I tend to overreact sometimes.
I’m sure there’s a couple people reading this email, nodding their head and thinking, “You said it, girl!”
Last week was a bit tough for me, relationship-wise. I should know better than to go down the rabbit hole into the self-pity world, but that’s exactly what I did. All’s good again, but when I was deciding which tip to post this week, this one jumped out like a kangaroo and kicked me in the chest.
Hopefully you don’t need this wake up call, but I’m sharing it just in case you’re going through something too.
Stop the self pity.
Ever said, “This is a disaster,” when referring to your life, not an actual disaster? Or, “Why me?” Forgetting that all people have difficulties. How about, “Life’s not fair,” as an excuse for not getting what you want? Or perhaps, “I just can’t catch a break,” when you actually live a privileged life.
From time to time, we’ll go through challenging times that get us down. Staying in that self pity mindset will attract more of the same and lead us on a downward spiral. When we are in a negative headspace, our decisions can be less effective, resulting in poor outcomes, which circle back to a negative headspace and get worse.
It’s easy to fall. Pity often gets us attention, allows us to put off responsibilities, and gets us out of doing things we’d rather not do. But, it doesn’t move us closer to a solution, it restricts us from performing at our best, pushes away positive friends, and it ignites other negative emotions, like sadness, anxiety, and overwhelm.
Reframing our thoughts to perceive circumstances as good fortune can help. Yes, that means finding the silver lining. For instance, a car crash where no one is hurt is a huge hassle. It can be perceived as good if it’s taught us to be a better driver. Or on the anniversary of a loved one’s passing, we can consciously choose to celebrate their life instead of going back into mourning.
As well as reframing, taking a more realistic view can help. Accept that life has ups and downs. Know that everyone goes through tough times, even if we don’t see others’ hardships. Avoid the tendency to exaggerate our personal level of misfortune. This awareness should help get us out of wallowing mode.
Take action: Try doing something of service. It’s hard to feel sorry for yourself when helping others who are actually less fortunate. Plus, it helps us get out of our negative headspace and physically move in a positive direction. The more we gain confidence in our ability to get through problems, the easier the next one will be.:: Inspired by Amy Morin’s book, 13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.