We all have “why me” moments. It’s a normal part of life. When life gets tough, our initial reaction is to feel sorry for ourselves and perhaps allow ourselves a spot of negative thinking like “Nothing good ever happens to me” or “I always seem to have bad luck”. Of course, this type of thinking doesn’t actually help on any level, it only serves to help us to wallow further in our own misery.
It’s okay to allow ourselves some ‘poor me’ time but it’s just as important to set a time limit to it. When we wallow for too long in self pity we begin to believe our negative thinking and this can translate into ‘I’m a victim’ behaviour. There is nothing less empowering that seeing ourselves as victims. Life happens to victims – they are at the mercy of every one else because they blame everyone else for their misfortune.
Logically, for a victim’s luck to change, they have to rely on the goodwill of others to fix things before their lives can improve. Who would want to be a victim when you realise how little power you have over your own life? Yet, many people play the victim role. This way they do not have to take responsibility for themselves and can fool themselves into believing that they are in the circumstances they’re in due to the behaviour of others. How convenient!
I often hear clients state things like “I am the way I am because of how my parents treated me” or “I hit my partner because they provoked me”. Taking responsibility means accountability. This can be scary but it is also hugely empowering. When we mess up we are to blame but when we do well, we can congratulate ourselves. This is what taking responsibility means and it shows maturity. We can be affected by our upbringings but it doesn’t mean that we can’t choose a different path now that we are older and know better.
Allow yourself a little self pity but once the time is up, figure out a way to move forward. It is vital if we are to feel good about ourselves and optimistic about our futures.