One thing that I’ve learned in over two decades of existence is that everyone goes through tough times at one point or another. Some people go through more than others, but everyone has a story. Everyone has been through something. Nobody is exempt from the shit storm that life throws around sometimes. But I’ve also learned that your approach to these tough times can really change your ability to adapt to unpleasant situations.
For example, if you take the approach of “why me” (which is totally natural!!) you are inadvertently making it harder for yourself to deal with the situations. Taking pity on yourself does not change anything, it just means you’re going to be dwelling on the negatives for a longer time frame than you would if you took an alternative approach.
So what is the alternative? Instead of saying “why me”, why not say “try me”? This approach still allows you to recognize the fact that you’re in a tough situation, but it also lets you focus on how you’re going to overcome the challenge. The emphasis of this approach is solution-focused rather than self-deprecating. The “try me” approach holds so much more power and self-confidence. This approach embraces your strength and is self-assured in your own problem solving skills and adaptability.
Now, I know this is easier said than done. I don’t expect anyone to make this change happen overnight. Certainly, just as changing your ways of thinking about anything else is difficult to change, it will be challenging to make this change to your problem solving approach. This is a slow process which will incorporate aspects of cognitive behavioral therapy. You have to catch yourself in the act of thinking “why me” and force yourself to think “try me” instead. In the beginning, this will be a conscious effort and it will likely feel fake. However, just like any other skill in life, you will get better and better at solution-focused thinking the more you practice it. Eventually, this will become your automatic reaction rather than immediately going to the “why me” thought patterns.
This is something that I am currently trying to work on for myself. I’m really trying to become a more positive and self-sufficient person which would be a lot easier if I didn’t catastrophize every little bump in the road! So now I’m giving this “try me” approach a shot. The last week has been rough, but I’ll get through this. I am determined to overcome this and reclaim my life. I’m going to kick this PTSD to the curb!
I got this.