Self-pity can happen to any of us, and it can even happen when we least expect it. Life can be going along as normal, but then something happens that shocks our world. We are going through a tough time, and it feels so hard. But if we fall into despair and self-pity, negativity can take control of our lives and soon things can be worse than ever. And, if this happens during your weight loss journey, chances are you’ll want to throw the towel in.
Start to see self-pity for what it is – an unhealthy, destructive state of mind that can lead to depression and isolation. We know that it can negatively impact relationships, and widen a gulf between loved ones. When in self-pitying mode, we often feel angry towards others because they aren’t doing enough, or saying the right thing. But are we actually asking for the help we need, or are we just presuming that they know? Are we communicating how hard things feel for us, or are we just lashing out in resentment?
See the Challenge as an Opportunity
Every experience is an opportunity to learn. By stepping out of the self-destruction involved in self-pity, we learn to communicate honestly and openly to those around us. And, in doing so, we may learn to treat each heartache and pain as a reminder that something beautiful can come out of almost any situation. Self-compassion, not self-pity, is the way to develop the stamina we need to keep moving towards our dreams. By breaking our negative self-talk, and by silencing our inner self-critic, life can open up in a whole new way to us, transforming what was a very difficult time into a redemptive one.
5 Ways On How To Move Away From Self-Pity
1. Shift the negative bias: focusing on everything that is going wrong with your life will not only breed self-pity but will also lead to paralysis.
You will stop moving forwards and your life will stop progressing – do you really want that? Maybe you think you do – you feel like giving up. But the only person you’re really giving up on is yourself. Right now, try to make a list of the things that you are grateful for in your life: the support you have and the people who love you. Write down the small blessings that you probably take for granted – hopefully you have the ability to see, to walk unaided, to have full use of your hands and legs – it’s not to diminish what you are going through but, rather, to reframe your experience so that you see it from a new perspective.
2. Try to be resourceful: being wrapped up in self-pity completely spoils any chance of being able to see new possibilities as they appear.
Being angry or resentful or wallowing in how hard this is only makes you feel worse. By changing your focus, you could use this opportunity to become stronger and achieve better things in your life. Think about how you can use your current resources to improve things, or how you can embrace certain challenges so that something good comes from them. Is there a hidden lesson in all this for you?
3. Move into self-compassion: self-pity and self-compassion are two very different things.
We often hear contradictory messages, such as ‘Allow yourself to feel what you feel’, but then we’re told to ‘Look on the bright side’. It’s important that you allow yourself time to lick your wounds and to honour your feelings. Allow yourself to feel frustration, sadness and pain. Talk to someone you trust and express those emotions in a constructive way. Self-compassion means being your own guardian, best friend and healer instead of a critic. Go easy on yourself, be patient and accept that you will make mistakes.
4. Stop blaming: some people focus on uncomfortable feelings by convincing themselves they suffer more than those around them.
They are busy counting on what they don’t have versus what they can do with what they have. It’s a dangerous cycle to get into, and it will only spin out of control. Other people have their own struggles. Turn your attention away from others and to yourself. Moving on and trying to make the best of your life is 100 per cent your responsibility. And your attitude is also 100 per cent your responsibility. Decide to feel sorry for yourself, or else try to make the best of a bad situation – it may not be easy, but it IS your choice.
5. Let go: sometimes we stew in self-pity as a result of an obsession with control.
We’re afraid of what is on the other side if we let go; and that it might be painful (we humans like to avoid pain at all costs sometimes!). But it’s time to accept that we can’t control some situations. We can’t control other people. Give into it, however hard it is. Stop denying how hard things are; try to be honest with yourself and your loved ones about how you feel. Let yourself be vulnerable and weak. Allow yourself to feel those feelings, no matter how painful. Ask for help. And remind yourself that you are worthy and loveable, no matter what happened in your past, or what is happening right now. You are lovely and perfect, just as you are.