Most of us feel sorry for ourselves from time to time. It may seem as if you’re carrying the world on your shoulders and nothing’s going right. Meanwhile you’re surrounded by smiling faces and people who seem to have so much to be happy about. A bad day or two is one thing but if you’re always feeling as if you’re out in the cold, face pressed up against a windowpane, watching others enjoying love, warmth and laughter, then it’s time to sort out your perceptions and get a life!
- Giving yourself a reality check
TIME FOR A REALITY CHECK
If you believe that you’re the only one who doesn’t have certain things, ask yourself some stern questions.
- Is your viewpoint true? Probably your first response will be ‘Of course it’s true!’ But isn’t there a seed of doubt? Isn’t something within you saying you’re giving in to self-pity? Listen to that little voice
- So, is your viewpoint true 100% of the time? If so, it will be true for all the people all the time, the same way everyone will agree that rain is wet and the sun gives heat and light. If your belief isn’t that true, then maybe it isn’t actually true? You may find this hard to accept but your perceptions should now start to shift, just a little
- When is this viewpoint not true? In what situations? Who would disagree with your viewpoint? Can you begin to let go of this attitude?
- Could it be the case that your view of life is distorted?
- Could it be the case that the way you’re looking at life is actually false?
- Could it be the case that some people would think you were fortunate, and that you have quite a lot?
As you begin to pose yourself these questions, your perception will become a little shaky. Don’t give up. Keep bombarding yourself with hard questions until you really open up to change.
UNDERSTAND THE ROLE OF ANGER
If you find it hard to let go of your negative beliefs, remember that they probably arise out of anger. Like a child who screams ‘It’s not fair!’ and bangs her head on the floor you’re letting resentment at the fact you feel deprived control you. If you can’t hit back at the world you’ll hit back at yourself, and instead of hurting your head by banging it, you hurt yourself by miserable, pessimistic thoughts. Cutting off your nose to spite your face, in fact.
If realising that makes you feel silly, go easy on yourself. Most people have done something like that at some time. Now, if you’re consciously recognising what you’re doing, you can change it.
WANTING TO BE RESCUED
Another subconscious pattern you may be repeating is looking for rescue. Again, like a toddler, you think if you cry long enough, if you’re unhappy enough, someone will eventually come and scoop you up and console you. There are two problems with this. One is that when you’re three you can expect a parent figure to be watching out for you, but when you’re adult even those closest to you aren’t going to perform that function.
The second problem is that you can get very stuck with this. It’s like you’re saying to yourself ‘If I get myself out of this sad place myself then I’ll never experience the bliss of rescue’. That’s true. But realise that you have to sacrifice the hope of the bliss of rescue for the more realistic prospect of talking yourself into an okay place.
REFRAME THOSE THOUGHTS
Now you’ve challenged your reality and have some understanding of why you’re creating that scenario, you can change it.
Turn ‘Nobody cares about me’ into listing all the people who have cared about you and who do care now. You may not have anyone close to you at the present moment, but what about people who like to chat to you during the day? Friends you spend time with? Colleagues who value your help? What about those who have loved you in the past?
Do the same with all the desirables you’re telling yourself you’re doing without. You will find that there are many things you do have, that you’ve achieved and that you can look forward to.
Instead of telling yourself you have nothing, count all that you do have. Yes, it’s that boring old advice to count your blessings and it’s so true that it’s easy to disregard, but it’s so worth a try.
Reframe your experiences so you turn problems into opportunities. If you’re the sort of person who complains about a rainy day, think of all the good things about rain, how beautiful and sparkling it is, how the fact you may not want to go out gives you more chance to do stuff indoors, get sorted out and so on.
Soon you will realise that in fact you have a great deal. Hopefully what you will have is the greatest treasure of all – the power to think positively. That will mean you will soon have everything you could wish for.
HOW WE CAN HELP
You’ve learned about challenging your ‘reality’, the role of anger and needing to be rescued, and how to reframe your thoughts. All of this needs working on, but for a quick lift to take you out of the doldrums and set you on the road to a different perspective, just call our team of skilled Readers for a quick cheer-me-up.
PUBLISHED: 22 December 2017