Your Erroneous Zones Summary And Review

AttitudeLifeMindsetPersonal DevelopmentPhilosophyPsychology

Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer talks about the flawed concepts that we carry in our minds all our lives and thus limit ourselves from living a fuller, richer life.

Your Erroneous Zones Summary (PDF)

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life
  • Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-step Advice For Escaping The Trap Of Negative Thinking And Taking Control Of Your Life
  • Dyer, Wayne W (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 08/21/2001 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

Do you get sad when your friends don’t accept your ideas?

Do you feel that you don’t have full control of your life?

Are you satisfied with your life?

In this book, I’ll share the best lessons I learned from this book that will you find the answer to such types of questions.

Without further ado, let’s dive right in!

Lesson #1: Your happiness is affected by how you think and feel about the problems in your life.

What if I tell you that you could control your feelings and turn your unhappiness into happiness?

Would you believe me? Probably not.

But it’s possible.

We all believe that we can’t control how we feel.

It’s a notion in society that some problems exist for the sole purpose of making you unhappy.

It’s natural for us to become unhappy when we realize that we have got a problem to solve.

The author says that it is not actually the problems that make us unhappy, it’s our inability to control how we think and feel.

We are conditioned by messages every day that we can’t control our emotions.

For example, you might have heard love songs singing the phrases that say how a person can’t control his strong emotions after falling in love.

Those subtle signals don’t look like a big deal, but gradually they make us believe that it’s impossible to take control of our feelings.

Surprisingly, the author demystifies that we don’t need high intelligence and formal education to take charge of our feelings.

He says that if you know how to manage your thoughts and emotions, you are an intelligent person.

Unfortunately, many people by the time they grow give up on this idea of controlling their feelings. They let their feelings happen to them, instead of choosing what they want to feel.

The problem is:

Changing how you think is not easy.

Think about obese people. They spend months eating junk food and avoiding daily exercise to attain that much fat.

Now if they want to get a lean body, they will have to spend approximately an equal number of months to reverse the process.

The same thing happens with our minds.

You have spent years building your mental models. To change those mental models, you will need to put conscious effort every single day.

When we talk about taking charge of our emotions, people expect it to be easy. But soon they realize that it’s too hard — just like any hard skill.

So they give up.

Start with low expectations.

The author suggests that you try living in the present moment for a few hours daily. This will help you break away from your current conditioning of the mind.

How does this help in becoming happy?

When you practice choosing how you feel, you choose to see problems from a different perspective.

Most people associate problems with negative feelings, so no doubt when they face a problematic situation, they find themselves helpless.

But an intelligent person assesses the situation and doesn’t panic.

There is no point in complaining about how helpless you are and how you unhappy you are feeling.

As soon as you find unhappy thoughts, start questioning them.

Ask questions like:

“Why do I always become unhappy?”

“Is the problem really that big? Or am I worried for nothing?”

Don’t expect it to be easy.

You will tend to become sad even after a lot of practice. Keep questioning your emotions every time you find yourself scared or worried about a problem.

Remember it’s better to choose anytime instead of giving up and start blaming your circumstances.

The author even says that many people choose unhappiness.

This happens because we believe that feelings happen to us. So unconsciously, people choose unhappiness without even knowing they are choosing unhappiness.

The key to solving this problem is to become conscious of your choices in each moment of your life.

After developing this habit, you will be able to see how you make choices based on the patterns you have developed over the years as a result of your conditioning.

Also read: Before Happiness (Summary)

Lesson #2: If you have low self-esteem, start loving yourself more.

Has this ever happened to you: Someone complimented you and you hesitated to accept the compliment. Instead of saying thank you, you said “Oh! That was just dumb luck. I’m not that good. You could also do the same if you practiced a bit.”?

Well, my friend, that’s a sign of low self-esteem.

What is self-esteem?

Self-esteem is the image of You in your mind.

Since childhood, we are taught to behave in a particular manner.

If you argue, they say it’s bad to argue. Adults want their kids to accept everything without arguing, don’t they?

You are taught to make others happy. They say “Don’t hurt anyone. It’s okay to lie if the other person is not ready to hear the truth.”

Strangely, a kid doesn’t see anything wrong with this. It sounds so reasonable, doesn’t it?

Well, I’m not asking you to disobey everybody. The point here is: When you sacrifice your values for the happiness of others, you hurt your self-esteem.

We have been taught by society not to be selfish. So we agree to give up our judgments and values.

Consequently, by the time we grow up, we lose our ability to question myths and false notions.

We should understand that holding high self-esteem is not akin to becoming an egomaniac. There is a huge difference between these two.

Confusion between these two terms is dangerous and has serious consequences.

In the name of self-esteem, many self-centered people do selfish deeds and justify their acts with false ideas about self-love.

What we are trying to achieve here is different.

The author says that only by loving yourself more you can cure your low self-esteem.

Self-Love is about accepting yourself — the natural You.

Think about all those things you don’t like about yourself. We all have insecurities, don’t we?

Some people don’t like the way they look. Some hate the sound of their voice.

