Dealing With Self Sabotaging

This type of habit may not be known to many. We may do it subconsciously and wonder why bad things continue to happen, or wonder why things don’t go our way. All of that can be due to self sabotaging. We tend to do this in the form of procrastination, avoiding promotions, not moving towards personal growth, turning to drugs, alcohol or food. There are plenty of ways we can find to sabotage our success and growth. Most of the time we don’t know we are doing it. So what is it? Why do we do it? And how can we overcome it?

What is it?

“Self-sabotage is when we actively or passively take steps to prevent ourselves from reaching our goals. This behaviour can affect nearly every aspect of life be it a relationship, a career goal, or a personal goal such as weight loss. Although very common, it is an incredibly frustrating cycle of behaviour that lowers our self-confidence and leave us feeling stuck. There are many reasons why someone may choose to self-sabotage but many stem from a lack of belief in ourselves”(lisajeffs.com).

What cultivates it?

There are many things that create self sabotaging habits. I will list a few down here.

  • Self-Congruence- This is when we want our outside world to fit into what we feel on the inside. If you have negative thoughts and feelings on the inside. You will most likely see more negative and focus more on the bad things in your life. This goes for the other side of things as well, but since sabotaging comes from a negative mindset. We will focus on that.
  • Glass ceiling-There is an imaginary ceiling that one believes they can not go over, or below it. They like to stay between the barriers. The person feels they don’t deserve more than their perceived ceiling can give them. They believe they only deserve this much, but not more.
  • Vulnerability avoidance-This is the fear of vulnerability or getting hurt. This is when you rather cut things before you have a chance to get hurt. This can go for relationship and career goals. You rather just avoid getting hurt, but in the process can lose something wonderful, due to your fear of the worse case scenario.
  • Imposter Phenomenon-When you do not believe your success or happiness is a true representation of yourself or what you can do. You don’t believe you can continue this success. Maybe you believe it is just luck. You think to yourself, that you don’t deserve this. You think things will eventually go down hill.
  • Lack of confidence/self worth- This is a really important reason. If you don’t believe in your worth. You will not be able to grow and move forward. You will not be able to reach the places you want to go in life.
  • Fear of failure-We don’t like to fail or make mistakes, so we do whatever we can to avoid doing that not being aware that failure is a part of life.
  • Protect ego-We got our pride. We don’t want to do anything that can hurt it. By taking a leap and doing things outside our comfort zone. It may allow us to see that maybe we aren’t as perfect as we thought, or can’t do as much as we thought. Although we can easily talk down to ourselves. We also don’t want to be a failure.
  • Comfort-We love comfort, so we do what we can to avoid stepping away from it, even if it can make us more fulfilled, successful and happy.
  • Complaining-This type of behavior doesn’t really solve anything. It just keeps you stuck.
  • Comparisons to others-It is hard to get anywhere when you compare yourself to other people’s success. If you don’t match up. You give up. We should try to focus on our growth, rather than others, so we can continue pushing ourselves. You never know how far you can go, but comparisons can halt that.
  • Blaming others-Putting the blame on others takes control away from you. Taking control away from you gives you less power, and makes you less likely to push yourself forward.
  • Putting yourself down-Negative self-talk can definitely cultivate habits of sabotaging oneself. Believing you can’t do something, or don’t deserve something, or that you aren’t good enough. Will keep you stuck.
  • Self concept is fixed-Believing you can never change and that growth is impossible. The thing is you can always evolve. Who you are today can be different than who you are next year. The self is not fixed.

What can be done to overcome it?

  • Be mindful-Practicing mindfulness and learning to be present in the moment can help you become aware of your self sabotaging habits, and the thoughts the come along with it.
  • Self acceptance-Learning to accept the person you are-the good and the bad-can help reduce sabotaging habits. If you accept yourself, you can accept any possibility the comes your way. Whatever happens you know you did all you can do, and you are happy with just that. You learn with acceptance is all you can do is try, as long as you try you achieved something.
  • Gain confidence-This goes along with self-acceptance. Through acceptance you can gain confidence. Being aware of your strengths and using them to your advantage goes along way. Learning to build your strengths and utilizing them to help you grow is all part of confidence. This can push you to achieve the goals you like and to keep you from staying comfortable and stuck.
  • Journal/Self-reflect-This puts your thoughts out there. It gives you a chance to become aware of these habits and figure out ways to move past them. Once you are able to become aware of these thoughts and habits through introspection. You may realize how unhelpful they are to your self growth.
  • Get out of comfort zone/Face your fear-I know it is easier said than done, but comfort can only get to so far. Time to count backwards 5,4,3,2,1 and go! Everything that has helped me evolve, grow and move up has come from getting out of my comfort zone and facing fears. You will feel discomfort and anxiety, but those feelings are normal. Learning to push past it is an important skill to learn to stop us from sabotaging ourselves.
  • Understanding the root cause-Digging deep and learning the real reason for these habits can help you figure out the problem, learn, and improve.
  • Rise above negative emotions-Like I mentioned, feelings of anxiety, discomfort, fear, tension will arise. It is learning how to continue going forward that is important.
  • Set goals and plans-Start small, something manageable to help push you. Every little step counts. With every step you will gain more confidence and feel more comfortable.
  • Accept failures-You will not always succeed. You will make mistakes. It is all part of the human experience. When you accept this it will be easier for you not to sabotage any opportunity or chance you get.
  • Let go of perfectionism-You have flaws. We all have flaws. Accepting you are not perfect puts our ego in check. It also allows you to put yourself out there more.

