again. Yes, she did face death but for her, to die free and to die in the process of doing something great was much better than living bondage.
What’s my point.
I am NOT Kanye West and I am not saying that slavery was a choice. What I am saying is that fear can be holding you back. Either you can choose to be fearless like the people of the underground railroad, choosing to do something great even if it means that you may fail, get caught, and even if it means that you do not know what is on the other side.
The difference between Harriet Tubman and the people, who like my ancestors, stayed on the plantation is that she has a place in history. Harriet Tubman found her purpose and she was willing to be fearless to go after it no matter what. If you look at the people in your life who make it to success and the ones who don’t, I can almost bet because one sat in fear and the other was fearless.
The idea of fear can leave you making less money than what you deserve, it can leave you in a job you hate, or a life you hate. Because like those slaves you fear making the wrong decisions or what may happen if you step out on faith. So instead of being great, you settle for comfortable and mediocre, because it is too scary to move into the unfamiliar.
You do not know what is going to happen, you do not know if it will be a good move for you, and you are afraid of what may happen. Either way, you need to get over your fear and set yourself free. Because we are not slaves, we live in a new day and a new time. And whatever you are afraid of doing is probably not as bad as escaping from slavery, it is not a life or death situation, so when you put it in that context you should have more courage to step out and doing something great.
Slave mentality ~ 5. You Are Way Too Comfortable
I am sure that many of my ancestors were just sitting on the plantation not thinking anything of it. Their parents were slaves, their great-grandparents were slaves, and their parents were slaves. I am sure they did not like being slaves but in the same token, it is all they knew.
You can tell them that there are free people in the north, but they were probably like “yeah right.” They had never seen a free black person, they did not know anything about the north, or life in the north. And even though people told them, it was hard to believe because they had never seen it themselves. I could tell you that there is a purple unicorn but just because I tell you does not mean that you will believe me. You have never seen a purple unicorn. A purple unicorn does not exist in your world and so it is a foreign concept to you.
Case in point.
When I used to work in community mental health I used to tell a lot of the teenagers that I worked with that they should try to get a job and go to college. More often than not their response to me was why? And as soon as they turned 18 they would get on the public housing list and welfare? When you ask them why it is because like I just said. It is all they knew.
Their mother was on welfare, all their friends were on welfare, and their grandmother was on welfare so that was normal to them. They did not even know that they should want something more or something different because no one ever told them they should.
And they did not really even desire anything more because what they were living in was all they knew and because it was all they knew that life was not so bad to them. They were okay where they were at. Because their family was there, their friends were there, and their life was there, so they became way too comfortable with being there.
What’s my point
My point is that people stay poor because they have always been poor, people stay on welfare because they have always been on welfare, their parents have always been on welfare, and their parents before then have always been on welfare. Therefore, welfare became normal to them and they do not even realize they have a problem.
I can tell them that there is a better life but unless they believe it then to them it does not exist. Some people have a slave mentality because they do not know that they should change their mindset. They believe it is easier and better to stay where they are because it is where they have always been AND that is where everyone they know has always been. And therefore they do not know do go after anything different.
Slave mentality ~ 6. Because You Think It is What You Deserve
You may be saying to yourself who thinks they deserve to be a slave. A lot of people. Some people think because they are single mom they cannot do this because they do not have a mom or daddy issues, then they do not deserve this, some people think that because they went through xyx in life that they deserve a life of suffering and pain. Some people simply think that they do not deserve to be happy. And because they believe that they settle into a mediocre life not doing anything much because they do not think that they deserve anything much.
What’s my point
Do not let one bad moment of rejection keep you from reaching for what seemed like the impossible. Do not let your own self hold you back. You may fail, you may face rejection, it may seem hard but these things are made to build you up, not to keep you stagnant and afraid of moving forward (see my blog here on how getting through hard times makes you stronger). Know that you deserve more, shift your mindset to thinking that you deserve more, AND keep working until you get more. If you keep casting your net, eventually you’ll catch something. But if your net never hits the water, you will never catch anything
7. Slave mentality~ Final Thoughts
Thank God that we do not have to be slaves anymore. Thank God that you have more freedom over your destiny. BUT I also warn you NOT to be like those people who are no longer slaves still living like one. Having the mentality of a slave of eternal struggle and never having enough.
But the way I see it is when my grandfather decided to join the army…. Who knew that, that Alabama boy would go to countries in Europe? When he fought in Vietnam I am sure he was fearful, but he made it out. And even though the war was scary, we have to all take a bit of risk to get to where we need to go.
“It is better to take a risk with the possibility of success than it is to sit still in bondage never doing or achieving anything much. “
If you know something that may be suffering from the Slave Mentality then feel free to share this post with them.