Some think that they don’t have any talent.

A self-loving person despite knowing his weakness accepts himself without any complaining. He knows that nobody is perfect and that is okay.

We all have watched TV commercials that sell us products that claim to fix our insecurities. They say “Buy this ‘magical product’ and become more confident in your life. Look more beautiful. Be happier.”

Do those products really do as they promise? Probably not.

They might provide temporary solutions, but to permanently fix the problem, you need to love yourself more.

Remember that our insecurities lie within us.

And no product can permanently fix them unless we try to challenge our self-defeating notions about ourselves.

By giving in to your insecurities, you allow others to take control of your life.

You start seeking approval from other people and let them tell you what is right for you.

This way, you avoid taking responsibility for your life and leave everything up to the people around you.

Don’t go that route. Start loving yourself right from today.

Lesson #3: Be an elephant and break your shackles of the past.

The author says:

Only a ghost wallows around in his past, explaining himself with self-descriptors based on a life lived through. You are what you choose today, not what you’ve chosen before.

Most of us have self-descriptors that describe what we think about ourselves.

You can also say that self-descriptors are adjectives that we use when we describe ourselves to other people.

For example:

  • I’m cool.
  • “I’m musical.”
  • “I’m shy.”
  • I’m an intellectual.
  • I’m talkative.

The author says that most of our self-descriptors stop us from living a fuller life.

When it comes to doing something challenging, we make an excuse and say “It’s not my thing. I’m not made for it.”

The reason we do this is simple:

It’s easy to make an excuse. It’s easy to tell how you are not the right person for a job. Isn’t it?

In comparison, doing the thing requires you to be vulnerable to failures.

The author says that we pigeonhole ourselves by dividing human nature into categories.

Maybe you were not good at maths in your childhood. But today if you are an adult, you can learn and become good at it.

Most of our self-doubts emerge from our bad memories.

You can choose to let go of those limiting beliefs and grow in your life.

The author shares a great trick: Instead of saying “I’m bad,” say that “I used to be bad. But now I choose to be good.”

The statement reflects that we all have a choice: either we can choose to complain or we can choose to take responsibility.

Also read: Be Obsessed Or Be Average (Summary)

Lesson #4: Worry and Guilt are highly unproductive.

We are hardwired to either feel guilty about our wrongdoings or worry about the uncertain future, aren’t we?

We are hardly ever in the present moment.

You may ask “What’s wrong with worrying about the future?”

Great question, indeed.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with planning for the future.

The problem begins when we waste our time worrying too much about the future and don’t live in the present. In doing so, we neither plan properly nor work in the present.

It’s an inactive state.

When you are planning about the future, you are not taking any action in the present.

The same thing happens while feeling guilt.

You can’t change the past no matter how much guilt you feel about your wrongdoings or mistakes.

In fact, these days, not doing anything and just being in the present is akin to being lazy.

We believe that people who are always worrying about the future are visionary and must be celebrated.

Although there is nothing wrong with thinking about the future, a lot of people forget the fact that the future and present only exist in our minds.

You are always in the present. And that’s where you need to focus.

The future will always be uncertain and being humans we will always make stupid mistakes. Guilt and Worry are inescapable unless you decide to consciously banish them from your life.

They won’t go away permanently, but you can choose your attitude and handle them smartly.

Whenever you find yourself with Guilt, ask yourself “Will feeling guilty change the past?”

Or whenever you find yourself worrying too much about the future, ask yourself “Will a lot of worrying change the future outcome?”

If the answer is No, there is no point in doing that, right?

The author says that the reason why most people waste time worrying is that they subconsciously want to avoid taking responsibility for their lives. It’s hard to take responsibility and change your present, isn’t it?

That’s why the author says that guilt and worry are useless emotions.

Also read: Rewire Your Anxious Brain (Summary)

Lesson #5: Stop being rigid and open up to new experiences.

As we grow older, we settle into patterns and tend to repeat those same patterns every day.

The reason we don’t appreciate the unknown is that it’s scary to walk a road that nobody else has taken. Who knows what dangers might await us, right?

Well, this kind of thinking, no doubt, gives us security, but it also limits us from fully experiencing life.

Most people live their lives as if they are following some kind of movie script. Everything is written already, you just have to play your part.

This rigidity creates a barrier to growth.

And those who stop growing, stop living.

Simply look at your daily mundane life.

Don’t you like a certain types of clothes? Don’t you like to watch a certain type of movies?

Do you become uncomfortable when someone talks about taboos?

Don’t worry if you, all those uncomfortable feelings are there because of the fear of the unknown.

We try our best to make sure that everything is familiar.

But were we like this when we were kids? I guess not.

We would do stupid things like playing with insects, imagined becoming a superhero, etc. We embraced new experiences. Didn’t we?

When you embrace new thrilling experiences without seeking approval from other people, you become spontaneous.

The author says that you don’t always have to have a reason for doing something. One can simply do something just because he wanted to.

This spontaneity allows us to break the patterns in our thinking and thus our lives.

