Book Review – A Cage Called Hope by Shelley Murphy

A Cage Called Hope by Shelley Murphy

“Become the person you want to be. Not the person you were programmed to be.”

This opening quote caught my attention. Only since becoming a Mum have I realised how much programming goes on from childhood. I always joke now as a hypnobirthing practitioner, people may think I am going to attempt to brainwash them, when in fact, it is pretty much the opposite. Unfortunately, the truth is, for many situations in our lives, we need to consider how the programming that has taken place in our lives up to this point is serving us.

Shelley explains how our subconscious mind works. I just love her explanation.

“The subconscious is a huge memory bank that is largely taken for granted. It holds in storage every detail of your life so far and will retrieve that data as needed. Its key function is to ensure that everything you say or do is in line with what you have been programmed to believe about yourself.

So in short, that means that ninety-five percent of brain activity is beyond conscious awareness.”

Something I teach in the Positive Birth Program is that when it comes to setting up your programming in your subconscious, there are four ways to set up the information:

  1. Repetition
  2. High Emotion
  3. Authority
  4. Self-Hypnosis

Shelley discusses how repetition and times of high emotion can reinforce our core beliefs in our childhood.

What are core beliefs?

“Core beliefs are basic beliefs about ourselves, other people, and the world we live in. They are things we hold to be absolute truths deep down, underneath all our “surface” thoughts. Essentially, core beliefs determine how you perceive and interpret the world.”


So what happens when our core beliefs aren’t serving us? Often we suffer from problems related to self-acceptance and self-esteem. These issues manifest in every aspect of our lives. If we believe we are not good enough, we focus on not being good enough. We feel like we are constantly failing at work, in our relationships, in our friendship groups, as a parent, etc.  

If you are sitting there thinking about all the negative self-talk that goes on in your mind, this is your wake up call. STOP. You ARE good enough! You ARE worthy!

The journey of learning to accept and love yourself for who you truly are, is sometimes (almost always) a difficult one. Changing your core beliefs is an uncomfortable process. But…

“Life is short. You only get one and it is a waste to spend all of your time and energy trying to make other people happy. All you achieve is the emptying of your cup. Live your life, do what makes you happy and, through your actions you will set an example of what’s possible and provide inspiration to others so they can decide to create their own happy life (or not).”

As a self-confessed people pleaser, this quote was like a light-bulb moment for me.

“You can provide a healthy and safe environment for other people to be happy in, yes. You can give other people a chance to be happy. But, ultimately, the choice to be happy is theirs. Someone else’s happiness will never be your choice.”

Other people’s happiness is not my responsibility. Do you find this statement as freeing as I do?


“Hope is not a strategy.”

Do not just hope that things will be different. Act. Form a strategy to acknowledge any core beliefs that are no longer serving you and replace them. Do not imprison yourself in a cage built around these negative core beliefs. I’d highly recommend reading this book and if you need more guidance, please reach out to Shelley on the details below.

“The privilege of a lifetime is to become who you truly are.” – Carl Jung

Shelley Murphy

MA Counsellor & Psychotherapy

Clinical Supervisor

Clinical Counsellor

Australian Author

Email: Counsellor@outlook.com.au

Phone: 0407 435 169

Web: https://AdelaideAnxietyTherapy.com


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