Self sabotaging habits are harmful for our growth and personal development. It may create comfort and safety. But it also cultivates many negative thoughts and behaviors that keep us stuck. It is important to learn to become aware of these habits, so we can break away from them and live a more fulfilling life.

Source:https://lisajeffs.com/en-us/self-sabotaging-behavior-thoughts-what-causes-it-and-how-to-rise-above-it/#:~:text=What%20is%20self%20sabotage%3F,goal%20such%20as%20weight%20loss.

Enjoy Your Own Company

This is a very important lesson to learn in life. It is important we learn to enjoy and make use of our time with ourselves. I write this post, because I had plans with friends this weekend, but it didn’t work out, due to them being busy with other things. I could get annoyed, angry, be bitter, place blame on myself or them, create negative thoughts of myself or them, or have self-pity. This can all create a world of loneliness and depression.

I did feel a tinge of loneliness and felt a bit down, but that is normal. Having these feelings are normal and okay, but what you do with it is what matters. I rather use it to fuel my creativity. It allowed me to write this post. Difficulties, adversity, and negative feelings can be helpful for my creativity. I come to learn to actually appreciate them, because they help me learn more about myself and how much growth I have had.

The time alone gave me time to reflect, read the book I wanted to finish, and do other things that I enjoy doing on my own. People have their lives. They can’t always be there when you need them. I would have liked the company of friends this weekend, but it did not happen, and I am totally fine with that. I can hope to meet up with them in the future. No resentment. No anger. No self-pity. No negativity. Just acceptance. Focusing on making my time alone enjoyable and productive.

We must remember the world doesn’t revolve around us. They have their lives. You have yours. You also won’t always be there for others when they need you, so we should accept the other way around. You can only truly depend on yourself. If you learn to work on yourself, and learn more about yourself. You can learn to embrace and enjoy your own company. Having connections is important, but these connections won’t always be available, so enjoying time with you is essential for your happiness and well-being.

Dealing With Self-Doubt

“People will never rise above their own opinion of themselves.” I really like this quote. I believe it to be true. Your opinions of yourself can help lift you up and move you forward, or they can pull you down and keep you stuck. Self-doubt hinders our ability to grow, change, evolve and move forward. It keeps us stuck. This mindset is no good for our self-growth and development.

What is it

Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in one’s ability and decisions one makes. Now having a little self-doubt is healthy. It can help foster introspection and enhance performance. It is good to question oneself and challenge oneself. It keeps us humble. You aren’t always right, so self-doubt can help you from making mistakes, or doing something you shouldn’t do, but there are times when self-doubt can be crippling for you growth. Too much of it can hold you back.

“Self-doubt can be understood as a feeling of uncertainty regarding one or more aspects of the self, such as confidence or likability. Some degree of self-doubt is generally held to be normal, because many people may question their ability to master new or challenging situations.”(Good Therapy). There is a healthy and unhealthy way to go about self-doubt. The unhealthy way that keeps us stuck is what we should try to learn to overcome.

What causes it

There are many factors that play into self-doubt. It isn’t a black or white issue. I will discuss some of them. There may even be more, that I won’t state. It is more complex, than most may think.

