Recognizing self-pity before it seizes you

Today, I’m going to have a talk. Straight and simple. No fluff, no ego massaging. Today we talk about Self-Pity. Plain and Simple.

Self-pity is the most toxic of all emotions you can ever find. It is a manhole that we can see but don’t sidestep.  It breeds slowly if you give it room and grows little by little. Like cancer, it colours everything you see and do and starts infecting you. By the time, you realise the real issue, it’s already invited all of its other friends – Depression, Hatred, Envy & Procrastination, among others, to party and together they turn you very, very unhappy.

Let’s break it down. Self-pity is simply when you feel bad for yourself.  Say, you fell ill before an exam and couldn’t study as well as you would have. When the results are out, you see that your scores have taken a bit of a hit because of that one subject & that you lost a rank holding possibility because of it. Yes, it’s sad, and you are allowed to be sad about it. Self- pity comes in when you keep thinking, re-thinking about it for days on an end. It is when you just cannot accept it.

Now, say there is a campus placement opportunity for a job where you lose out purely because of that one score. Again, you are allowed to feel bad. But, if you never accepted it in the first place, you start thinking about how destiny is just against you at the moment and the world is against you.

Soon, because of constantly obsessing over the thought, you will start hating the person who did get the placement offer, because he seems to have something that you deserve. You look at it as something that was yours, but didn’t get because destiny is unfair to you. Soon, you decide that anything you do is going to fail anyway, and decide not to do anything, all together. You just accept failure. You just give up. You see where I’m going with this story?

The truth is, everyone has problems. Everyone is targeted by ‘destiny’ at some point in their life. Perhaps, some people are targeted more often than others. Life is unfair, there is nothing we can do to change it. What we can do is, focus on what we can change. We can keep working and doing what’s best for us. We can keep on trying. We can learn new things and try to turn the odds in our favour.

Let’s take a second and look at things a little logically. At any given point, you have two choices – to keep going or to give up. If you keep going, there is a chance of defeat, but if you give up, you definitely lose. I would take the lower probability any day. Self-pity does nothing. It only makes you feel sorry for yourself and makes you give up without even trying.

In simple words, one needs to indulge in a self-correcting behaviour. Stop yourself the minute you realise you are in the ‘self-pity‘ mode. Instead, think of how you can make it better. Focus on what is in your hands, rather than just wallowing in your own sadness.

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