Feeling sorry for yourself and hosting a self pity party is a sure fire way to feel even worse about your situation, and will delay your progress. The interesting thing is, most people would agree that self-destructive behavior is not healthy yet will overdramatize what they perceive to be negative things or events in their lives.
Why We Feel Sorry For Ourselves
The human system is designed to take the least path of resistance so it’s natural for us to delay discomfort and to avoid responsibility of whatever our role may be in the situation.
Self Pity is a Path to Nowhere
When you indulge in self pity, it’s only the start of a downward emotional (and potentially physical) spiral. Self pity…:
- Takes a lot of mental energy and does nothing to better your situation. It leaves you exhausted, further away from progress, and stymies any productive activities
- Leads to self shame and negative emotions like anger, resentment and loneliness
- Can become a self fulfilling prophecy
- Creates invisible blinders that prevent you from seeing all the good in your life
So Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself!
This is easier said than done, but it’s the only alternative if you want to live a full life. To stop feeling sorry for yourself, follow these steps:
Step 1: Become more aware of any self-limiting thoughts.
Step 2: Actively address those self-limiting thoughts. Write in a journal, talk to someone and be open about how you’re feeling/what you’re going through.
If you choose to talk to someone, be careful to not share with someone who has a default negative mindset. Someone like that cannot be helpful; they will co-host your self pity party. You don’t need someone telling you how bad your situation is or how unfair life is–that’s not productivity empathy. If anything, it enables your self limiting thoughts. Sometimes people the closest to us have a default negative mindset. Don’t try to change their mindset because that’s an impossible task. Just remember not to get into these types of conversations with them.
Step 3: Change your thinking about your perceptions. This is where you become an owner of your life rather than a victim of your circumstances. As hard as it might be in the moment, find a positive viewpoint. IT’S THERE!
I know it can be extremely hard…losing my father was one of the toughest things I’ve gone through. As much as I wish he was still alive and with us, there are positives. He is no longer suffering. And the void of losing him physically has opened me up to attract experiences and people that help me grow and help fill that emptiness. And the best thing I’ve learned (this is my own grief journey, each is different), is that he is still with me. I feel his energy and know he’s with me every step of the way.
And even when you find the positives, it doesn’t mean you’re not going to have tough moments. I can tell you firsthand I still experience them occasionally, but I know that’s normal. And when you do experience those tough moments, the same rules apply. Allow yourself to be with those emotions (DON’T JUDGE YOURSELF!), face them and find a positive spin. Happiness isn’t the absence of negativity, it’s the ability to be aware of your emotions without judging and victimizing yourself.
Step 4: Release positive energy! This could be one of the hardest things to do but it works so quickly and so well:
- Volunteer for a worthy cause
- Go out in the world and do random act of kindness
- Perform an act of self-growth; do some physical activity, read a book that will help you grow, attend a self development seminar, do something that scares you, and so forth.
Step 5: Accept that there will ALWAYS be an open invitation to a self pity party. Avoiding self-pity is a conscious choice you must make! Here are some tools to have in your tool box:
- Think – what’s another way I could view my situation?
- Remove yourself from the situation, share your issue hypothetically with a friend and give advice through the lens of helping someone you love going through the situation
- Find evidence that you can get through it: In these moments, our confidence becomes fragile so it’s important to remind yourself of the times when you solved hard problems. Acknowledge the skills you’ve gained and the accomplishments you’ve made.
As long as you are a living, breathing human, you will have limiting thoughts so don’t waste energy judging that you have them. The goal isn’t to never have them, it’s to recover quickly when you do.
A Personal Example
I’d be remiss in telling you to be open and face your limiting thoughts if I did not do that myself. So as uncomfortable as this might feel, I want to walk you through an example of a self limiting thought I face regarding social media:
Step 1) AWARENESS OF THE ISSUE: Too often I allow self-limiting thoughts to creep in when I see a drop in my social media followers, or when a post that I put a lot of effort into is not ‘liked’ as often as I expected.
Step 2) FACE THEM: Here I am, facing my 17,000 followers & those who are reading this! :^)
Step 3) CHANGE YOUR THINKING: So I’m upset because the situation didn’t play out as I thought it should. But it’s pretty foolish to think I can control how the world responds. Outcomes are subjective.
It’s commonly perceived that having tens of thousands of followers or hundreds of likes is a goal–but why? Where does that goal come from, the heart or the ego? Stats are ego-driven. There’s no question numbers do help with business success, but it’s not the only way. And my real goal is to help people.
So then, am I helping people with my posts? YES! Then I’m hitting my goal after all!
Step 4) RELEASE POSITIVE ENERGY: I do this a lot of ways as I am active daily, always reading or listening to something that will help me grow but currently reading a book that’s been great – 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.
Step 5) ACCEPTANCE: I’m an imperfect human, and what makes me crazy is what makes me so special! The same goes for YOU! Here’s the hard evidence that I’m experienced dealing with this:
- Feedback I’ve received from writing this Monday email over the past 8 + years
- Sharing my own personal journey– what I have gone through and will go through
- Feedback from the 300+ podcasts I’ve done
Yeah, I GOT THIS S***!
And there you go! What you’ll find amazing about this process is that you already feel better by Step 1. With each tiny effort you make to accept what’s in front of you, allow yourself to feel and become open about it. Doing so takes a lot power away from the limiting thoughts!
I encourage you to forward this email to someone who you think could benefit from it. We all go through this stuff, and everyone benefits from an uplifting message.
I also invite you to join me for Get UnStuck Live 2020. If you get any benefit from these emails or my podcasts, you will be blown away at how you feel at the end of the weekend! We will combine the mental, emotional and the physical for one amazing transformational experience here in Sunny Florida!
Registration is closing soon! Book your spot today! www.UnStuckLive.com
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