Let’s face it. Not all days are a perfect ten. Sometimes we feel like even getting close to a ten is impossible. Generally, when we feel this way, we are in what I’ll refer to as a rut, or a place we feel we are trapped in. Or, can’t figure a way out of. This is not where any of us want to be, but at some point, most of us have experienced this feeling, or will. I’m hopeful you might be spared from this experience, but in some ways, there is a lot to learn from this happening to you.
There are a various physiological, mental and environmental reasons why you might feel like you are in a place you would not rather be. The good news is that most of the time, this feeling is temporary. However, if you have been feeling this way for longer than a few weeks, then I can tell you this is something you need to seek help to resolve. No one should feel badly about themselves for any length of time, and no, it’s not normal for anyone to feel this way.
We are wired to mostly feel neutral, and lean towards feeling more positive than negative. Luckily there are also many things you can do to feel better, and no I’m not suggesting that pharmaceuticals are the only answer to feel better. Actually, this should be a last resort. However, in my opinion, too many people opt for this as a first-choice solution. It’s easy to go this route, and many people succumb to this as their way of addressing and temporarily resolving or masking their real challenge.
The real challenge people tend to either dance around, or avoid is not taking the time to figure out why they are down on themselves. Perhaps they are this way because they chose to listen to people who told them they couldn’t do or achieve something. Even worse, they believed this to be a fact.
Most of the time when someone tells you that you are not capable of doing something, it is not in your best interest to always listen to their opinion. However, if what you are thinking of doing is going to be potentially dangerous to you or someone else, then I would make an exception to this thinking.
A perfect example of someone not listening to, or giving others credit for limiting what they could achieve is a young woman named Bella Tucker. Without going into the details of what happened to her, Bella at a young age lost the full use of all four of her limbs. Did this stop her from pursuing her dream to swim, ski, draw or apply to college? No, it didn’t, and she will be attending the University of Massachusetts in Boston in the fall of 2019. She will be entering their Nursing Program, and I can’t think of a person who would have more compassion and drive to become a nurse than Bella.
Bella had an incredible support system. Her Dad Richard Tucker was one of her biggest champions throughout the course of the time she was adjusting to her new life as a quadriplegic. I’m sure there were days when Bella and Rich wondered what her future would look like. I guarantee you that Rich never once told Bella she couldn’t accomplish anything she wanted to do. Imagine having someone like this in your life?
Obviously, Bella’s situation is an extreme situation, and she is certainly a person I admire and draw inspiration from. The point is, most people are not in Bella’s situation. Not even close. However, they chose to feel sorry for themselves and sometimes seemingly enjoy their own pity party. This does not serve them, or anyone else well, and here are some suggestions to make you realize it’s time to get out of your rut, and start living the life you deserve to live.
- Commit to a date you will end feeling sorry for yourself.
- Have three people you know write down 5-10 things they like and admire about you. You are not limited to three people, and the point is to begin to see yourself via the eyes of how others positively perceive you and your talents.
- Change up your routine. Get up 15 minutes early and give yourself extra time to do anything constructive and positive (e.g., yoga, listen to classical music, take a quick walk outside, make yourself a nice cup of tea or coffee).
- Write down one thing you will accomplish each day. This can be a personal or professional accomplishment. Then, commit to making it happen.
- Schedule time to meet with one person you know each week, for a minimum of one month. Spending time socially with others can do wonders for us mentally.
- Challenge yourself to do something you have been putting off doing for a while, and then commit to accomplishing this item.
- Set aside 1-2 hours a week to volunteer your time to an organization or person who could benefit from you helping them. When you help others, you will feel much better about yourself.
- Consider talking to a nutritionist or researching how to improve your daily diet. You will feel much better when you eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Sugar is not your friend, but most vegetables are.
I wish I could tell you there is a perfect and magic solution for everyone, but this isn’t the case. Each person requires a different solution to their challenge of seeing themselves in a more positive light. The effort you put into helping either yourself, or someone else get out of their ‘rut’ will be worth it, as no one wants to be in one, or deserves to be there. The good news is that I know you will find a solution to your challenge. If you can’t, you know I’m a pro at helping people who are “stuck” in their rut.
Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too. She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.
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