  • Fear-This is a big one when it come to self-doubt. We as humans do not like the unknown. It is scary. We like to know everything. It creates comfort, and we love comfort. We think the worst case scenario will happen. We fear failure.
  • Comfort-As I mention we love comfort. Getting out of our comfort zone is tough. We like things to go as smoothly as possible. We like ease. We like safety. Staying comfortable does that. But staying comfortable allows our self-doubt to continue to rise. If we never rise above our comfort. We never know what we can do. If you don’t know what you can do. Self-doubt will always follow you. You can’t do this, but you can’t do something, because you never done, or tried it. How would you know?, unless you try.
  • Guilt-Feeling like the decisions or actions you make can hurt others, even if it can benefit oneself. You as an individual may doubt what you want to do, due to hurting others.
  • Shame-Being embarrassed that your decisions and actions may not fit to the standards of others and society can create self-doubt.
  • Victim mindset-Seeing oneself as a victim gives the individual less control. The individual may believe they have no control over their life. This can create doubt in their ability to take control of their life. Mel Robbins(motivational speaker and author of the 5 Second Rule) made a statement that I really liked. “Even if you were victimized. It does’t always mean you will always be the victim.” You can always take control back.
  • Lack of confidence-Not believing your strengths can pull you up, and putting emphasis on your weaknesses. Putting focus on just the negative aspects of oneself. The individual believes they have more weaknesses, than strengths, or that their strengths aren’t good enough. This mindset can absolutely create doubt in one self. How can one believe in themselves if they can’t see their strengths?
  • Lack of trust-Not believing you can make the right decisions or actions can hold you back from moving forward. This goes along with confidence. Once you gain confidence. You can be able to trust the decisions you make.
  • Approval-Doing things for others and wanting their approval, and not focusing on your own approval can create doubt in oneself. You look to others to make decisions for oneself, but you don’t look to yourself to make decisions.
  • Perfectionism-The all or nothing mentality. Everything must be perfect and go as smoothly as possible, or it is a disaster. If any mishap, mistake, or a bit of failure comes along, doubt arises. As I mentioned, a bit of doubt is okay, but if it is used to not move forward, and if you let these things keep you down, than it can get to an unhealthy stage and keep you stuck. Perfection doesn’t exist. Use the mistakes and failures to learn, not doubt your abilities.
  • Past experiences-Your past can help cultivate doubt in oneself. How others treated you, what things were said to you, bad experiences etc,. Your past plays a huge role in who you are today.

How can one overcome it

  • Confidence-I mentioned how lack of confidence can create self-doubt, so obviously confidence in oneself can help reduce doubt in oneself. Confidence is an important skill to have. It starts with awareness and acceptance of oneself. Accepting ourselves is learning to accept our flaws, learning not to put energy into them. Appreciating our strengths and putting energy into growing and using them to our benefit. By focusing and appreciating our strengths, and putting them into action. One can learn to gain confidence. This may take time for people who lack it, but you can always build it up. Nothing is ever lost. You got to start somewhere.
  • Take action-You just got to do it. Make the decision. Take the action. The more you give yourself time to think. The less likely you will do something about it. Thinking about it for too long creates what ifs, it creates excuses. It creates doubt. Mel Robbins mentions the 5 second rule. Count backwards, not forwards, you can always keep counting. So 5,4,3,2,1 and go. Make the decision. Take the action. She mentions the idea sounds stupid, but it works. I am not sure how well the 5 second rule works, but I will say she has a point on taking action. There were plenty of times I thought about starting something, but my thoughts kept holding me back, until I just did it. Once I did it. I couldn’t believe it took me this long to just do it. You realize it isn’t as bad as your thoughts make it out to be.”Doubt creates mountains. Actions move them.”(Mel Robbins).
  • Overcome the emotions-One thing you should realize is fear, anxiety, guilt, shame will arise. There is nothing you as an individual can do about that. What you can do is take action despite those feelings. These are normal feelings to have. It is part of being a conscious being. If the decision or action helps benefit your growth. You got to learn to push through these feelings. They will eventually fade. In the short-term it may be easy to find comfort to ease these feelings right away, but in the long-term you will just allow these feelings to build and keep you stuck, because you aren’t overcoming these emotions that will never go away. Once you are able to keep moving, despite these emotions. You learn that you can overcome these emotions, and still move towards growth. Doubt in oneself will become weaker.
  • Journal/Talk to others/self-reflect-All these things can make you aware of your thoughts. It outs it out there to the world. Awareness is important. Once you are aware of your thoughts. You may realize that your doubt isn’t warranted. Maybe talking to someone else and their thoughts can help you realize that you shouldn’t doubt yourself. You may come to see that your doubt is ridiculous,or your overthinking too much, and that you are capable of handling what comes your way.

Mel Robbins mentions that self-doubt is a habit. We all know habits are hard to break, but they can be broken. You may doubt yourself now, but you can teach yourself to gain confidence, take action and reduce your doubt. Nothing is ever lost. It may take time, but you can eventually get there with practice. Always remember to keep moving forward, towards growth.

