“We are going to emancipate ourselves from mental slavery because whilst others might free the body, none but ourselves can free the mind. Mind is your only ruler, sovereign. The man who is not able to develop and use his mind is bound to be the slave of the other man who uses his mind.”
– Marcus Garvey, 1937
Are you a slave? I hope not. Unfortunately, in 2022, millions of people will be physical and sexual slaves from Libya to China to Venezuela.
But even if you are blessed to escape this fate, you may still be a mental slave. How to distinguish whether there is a mentally enslaved person here? A key to unlock the prison doors.
10 Ways to free the mind from slavery
1. Know your worth
Most people know the line “free yourself from mental slavery” from Bob Marley’s 1980 hit “Redemption Song.” The line comes from Marcus Garvey, a Jamaican pan-Africanist activist and black nationalist who lived from 1887 to 1940.
Garvin’s thoughts and actions greatly influenced black political consciousness and history, including later civil rights figures such as Malcolm X.
Garvey’s central message was straight to the point:
He wanted to make sure that black people everywhere were not defined by the injustices they suffered during slavery and colonialism.
He wanted them to win the battle in their minds and know their worth.
He also wanted Africans all over the world to understand that even getting out of physical slavery will not succeed if they do not get out of the mindset of blame and stay in the past.
Garvey called it mental slavery.
It’s the same for people of all ethnic backgrounds, albeit less visceral.
If you think you are too worthless and powerless, you will be used and abused by others who are more determined or ruthless than you.
If you don’t live your dream, you will live for someone else’s dream.
2. Don’t let someone else write your story
Most of us have been mentally imprisoned by beliefs held since childhood. These beliefs often center around not being good enough, being defined by our culture or work, or being a victim of injustice and tragedy.
You believe and may have proof that your story is true. After all, you are the one who lived it and still lives it!
But who wrote the script of that story? Who told you that you’re not good at relationships, lazy and unsuccessful at work, or unique, weird, cool, or stupid?
Are you sure you wrote your own story or was it given to you by a series of people and social circumstances? You have to believe in yourself.
As Brigette Hyacinth writes:
“The saddest state a person can reach is mental slavery. They have already given up. Every day I counsel individuals, and I wish I could make them believe in themselves, but I can’t. They will have to remove the shackles for themselves. This is your life! Don’t let anyone else write your story.”
3. Win the victory within yourself
Winning in yourself is all about noticing when things go wrong.
Instead of trying to think positively or “visualize” a better future where your mind isn’t stuck and confused, focus on what’s going wrong in your mind right now.
What is “locking up” your mind right now and making you feel like you can’t let go?
- We are convinced that a particular ideology is correct and that anyone who e opposes it is terrible.
- Commit yourself to the 9-to-5 rat race because that’s what society expects, even though it makes you feel bad.
- Hiding your identity and dreams because you’re sure you won’t be accepted or celebrated by your friends and family.
- You worry that your painful experiences are all your fault and that you are a terrible person or a failure.
- Clinging to good spiritual gurus who say they will tell you all the answers to life even though your gut instinct tells you they are exploiting you.
As Garvey says:
“You at this time can only be destroyed by yourselves, from within and not from without. You have reached the point where the victory is to be won from within and can only be lost from within.”
4. The key to unlocking your mind
One of the most critical ways to free your mind from mental slavery is spiritually empowering yourself. But how exactly do you do that? Meditation? Positive thinking? Maybe visualization and some shiny crystals?
The thing with spirituality is that it’s just like everything else in life: It can be manipulated.
Unfortunately, not all the gurus and experts that preach spirituality do so with our best interests at heart. Some take advantage to twist spirituality into something toxic – poisonous even.
I learned this from the shaman Rudá Iandé. With over 30 years of experience in the field, he’s seen and experienced it all.
His free video tackles a range of toxic spirituality habits, from exhausting positivity to downright harmful spiritual practices.
So what makes Rudá different from the rest? How do you know he’s not also one of the manipulators he warns against?
The answer is simple:
He promotes spiritual empowerment from within.
Rather than tell you how you should practice spirituality, Rudá focuses solely on you.
Essentially, he puts you back in the driver’s seat of your spiritual journey, which is key to freeing your mind from mental slavery.
5. Educate yourself
Educating yourself is one of the best ways to free your mind from mental slavery.
I’m not talking about going to Harvard or Yale, although you can do that if you get in and have the money or loans to pay for it…
I’m talking about learning on your own.