It’s exciting to do things differently.

No matter how great a thing is, if you do it repeatedly for a few years, it’ll get boring.

The only caveat here is that you don’t have to go to extremes to seek pleasurable experiences. Although the author doesn’t talk about this in this book, I think that it could be dangerous to do so.

Never put yourself into dangerous situations to seek new experiences.

Take small steps.

For example: Order something different than what you usually do the next time you go to a restaurant. Or take a different route to your office. Or play a new sport. Just make sure it’s something different and exciting.

Recommended: How successful people think?

Lesson #6: You don’t need to repay the favor if it’s mean.

We have been taught by society that we should always repay the favors.

For instance, if someone gives you a gift, you should also return the favor by providing something of the equal value.

And it’s indeed a great thing. It encourages helpful behavior.

But this ‘paying favors back’ thingy should not be applied to all the places.

The author talks about we apply the same concept when it comes to justice.

If someone has done wrong to us, we tend to do the same in the name of justice.

The problem is our flawed perception of reality.

We believe that the world must be fair. But the author argues that nothing is fair in this world.

Injustice is more common than justice. It’s only in the dreams that a just world exists, says the author.

Does this mean that one should not stand against injustice? Not at all.

The point is that many people tend to justify their bad actions in the name of justice. They think that they should payback and return the hurt they got from others.

If a person hits them, they hit that person back. And then they call that “justice served well.”

The problem is: Justice must never be used to take vengeance and fill our hearts with hatred. That’s a recipe for war, isn’t it?

Mahatama Gandhi once said that if someone slaps you on one side of your face, turn the other one to him.

Well, I’m not saying that you should allow yourself to get beaten by the bad guys.

Understand that vengeance is good for no one.

Stand against injustice. But also realize that the world will never be 100 percent fair to you.

Both good and bad exist on this planet.

If someone is mean to you, it doesn’t mean that you have the license to be mean to that person and return the same.

When you carry that erroneous zone in your head, you stop taking responsibility for your life. Sure, people will give you a lot of attention and feel pity for all the bad things done to you. But those things won’t help you grow.

Instead, you will always hold yourself from growing and waste your time thinking about how unfair the world is.

It’s easy to say that life is not fair and not taking any responsibility for your life, isn’t it?

That’s why we see a lot of people complaining about how unfair life has been to them and why they can’t fix their problems.

“You know, life is not fair. If only life was fair, I could have a different life.”

You don’t have to make that same mistake. Don’t fall into this trap!

Accept the reality — no matter how ugly or beautiful it is. Embrace the truth.

Your Erroneous Zones Review

Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-Step Advice for Escaping the Trap of Negative Thinking and Taking Control of Your Life
  • Your Erroneous Zones: Step-by-step Advice For Escaping The Trap Of Negative Thinking And Taking Control Of Your Life
  • Dyer, Wayne W (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 256 Pages - 08/21/2001 (Publication Date) - William Morrow Paperbacks (Publisher)

Last update on 2024-05-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon

This is the second that I read by Wayne Dyer.

Before this book, I read The Power Of Intention. And I wasn’t much impressed with that book as it kept talking about Intention.

But this book was great. I found myself reading it again and again.

The author hits the critical points in each chapter.

We all have erroneous zones and I don’t think there would be any person without. I also doubt if it’s possible to get rid of them as it’s very tough for an average person to identify them.

Is this book worth your money?

I’d say yes.

You won’t be disappointed with this book.

If you read a lot of self-help books, you might find the information a bit old. But still, it’s worth read reading at least once. The ideas discussed are closer to reality, unlike other self-help books that talk about dreams and all without telling how.

Overall, I’d give a rating of 8/10.

You can get the book here: Check the price on Amazon

FAQs about Your Erroneous Zones by Dr. Wayne Dyer

What are the Erroneous zones?

Erroneous zones are the self-destructive patterns that we unconsciously keep repeating and generate unwanted emotions like fear, guilt, and worry.

What is the book Your Erroneous Zones about?

The book Your Erroneous Zones is about finding out negative destructive beliefs and concepts in our minds and destroying them for good so that we reach our highest possibilities.

How many pages in Your Erroneous Zones?

The book consists of 256 pages.

When was Your Erroneous Zones written?

The book was written in April 1976.

Who wrote Your Erroneous Zones?

The book is written by Dr. Wayne Dyer who is popular for writing self-help books.

Is Wayne Dyer still living?

No, he left the world on 29 August 2015.

Where to buy Your Erroneous Zones?

You can the book on Amazon: Check the latest price here.

Now It’s Your Turn

So there you have it.

I believe those lessons would help you live a fuller life.

Now you tell me:

What is your biggest takeaway from this book summary?

Let me in the comments below.

You can also email me at and share your feedback with me.

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Shami Manohar

The Brain Behind

I am Shami Manohar, the founder of WizBuskOut. My obsession with non-fiction books has fueled me with the energy to create this website. I read at least one book every week on topics such as business, critical thinking, mindset, psychology, and more.

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