Positive Self-Talk

“Positive self talk isn’t about knowing all the answers or thinking you’re amazing, it’s simply about reframing how you view things, removing negative bias, and approaching life with the idea that you can tackle things – and even if it doesn’t go perfectly – you’ll learn from it for next time”(positivepsychology.com).

I was watching a video from this amazing vlogger Psychologist Julia Kristina Counselling (if you like motivational/self help videos, please look into her.). She mentioned something about positive self talk. I just wanted to post something about it, because I think it is very important what we say or think to ourselves. Having a more positive self-talk can allow us to be more compassionate, accepting, and appreciative of ourselves. It can allow you to learn and accept your flaws, rather than using it against yourself. It can allow you to be more confident, and more willing to take on challenges and accept failures. It can also allow you to push ourselves to success and to reach our goals.

In an article What is Positive Self-Talk? (Incl. Examples) by PositvePsychology.com. They mention some interesting things about negative and positive self talk that I like to put here for some perspective.

Negative Self-Talk

“Our patterns of self-talk are all too often negative – we focus on preconceived ideas that we’re ‘not good enough’ or ‘always a failure’ or ‘can’t do anything right’. Our brains are hardwired to remember negative experiences over positive ones, so we recall the times we didn’t quite get it right more than the times we do. We then replay these messages in our minds, fuelling negative feelings (Jantz, 2016).” Negative self-talk focuses on our flaws and weaknesses and doesn’t accept less than perfect results. Failures and mistakes are unacceptable. We beat ourselves down if it happens.

Positive Self-Talk

“Positive self-talk, as you may have guessed, is the flip of negative self-talk. It’s not about narcissism, or deceiving ourselves into thinking things that are inaccurate. It’s more about showing yourself some self-compassion and understanding for who you are and what you’ve been through (Jantz, 2019).”

“Positive self-talk sees our internal narrative switching to ideas like ‘I can do better next time’ or ‘I choose to learn from my mistakes, not be held back by them’.” Positive self-talk allows you to focus on the good qualities and strengths of oneself and learning to accept and be kind to yourself if mistakes or failure happens. It lifts you up and allows you to stand up against challenges.

Reminder that our thoughts are not based on facts, they are perceived. We tend to become what we think. If we see ourselves in a positive light we can gain much from this. We can build from it. We can become better individuals. We can learn to take on whatever challenges come our way. If you see yourself in a negative way. You can self sabotage, remain stuck, and never move forward and grow. There is no learning from this state. It is much easier being negative towards oneself, but easier isn’t always better for us, and our well being and happiness. Taking steps to have more positive thoughts about oneself can allow you to be the person you want to be, allow you to reach your goals, find success, have more happy days, rather than sad ones, move forward much quicker, and have peace of mind. You can’t really argue against that right?

Positive Self-Talk - The Pathway 2 Success

Source:https://positivepsychology.com/positive-self-talk/#:~:text=Positive%20self%2Dtalk%20isn’t,from%20it%20for%20next%20time.

You Are Your Thoughts and Actions

What I mean by the title is you have control of your thoughts, mindset and actions. We tend to forget this or not be aware of it, but this is important to know for your well being and peace of mind. There are things out of our control, feelings, emotions, the environment, others, the world/universe. We shouldn’t focus our energy trying to change those things, or pushing them away. Focus on your thoughts and actions, what are they doing for you, are they helping you, can things be changed to benefit you. That should be your focus. Your thoughts and actions make you who you are. Just remember you are in control of that. I hope you all try to make the best of the week. Do what you can to bring joy, happiness and peace to your life.

My Little Joys

I have gotten obsessed with buying plants recently. I bought about 15 so far. I just wanted to brighten my room and environment with these little guys. Work has been exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming lately, so I wanted to bring some joy to my life to lift me up. It also helps keep me in the present moment having to watch over and take care of them, which is nice. Most are doing well, some need a little work, but I am enjoying the process of being a plant owner. It is really lovely having them around you. Whatever it takes to lift your spirits up, big or small. Do whatever it takes to bring joy, happiness and excitement to your life. We all must find ways to get through the storm at the moment. Have a lovely day. I hope your day, weeks and months get brighter.

Overcoming Adversity

Dealing with difficulties, struggles and problems in life is part of our journey. We don’t enjoy it, but it is part of our life cycle. With mindfulness practice, you learn not to fight it, but cope with it. Being aware and accepting the reality of the instability and unpredictability of our world can help one cope with adversity better. It will still hurt and shock you, but a little awareness and preparation can help buffer the process.