Read history, read spirituality, watch documentaries, and most importantly, talk to other people and learn from their life experiences and beliefs.
Adopt a spirit of curiosity and explore, poke around and find out what’s going on and why in the world and right at home.
Far too many of us only want short, sound bytes or simple answers to questions that emotionally satisfy us. This makes it easier for exploitative interests to control our societies, economies, and minds.
Don’t let them. Pursue knowledge.
Glenford Smith puts this well:
“True emancipation from mental slavery can be achieved only by gaining new knowledge, insights, ideas and paradigms.
Although learning through entertainment is important, it is also very limited. Not every important idea you can make into a song, chant, or drama.
Not only are too many people slaves of entertainment, but they display a real distaste for reading and study.”
6. Don’t always believe in your own opinion
One of the ironies of achieving true mental freedom is that to do so; you sometimes have to voice the lies in your mind.
Sometimes you have to be free in your mind.
I’m trying to say here that you can’t believe everything you think. I know that, in my case, I have changed strong beliefs in various ways.
I am not a moral relativist and believe in right and wrong despite society’s tendency to the contrary or to completely subjectivize most situations and ethics. But I think it’s perfectly valid that many of us stay in our minds because we never step into someone else’s shoes or see the world through their eyes.
Even the ones we think are highly wrong or deluded!
Your ideas and beliefs are not the standards against which all things are measured. While your beliefs are natural and obvious to you, others feel the same way about their own beliefs and judgments no matter how conflicting they may be with yours,” advises Debbie Hampton.
What you find may surprise you.
7. What is your life story?
The truth is that many of us struggle to open our minds because we are faced with situations in life, love, or work that make us feel bad.
If you’re anything like me, freeing your mind can make you nervous. Why should I free my mind if the world is still so messed up and full of propaganda, injustice, and misinformation?
But the truth is, if you take it step by step, you can change everything. So how can you overcome this feeling of being “stuck in a rut” and stuck in circles in your mind?
Yes, it would help if you had more than willpower, that’s for sure. I learned about it from the Life Journal created by Jeanette Brown, a highly successful life coach, and teacher.
You see, willpower only takes us so far…the key to transforming your life into something you are passionate about and passionate about requires persistence, a mindset shift, and practical goal setting.
Although this seemed like a big task, it was easier than I imagined, thanks to Jeanette’s guidance.
Now, you may wonder how Jeanette’s course differs from all other personal development programs.
It all comes down to one thing:
Jeanette is not interested in being your life coach. Instead, she wants you to take the reins in creating the life YOU have always wanted.
If you’re ready to stop dreaming and start living your best life, a life created on your terms that fulfills and satisfies you, don’t hesitate to check out Life Journal.
8. Choose your friends wisely
It’s great to have friends. I have always enjoyed my time with friends in my life. At the same time, I noticed something about friends.
I have noticed that many of us avoid friendships with people who are different from us. And you know what… That’s a shame.
Living in an eco-chamber is not just fun. Plus, if your friends are all mainly on the same team or in the same lifestyle, it encourages you to close your mind.
As writer H.L. Menke said:
“You can tell a man’s vices by his friends, his virtues by his enemies.”
9. The status quo is not your friend
One of the most significant ways to free your mind from mental slavery is to stop buying into the status quo. This can vary depending on where you are and your life situation. But the primary way to say it is:
If you are chained inside your mind and told who you should be and what you should do, then you are probably some mental slave.
We are all bound by expectations and routines in some way. The key is to notice this and then take steps to meet different people and live separate lives.
As Phil Adams says:
“Emancipate yourself from any damaging or debilitating status quo.
“We are all slaves, variously, to mortgages and monthly wage packets, to self-consciousness, to impostor syndrome, pessimism, anxiety over issues beyond our control, stultifying routines, domineering characters in our lives, even our social media personas.”
10. Whose rules?
Rules are a part of life—the law of gravity and our need for oxygen and water. Other rules are accepted as valid by most cultures: it is wrong to steal or suitable to help the poor.
But this is not universally true, and many of us hold ethical beliefs that are not our own: they have been given to us by social conditioning and peer pressure.
Think about whose rules you follow.
Do they have meaning in your life? More importantly, are they true?
What will you do with your freedom?
What happens after you are freed from mental slavery? Here’s the beauty of it: It depends on you.