The path to success is a perilous one – it is riddled with a thousand obstacles that come from all directions, from within and without. The hindrances that come from the outside world are often the ones that are easier to handle. However, if problems begin to take root inside oneself, there is more cause for concern. One of the worst states that one can find oneself in is the state of paranoia.

Paranoia is a mental state characterised by anxiety and fear, where one begins to perceive irrational threats from any and every person or situation. It involves delusions of persecution, which make the affected person wrongly believe that they are being conspired against, followed, watched, harassed, being harmed and generally being obstructed in their goals.

The most problematic aspect of this condition is that once it starts taking over, it becomes a chronic problem – everyone seems to harbour a malicious intent towards the affected individual, everyone seems to be constantly judging them and making their lives difficult in every possible way, all opportunities of success seem to be taken away – the condition is best described as ‘the world is out to get me’.

When they feel persecuted or insecure

Commonly, every human being experiences spells during their lifetime when they feel persecuted or insecure, but those who get trapped into that state may deteriorate into more severe conditions of personality disorder or even schizophrenia. The precise causes of paranoia cannot be pinned down, but the most common roots lie in social insecurity, developmental issues, and in some cases physical conditions.

The state of paranoia is best addressed in its earliest stage, when it is still a feeling, not yet a chronic condition. Paranoia generates an overwhelming sense of negativity and that is the area where an individual can uplift oneself, while there is still time. The most important element in this context is to keep an internal locus of control. Locus of control is the degree to which a person believes he/she has control over his/her life, as opposed to external forces that are beyond control. People with an internal locus of control believe that they have power over the events and outcomes in their lives, while people with an external locus of control always blame the world outside for whatever happens to them.

The vicious cycle of blaming external forces

This is the crux of the matter – always keep an internal locus of control. Never fall prey to the vicious cycle of blaming external forces – once you start complaining, the grasping clutch of negativity will pull you down to the darkest depths of your personality and prevent you from taking any positive step. If you are a person with a dream, you must surround yourself with the positive energies of life, and no one is going to hand it out to you – you have to discover them within yourself.

Act immediately if you get a hint of negative, paranoid feelings – don’t wait for situations to get worse – don’t leave outcomes to fate. The moment you feel that people are conspiring against you, spying on you, trying to make life difficult for you, always know that those feelings are fabrications in your own mind – it is your own fear taking hold of you.  The world is not out to get you – because you won’t let it – you are the captain of your fate.