Stop feeling sorry for yourself.
Don’t stop because I told you to, or because now that I’ve mentioned it you’ve gone red in the face–guilty. Stop feeling sorry for yourself because nothing constructive comes of that emotional posture.
Self-pity begins as stress, anxiety, frustration, or disappointment. The mind is a funny thing; sometimes it seems hard-wired to keep us from doing that very thing which would alleviate our emotional burden, whether that’s taking action, or focusing on the positive. And so it is that emotional discord may give way effortlessly into a state of self-pity.
Self-pity is a beckoningly vacant podium with a hot mic, a place where we can stand and point fingers and bemoan the sources of our hardship–how darn hard we have it, how much we have to get done and how little time we have to do it in, and how unfair it all is.
Though we may like it or not, there are unpleasant feelings that are, in fact, useful. Pain is informative, for instance. But pity? There is no wisdom to be harvested from the powerless stance of pity.
The most dangerous part about holding this position is that it begets itself. The more we wallow, the more rapt an audience we imagine is standing before us, and the louder their applause.
But there is a secret recipe for torpedoing an avoidant, woe-is-me attitude, and I’ll tell you what it is: remembering who’s in charge. Reminding yourself who’s doing the choosing, and whose choices are responsible for whatever the current circumstances are.
Challenges are about choices and choices are at the root of all of life.
It is a complete fallacy to believe that one day your challenges will disappear, altogether. It is a doomed dream to pray for a problem-free life. That Simply doesn’t exist.
Even when you’re living your truth, giving of your purpose, and leading with intention, there are periods in life when the going isn’t smooth.
Self-pity distorts our ability to recognize that most everything happening in front of us is the result of our choices.
Pity would have us think such things as: “Why is this happening to me?” “How can I possibly get done what he’s asked me to?” “Why are all these external forces working against me?” “Why does it have to be so hard to me to succeed?” Such lines of thought do not lead us into action, they merely keep us trapped at the microphone, our eyes filled with tears, our voices cracking, proclaiming our hardship to an audience that isn’t even there.
On the other hand, “I am in charge of my life. It is my choices that have created the situation that now distresses me,” is one of the most powerful assertions we can muster.
We shouldn’t punish ourselves; this is not about transferring blame. We do this to reclaim responsibility for our present circumstances, because only then can we feel empowered to correct them.