Truth moment: No one on the planet is exempt from experiencing less than favorable situations and circumstances. I know that we may sometimes feel as though we are alone in our struggles, but the truth is that everyone goes through something during his/her lifetime. The reality that you will have to endure some hardships might not make you feel good, but knowing the truth helps you to understand one very important thing. You have the power to choose how you respond to circumstances that occur in your life.
You can either go through your situation kicking and screaming, crying “woe is me”, or you can keep your head up and go eyes wide open, looking for the lesson in it all so that you won’t have to take another lap. I’m sure you have either been the person or know a person who ALWAYS has a problem. Those people cannot believe that something negative happened in their lives, and they can’t wait to tell someone else about it.
I’m not sure if people do this because they want attention from others, or if they just need to vent. The truth is nobody really wants to hear about your problems, unless it is their job to help you solve them. If someone says that they like to listen to other people’s problems, and they aren’t a professional, they probably just love drama.
I used to dread when a certain person’s name popped up on my phone screen, because I knew that I would be held hostage on the phone for at least an hour listening to all of that person’s issues. I always hung up feeling drained and buzzing with negative energy, because I allowed that person to dump on me and to walk away feeling better, while I held onto all of the emotions and problems that she had dropped in my lap.
If you have a tendency to take on the “woe is me” mentality, keep reading. I am going to share 7 tips on how to go from “Woe is me” to “Whoa! I did that!” with your attitude towards life.
7 Tips on How to Go from Woe to Whoa!
1 Understand That The World Is Bigger Than Your Experience
I know that might sound a bit harsh, and I must admit, the first time someone said this to me, I became angry. To hear about someone starving in the world, when you are complaining about not wanting to eat all of the food on your plate, doesn’t always sit well with people or make much sense at the time. BUT this statement gives us a bit of perspective and wisdom, if we would only pay attention to the message within it.
Yes, you may have it hard in this moment, as it pertains to your life and experience. Just keep in mind that you are still blessed, because while this situation may be your biggest problem, there are people in the world who wish they could have your problem instead of the one they have.
2 Count Your Blessings
In moments that you feel everything is falling apart, remember that you have many other things to be grateful for. Take the time to count your blessings. You may be surprised by how much better you feel after focusing on something more positive during a negative time.
A lot of times, people share stories about how they went through such a hard time, and could not understand why something happened in their lives. In the end, though, they could clearly see how adversity turned out well for them and taught them a very valuable lesson.
3 Look At Your Problems With Fresh Eyes
Once you have accepted that you are no doubt faced with a less than favorable situation, you can be as realistic with it as possible. Say to yourself, “This is the reality of my situation right now. How can I move forward?” If there is a solution to your problem, this is the time to think critically to solve it. If you find that you have to grit your teeth and bear it, prepare yourself to endure.
Our grandparents used to say “There’s no need crying over spilled milk.” Sometimes, what’s done is done, and there is no changing that. Other times, there is something that can be done to fix things. Deal in reality, and accept what is, before you move forward.
4 Find Some Motivation From Somewhere
One of the worst things that you can do is to only talk about your problems, with no intentions of doing something about them. Some people expect to share their problems with someone else, in the hopes that the person will hear their issues and jump into action on their behalf. I used to be the person who offered money or help in some form, until I learned better.
If a person learns that he/she can simply tell someone about an issue and magically that issue is solved, he/she will continue to do so, without ever even trying to handle their own problems. I was doing my best to rescue people left and right, until I realized that I was running myself ragged helping people who were too lazy to help themselves. What would they do if they had no help? Would they jump into action and go hard for themselves? Or would they allow things to progressively get worse?
In Proverbs 26:13, the bible says “The sluggard saith, There is a lion without: I shall be slain in the streets.” (American Standard Version) A sluggard is defined as a lazy person. If there is a problem, you have to find some motivation from somewhere to put in the work to solve it. Don’t be lazy and expect for someone else to put in work on your behalf.
5 Don’t Underestimate Your Strength
We are all stronger than we think. I am pretty sure that you have endured a situation that you didn’t know how you were going to make it through, while you were in the thick of it. You did it though. At some point, there has to be an end to a situation. Whether you know how or not, you will eventually come out.
Whether you have a positive or negative attitude about your situation, you will eventually get through it. I don’t deny that some things get to us, and even weigh us down. I, myself, have been broken and broken down, but you can’t give up. You are stronger than that. You don’t have to be defeated by circumstance.
6 Celebrate Your Progress
Whenever you notice that you behaved or responded more positively to a situation than before, you should celebrate your personal growth. You did that! You may surprise yourself by how strong and confidently you handle certain things.
If you didn’t crumble this time around, take a moment to feel good about yourself. If you didn’t blow up about something that you would have blown up about in the past, look in the mirror, and congratulate yourself on becoming a better version of yourself.
7 Surround Yourself With Positive And Experienced People
Typically people who are positive through trying situations, learned to be that way through experience. They have endured enough things in their lives to understand that nothing lasts forever. Over time, they adopted a positive attitude toward life, and they may be able to help you to get on the same track. I remember calling my mother almost daily, after I first got married. I always had a problem to share with her, but her response was always the same, and it made me angry.
She would always say, “Andriea, girl that ain’t nothing.” I found myself wondering constantly, well when is it going to be big enough for her to say something different? Later, I realized that she was saying, in very few words, that she has been through the same things. She wanted me to hold on and to understand that we would work out the kinks and things would get better with time. And you know what, they did.
Now, when newlyweds or friends in committed relationships share issues with me, I kind of laugh to myself, remembering when I was in their shoes. I can offer them some comfort, and let them know that their problems may seem monumental at the moment, but in the grand scheme of things, it is something that they can relax about.
You don’t have to wallow in self-pity. You can be proactive about solving problems. Now, I’m not telling you to learn to be a robot, and to not be emotional. I know that things can get rough. You should take time to feel and to process your emotions. You may even need to vent to someone close to you who can offer some comfort.
I am encouraging you to not make a habit of having a problem to vent about all of the time. Most of the issues that we face on a day-to-day can be handled easily, if we would only take a moment to breathe and to focus. The problem is that some people quickly reach for their phones to text or call someone about an issue as soon as it arises.
Be confident in yourself enough to know that you can handle anything that comes your way, and surround yourself with go-getters who will help push you into your greatness.
Do you struggle with problem solving? Have you ever been a “woe is me” person? How did you grow out of that mentality?