Of all the difficult emotions moms deal with (we’re talking feelings like fear and anxiety here), self-pity seems pretty harmless. But I actually think he’s one sneaky little guy.
That’s because self-pity falls into the category of indulgent emotions, which are feelings like doubt, worry or confusion. These types of emotions don’t seem dangerous and, in fact, they can even feel comforting. But when you start indulging in them too often, they make it hard to take action and get the results you want in your life.
For me, self-pity shows up most often when my husband is working a 24-hour shift and I’m flying solo at home. I’ll indulge in it when I have to compromise my exercise routine because he’s gone, when I have to sacrifice sleep because my girls woke up before 5am or when I have to attend a social event without him.
In those instances, I might think “poor me” or “this is so unfair.” It’s those thoughts that pave the path for self pity to walk right in. And it feels good – even a little self righteous – to admit that life is rough, which is why it’s so hard to stop.
The problem is that self-pity also prevents me from achieving my goals. If I pity myself because I can’t go for a solo run, I’m more likely to just scrap exercise for the day. If I feel sorry for myself that I have to go to a party alone, I’ll probably stay home and miss the chance to connect with good friends. And if I choose to obsess about that early wakeup call, I’ll waste the whole day complaining how tired I am.
Now when self-pity shows up, I acknowledge it and then let it go. Once I release it, I’m better able to think of creative solutions to my problems and find ways to go after the life I want.
If you too struggle with self-pity, ask yourself these questions the next time it shows up.
1. Why would you like to be free of self-pity?
2. What are you usually thinking when you’re feeling sorry for yourself?
3. How does self-pity prevent you from living the life you desire?
Now that you can see how self-pity plays out in your life, start looking for opportunities to recognize it. Then admit that it’s there and ask yourself “Do I want to sit here feeling sorry for myself or go out and live my life?”
To believing your time is now,
P.S. If you are having trouble breaking free of self-pity or any other indulgent emotion, let’s talk. I can help you recognize these emotions and figure out how to overcome them.