When things don’t go according to plan or we have a series of setbacks, it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves. All we have to do is put our heads down, say to ourselves this is just how it is, and give up. As a matter of fact, it’s so easy that this is exactly what most people do. It takes courage, honesty, and determination to take responsibility for your results and keep moving forward. This article will teach you how to take this harder, yet more rewarding route and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
How To Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
1 – Start Being Grateful
Things may not have worked out yet, and you may have had a setback but you have things that are going right for you as well. Stop feeling sorry for yourself by taking time to be grateful for these things. Be deliberate and consistent in practicing gratitude. Every morning when you wake up, during the day, and before you sleep at night, give thanks for the people and things that you have. Just by doing this, you will see that there is no reason to feel sorry for yourself. You may not have all that you want right now, but remember you now have things that you once wanted and desired badly. CarleySchweet.com has an excellent article on making gratitude a part of your life and why it is important. Click here to read the article and learn how to practice gratitude every day for self-care.
2 – Recognize Your Value
You are not worth less than anything or anyone who lives or has ever lived. You are unique and valuable in your own way just like everyone else. Instead of focusing on your perceived shortcomings and flaws, focus on the value that you bring to others and the world. Who counts on you? How have you helped others? What accomplishments have you made? Write these things down and look at them on a regular basis. Recognize your value and stop feeling sorry for yourself.
3 – Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself By Helping Others
Go above and beyond for others. Do something kind and add value to someone else. By doing this, you can break the cycle of self-pity and feel better about yourself. Volunteer at a homeless shelter, get involved in a charity or cause, or adopt a family for the holidays. Not only will this benefit others, but it will put things in perspective for you. You are more likely to stop feeling sorry for yourself if you help others less fortunate than yourself.
Keep in mind that small things also go a long way. Small acts of kindness will also help you feel better about yourself. Here are some examples:
- Bring a cup of coffee to a co-worker.
- Pay for someone’s meal in the drive-thru line.
- Give someone a compliment.
- Help a coworker with work.
4 – Use Affirmations
Affirmations work by rewiring your thinking. Typically we have a recurring, negative, internal dialogue when we feel sorry for ourselves. Thoughts of, “I can’t do this,” “I’m no good,” “Nothing will ever go my way,” may dominate your everyday life. Break this pattern of negativity by using the power of affirmations. Repeat positive, counter, sayings such as, “I can and I will do this,” “I’m more than good enough,” “The Universe is working for me.” Even if you do not believe these affirmations at first, you will over time. Here are some more affirmations to get you started:
- “I release all my fear, and step forward with motivation.”
- “Every day I am inspired to take action towards my dreams and goals.”
- “Everything I need to succeed is within me.”
- “My life is a blessing.”
Click here for more affirmations. Choose a few that resonate with you and say them repeatedly, throughout the day to help you feel better about yourself and your life.
5 – Stop Obsessing Over What Is Going Wrong
Stop feeling sorry for yourself by giving less attention to the things that aren’t going right. This means stop complaining about it, stop thinking about it, and stop talking to others about it (unless it’s a professional, see #8). How many of you have a relationship with others that consists mainly of negativity? Do you know someone or are that someone who can’t go through a whole conversation without focusing on what’s wrong? If so, then it’s time for a change. Focus more of your time and energy on things that are going right.
I struggled with this at times in my life. When the company I used to work for lost the contract I was on, I kept obsessing about how unfair it was that I was out of a job. Or when I went through my divorce, I kept focusing on what my ex was doing to me. In both cases I made myself out to be a victim instead of looking at the part I played in the matter and how I could move forward. Once I was able to stop obsessing, and gossiping to my friends and family about everything going wrong, I stopped feeling sorry for myself and my life changed.
6 – Avoid Triggers to Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
This means avoiding things that make you feel less than. For example, if following certain celebrities on social media makes you feel bad about the lifestyle you have, then unfollow them. We can’t all live like Kim and Kanye right? It’s unfair to compare ourselves. If certain model magazines make you feel bad about your body, then cancel your subscription. If you know someone who likes to talk about how much better their life or situation is, stop spending time with them. Don’t allow these things to make you feel bad about yourself.
7 – Get Clear On What You Control
Get crystal clear on what you can and what you cannot control. If something isn’t working out, be honest with yourself whether or not you have control over it. Some people do have control but they do not want to admit it. Instead, they want to blame others for their predicament. Take a hard look at your situation and if you find that you can do something about it, then do something about it. Financial situations and health are perfect examples of situations where people tend to have misplaced blame.
On the other hand if you can’t control a situation, then work to let it go. Stop spending another moment stressing over things you can’t do anything about. Instead, focus on what you can do, and move on from there.
8 – Let A Professional Help You Stop Feeling Sorry For Yourself
It’s important to express your emotions when you are feeling down and out. Seek the help of a therapist or life coach to help you through your rough patch. Avoid friends and family who may feed into your self-pity. Professionals are non-biased, and have powerful tools and strategies to help you and could possibly uncover any underlying issues. Plus just airing out your thoughts will help you process your emotions so you can move past them. Swallow your pride, and get professional help if you have the means.
9 – Create Goals and Make Detailed Plans
Stop feeling sorry for yourself by giving yourself something positive to look forward to. Set goals that excite you and make a detailed plan with mitigation built in to get there. This way, no matter how stuck you get or how many setbacks happen, you at least have an idea of your next step. Goals will keep you forward focused and motivated, but be sure they are S.M.A.R.T Goals. These are goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time based. Just having a general goal will not serve you.
10 – Don’t Beat Yourself Up About Feeling Sorry For Yourself
So far you’ve heard of ways to stop feeling sorry for yourself. Although you should work to reach this goal, it’s also important to be accepting of the way you are feeling. It’s okay to be down in the dumps and feel like things aren’t going right. Embrace your feelings, but also see it as a sign that things must change. Give yourself time to feel your emotions but decide on how long. Once you reach your time limit, commit to stop feeling sorry for yourself and move forward.
Don’t let setbacks or circumstances cause you to fall into self-pity. Have the courage and determination necessary to take responsibility for your results and move forward. Use these ten strategies to do just that and stop feeling sorry for yourself. Practice gratitude, recognize your value, help others, use affirmations, stop obsessing, avoid triggers, get clear on what you control, see a professional, create goals, and don’t beat yourself up.
How has feeling sorry for yourself served you in your life? Let me know in the comments below.