How To Magically Transform Your Irritations Into Personal Development Teachers

The irritations you have are signposts. They are there to help your personal development, or to make your life a living hell. The choice is up to you. If you’re irritated by someone not washing the dishes, you probably want to tell that someone to do the dishes, and not just leave them there. How careless of them. They should know better, right?

When we really look into our irritations, we’ll discover something more profound, and something that can catapult our self-growth to new levels like a supercharged rocket.

It isn’t easy, and it requires a great deal of honesty, but it’s worth it.

The Real Truth About Irritations
Irritations are often thoughts about how things should be.

  • Someone isn’t washing the dishes, but they should.
  • Someone isn’t telling you they love you, but they should.
  • Someone isn’t paying back a debt, but they should.
  • You have to wait in line, when you shouldn’t.

They are ingrained beliefs that we’ve often grown up with. I grew up in a family that always stressed the importance of cleaning up after yourself. I’ve since then lived with different roommates who seemed to use chaos to measure their success and comfort. This has caused me to become irritated and even try to change their behaviour. Suffice it to say, it doesn’t work, and it only saps my energy.

How to Magically Transform Your Irritations
I recently bumped into something called The Work by Byron Katie. You may have heard of it. At first, it sounds silly, because all you have to do is look inside, ask a few questions, and boom; your thinking is transformed.

Your attachments fall away. No longer are you obsessed by getting things you don’t have. You are OK with how life is. It’s freedom in its truest sense.

I recommend you check out the website of The Work to learn more, but in essence, it works by taking a belief such as “He/she should do the dishes,” and using the below questions to examine it:

  • Is that true?
  • Can I absolutely know that it’s true?
  • How do I react, what images do I see (in my head), when I think that thought?
  • Who would I be without that thought?

After this there’s something that’s called a turnaround, which is a reversal of your belief. He should do the dishes becomes I should do the dishes, and he shouldn’t do the dishes.

Who knows; maybe the world won’t end if everything isn’t clean all the time?

This is a simple form of meditation and asking questions. When you are still and examine a belief with these questions, you will feel the astonishing effect that they have.

Now, I’m not saying this is for everyone, so I would only recommend it if you’re ready to be free from thoughts and beliefs that do not help you feel amazing.

Beware of the Story
We all have a story we like to tell ourselves.

You want the dishes done because otherwise there will be cockroaches crawling all over the place, your landlord will throw you out, and you will be homeless.

But can you really know that any of that is true?

And if you can, can you be absolutely certain that that isn’t exactly what you need in your life now?

Turning your irritations (and negative beliefs) into personal development teachers isn’t easy, but it’s worth it.

And it’s another step in the direction of making your life so amazing that you keep asking yourself if you’re living in a dream.

Written on 3/22/2011 by Henri Junttila. Henri blogs at, Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how you can earn money online ethically. You can also get the Passion Blogging Guide, which is free, but really shouldn’t be. Photo Credit: miss pupik

NOW WATCH: Ideas videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.