The other morning I realized I was feeling sorry for myself. I decided to give some thought to why and how this happened.
What was I feeling sorry about?
I was feeling sorry for myself that I was tired, emotionally drained, that I was working really hard, that I was worried about money, and that perhaps I was onto something new that will shift my business focus, yet again.
This thought came to me while I was lying in a very hot bath. That was another reason I was feeling sorry for myself. I was too tired to get any work done this morning because my body was sore from a strenuous work out the day before.
“Shouldn’t that be a good thing?” I asked myself. “I’m working out! That should make me feel fantastic.”
Well of course it should, but I’ve discovered a pattern about myself.
Sometimes when I have a particularly strenuous workout I’m a little bit cranky later that day and the next morning. Perhaps it’s just the way I react to the increase in testosterone as a response to strength training, and how I physiologically respond to that chemical reaction.
Added to that I was thinking about a client, over-analyzing the work we accomplished the day before, and considering future steps based on worries.
I was also thinking about another business situation that is possibly precarious at the moment.
The Negative Snowball Effect
When I added those reflections on top of each other, like a snowball rolling down the hill gathering momentum and size, you can see how they could be perceived as negatives.
So I asked myself, “Why are you feeling sorry for yourself, Darren?”
I realized the answer was because of my perceptions. I decided those situations were somehow negative. From that awareness I decided to reframe my perspective.
Some of those situations are indeed challenging, especially the ones around business, wanting to have an impact on the world, and really helping a client to make positive change. And wanting to have a successful business relationship so that I can continue earning income and not have to worry about financial stability.
Notice Your Patterns
My physical response to working out is another issue. I’ve seen the pattern so many times before that I know I need to properly hydrate, rest, recover, and eat enough protein to help me feel better.
Is there a situation in your life where you constantly feel sorry for yourself?
Are you feeling sorry for yourself about something right now?
The way to come out on the other side and feel better about your situation is to start by looking backwards. First, ask yourself the question, “What specifically am I feeling sorry about?”
Then look at events in your day so far. Perhaps go back in time one more day. How have those events influenced your thinking? Do you feel positive or negative in relation to those events?
Re-frame Your Perceptions and thus Responses
Consider each event individually. Can you re-frame your emotional and intellectual response and perception to that event? How can you make this a positive learning experience? If it’s something that you’re struggling with, what can you learn from it?
Write out some action steps. What can you do, right now, to take action that will make you feel better about the situation?
A gentle warning: this is not always easy to do.
Finding the positive in situations can be challenging and sometimes downright daunting. It is something I have struggled with over the years.
What I learned this morning was that my concerns are valid, but that they have been repeating for some time.
The actions I need to take (which will make me feel better about business) include talking to more people on a regular basis. Not just helping them, or asking how I can serve them better, but listening. Listening to the common thread that connects each and every one of them. That thread is how I can help improve people’s lives and make the biggest impact in the world, which is one of my core values.
I need to post reminders on my wall in my work area to focus on finding the positive. I also need to be more aware of how my body feels on the day of a particular strenuous workout, and prepare in advance for how I might feel the next day.
So take some time to consider what’s dragging you down today. How can you re-frame each situation to make it a positive learning and growing experience?
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