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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 September 17, 2019

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

10 Simple Ways To Always Think Positive Thoughts

Positive thinking can lead to a lot of positive change in your life. Developing an optimistic outlook can be good for both your physical and mental health.

But sometimes, certain situations arise in life that makes it hard to keep a positive outlook. Take steps to make positive thinking become more like your second nature and you’ll reap the biggest benefits.

Here are 10 ways to make thinking positive thoughts easy:

1. Spend Time with Positive People

If you surround yourself with constant complainers, their negativity is likely to rub off on you.

Spend time with positive friends and family members to increase the likelihood that their positive thinking habits will become yours too. It’s hard to be negative when everyone around you is so positive.

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2. Take Responsibility for Your Behavior

When you encounter problems and difficulties in life, don’t play the role of the victim. Acknowledge your role in the situation and take responsibility for your behavior.

Accepting responsibility can help you learn from mistakes and prevent you from blaming others unfairly.

3. Contribute to the Community

One of the best ways to feel good about what you have, is to focus on what you have to give.

Volunteer in some manner and give back to the community. Helping others can give you a new outlook on the world and can assist you with positive thinking.

4. Read Positive and Inspirational Materials

Spend time each day reading something that encourages positive thinking. Read the Bible, spiritual material, or inspirational quotes to help you focus on what’s important to you in life. It can be a great way to start and end your day.

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Some recommendations for you:

5. Recognize and Replace Negative Thoughts

You won’t be successful at positive thinking if you’re still plagued by frequent negative thoughts. Learn to recognize and replace thoughts that are overly negative. Often, thoughts that include words like “always” and “never” signal that they aren’t true.

If you find yourself thinking something such as, “I always mess everything up,” replace it with something more realistic such as, “Sometimes I make mistakes but I learn from them.”

There’s no need to make your thoughts unrealistically positive, but instead, make them more realistic.

6. Establish and Work Toward Goals

It’s easier to be positive about problems and setbacks when you have goals that you’re working toward. Goals will give you motivation to overcome those obstacles when you encounter problems along the way. Without clear goals, it’s harder to make decisions and gauge your progress.

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Learn to set SMART goals to help you achieve more.

7. Consider the Consequences of Negativity

Spend some time thinking about the consequences of negative thinking. Often, it can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

For example, a person who thinks, “I probably won’t get this job interview,” may put less effort into the interview. As a result, he may decrease his chances of getting the job.

Create a list of all the ways negative thinking impacts your life. It likely influences your behavior, your relationships, and your feelings. Then, create a list of the ways in which positive thinking could be beneficial.

8. Offer Compliments to Others

Look for reasons to compliment others. Be genuine in your praise and compliments, but offer it frequently. This will help you look for the good in other people.

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9. Create a Daily Gratitude List

If you start keeping a daily gratitude list, you’ll start noticing exactly how much you have to be thankful for. This can help you focus on the positive in your life instead of thinking about all the bad things that have happened in the day.

Getting in the habit of showing an attitude of gratitude makes positive thinking more of a habit. Here’re 40 Simple Ways To Practice Gratitude.

10. Practice Self-Care

Take good care of yourself and you’ll be more equipped to think positively.

Get plenty of rest and exercise and practice managing your stress well. Taking care of your physical and mental health will provide you with more energy to focus on positive thinking.

Learn about these 30 Self-Care Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit.

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Featured photo credit: DESIGNECOLOGIST via unsplash.com

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