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Why and How to Let Go of Your Self Pity

Why and How to Let Go of Your Self Pity

Dwelling on your misfortunes won’t make them go away (and it won’t make you feel any better). If you want to move on with your life but aren’t sure how, please consider these thought exercises that might help you let go of self-pity.

Even the most terrible storms pass in time.

“Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.” ― William James

Self pity is a waste of your precious energy. No matter how terrible your life might seem, they are only as bad as you allow them to become in your mind. Please don’t allow yourself to become paralyzed by negative thoughts like, “Oh my God, there are so many things to do that I don’t know where to start,” because then you will, ironically, make a bad situation worse by putting everything off. Simply pick ONE action that you could realistically accomplish today, no matter how insignificant it might seem, and get it done. If you do that a bunch of times in a row, magical things can and will happen.

Throwing pity parties is counterproductive.

“The problem that we have with a victim mentality is that we forget to see the blessings of the day. Because of this, our spirit is poisoned instead of nourished.” ― Steve Maraboli

Writing this article made me think of a dark time where I found myself stuck in the trap of self-pity. Without getting into particulars, let’s just say I made a poor investment that didn’t pay off, had a few clients leave my online coaching program, and got hit with some unexpected bills (big ones involving car mechanics and power companies), all at the SAME time! Of course, I was right to be frustrated (who wouldn’t be?), but I allowed that feeling to spiral out of control until I became so emotionally devastated that I wasted more time in a depressed funk than I would like to admit.

Talk through the problem with a person you trust.

“There are no facts, only interpretations.” ― Friedrich Nietzsche

After a few dreadful days where I didn’t do anything but pity myself, I finally found the guts to approach a trusted friend for advice. It was hard to be vulnerable, because admitting how bad things got so quickly made me feel like a huge loser, but I’m so glad I did it. He assured me that everything would be okay, offered suggestions about how I might make some extra income to ease the pain, and even told me a story about how he once found himself in a similar situation. Talking through the problem with a friend helped me shift my perspective. Instead of seeing myself as a powerless victim, I now saw myself as a person who the potential to take control of the situation.

Choose the thoughts you dwell on very carefully.

“A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My shift in perspective gave me the encouragement I needed to crawl out from my self-imposed exile to the land of self-pity, but I’m not going to lie… there were still moments (lots of them) where I’d notice negativity trying to sneak up on me in the form of thoughts like:

  • “Why bother? You know you’re just going to screw it all up again anyway.”
  • “Do you really believe anyone cares what you think? No one wants to listen to a failure.”
  • “When you think things are turning around, you’ll find yourself in another situation just like this one.”

Do any of those thoughts sound familiar? If so, don’t feel like there is something “wrong” with you. We all struggle with our own mental monsters, and doubt is a common one that I know very well. I’ve discovered that these thoughts have no control over me as long as I don’t dwell on them. Don’t stop to consider every thought that runs through your head. Only reflect on the thoughts that empower you to achieve your purpose; otherwise, it’s not worth a moment of consideration.

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If you know anyone who might be having a tough time getting over self-pity, please feel free to share this article.

Featured photo credit: Memories of those days/Laura Cores via flickr.com

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Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on July 18, 2019

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

1. They Manage Their Expectations

They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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4. They’re Not Materialistic

There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

5. They Don’t Dwell

They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

6. They Care About Themselves First

They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

7. They Enjoy the Little Things

They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

8. They Can Adapt

They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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9. They Experiment

They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

10. They Take Their Time

They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

11. They Employ Different Perspectives

They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

12. They Seek to Learn

Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

13. They Always Have a Plan

They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

14. They Give Respect to Get It

They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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15. They Consider Every Opportunity

They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

16. They Always Seek to Improve

Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

18. They Live in the Moment

They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

19. They Say Yes

Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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20. They’re Self-Aware

Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

Final Thoughts

The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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