Accidents, illnesses, losing loved ones etc,. It is possible and most likely we will deal with something that shatters our world and beliefs. It can either destroy you, or make you stronger. It is all in what mindset you choose to go with. You may not see it, but it is your choice in how you cope with it. You can blame others and the world. Would it help? Not really. It would just exacerbate negativity and won’t help you move forward. It will just keep you stuck.

Taking on adversity can help cultivate courage, strength, resilience, confidence, and it can inspire one to make changes and help others. It could also make someone more creative. You can turn it against you, or use it to aid your self-growth. You can you use it to bring you down, or lift you up. You can’t control the circumstances, but you can take control in how you handle those circumstances. Rather then confront it with why me’s?, blaming, hate, self-pity, and focusing on the unfairness of it all. Yes, life is unfair unfortunately. Remember this doesn’t help you at all. Try something more useful for oneself. You can use it to learn, grow and become much stronger.

“Of course, since we are human, it is very easy to get caught up in the self pity, unfairness of life, or ‘why me?’ traps. When we do, we fail to recognize the opportunities for wisdom and growth that accompany adversity. However, as soon we allow ourselves to think more clearly, we are able to let go of self-defeating and unproductive thoughts and get down to the business of dealing with what’s before us.”(Essential Life Skills.net). Yes, we are human, so we will fall into that trap of negativity, but we can learn to step away from it much sooner with healthier coping strategies.

Adversity is a way for you to grow, learn, build character, gain strength, inspire others, help others and create new meaning in life. It isn’t the end of something, but a new beginning to something else. Life isn’t fair, it isn’t perfect, it isn’t predictable. We will all have to deal with something we think we can’t handle, but once you are faced with it. You may be surprised with what you can handle. You always have the choice to cope, thrive and move forward, or sink, wallow in despair, and stay stuck in negativity. Life makes choices for us, but it doesn’t make all the choices. You have the choice in how you deal with that adversity. Down below are some things you can do to help aid you when dealing with adversity.

Some ways to cope with adversity:

  • Having a good support system
  • Talking with others
  • Surround yourself with positive people
  • Be aware and accept the reality
  • Be creative
  • Help others
  • Work on your inner self

Source:https://www.essentiallifeskills.net/overcoming-adversity.html

Embrace All Emotional States

We will not always feel positive emotions. Feelings of happiness, joyfulness, productivity, energy, creativity, inspiration are great, but you will not always have these feelings. You will feel unmotivated, lethargic, uncreative, sad, melancholic, unproductive etc,. We don’t enjoy these feelings so much. We should learn to embrace all the emotions that arise in us. They are part of us. They are part of living. We should remember to be kind to ourselves when we feel this way. You shouldn’t feel guilt or shame for having these very normal feelings.Try not to force yourself out of these emotions. It just ends up making you feel worse. Try to let the emotions ride through. They are there for a reason. We shouldn’t deny what is there. Take it in and learn from it.

Right now my creativity and motivation is at a low. My mind must be exhausted from all the creative energy I had a couple weeks ago. My mind needs rest. I accept my emotions for what it is right now. Now I still push myself to do some things, nothing too much, but something small, so that I don’t feel useless or lazy. Even during these times, it is important to still work on your well-being. It doesn’t have to be anything grand, small things are better than nothing. During these times I still try to be a bit productive for the well being of my mind and body. I just try not to push myself too hard. It is okay to rest and relax. Creativity and motivation come and go. All emotions come and go. Awareness of that can go along way with coping with emotions that may create discomfort.

Doing some self- reflection can help you resolve your emotions. I try to journal my thoughts and feelings. It usually helps me come to an understanding, which makes it easier to accept, or maybe at the moment there isn’t an answer, and you just go with it. Answers aren’t always there. Being able to cope with all the highs and lows of your emotions can help build strength and peace of mind.

We should remind ourselves we are human. We will not always be at 100%. We will not always be productive, motivated, inspired, happy etc,. There will be times you don’t want to do anything, but do mindless things. Maybe that is your mind and body telling you to relax and calm down.You should listen to it. There is nothing wrong with some down time. This can be a problem if it is persistent, and last months, and hinders your self-growth/well-being, but every once in awhile it is totally normal to feel these emotions. We all need a break at times.

Our emotions are like waves or a rollercoaster. They go up and down, it may spins us around. They take us for a ride. We just got to remember to just flow with it. And you will be able to get through it smoothly and peacefully. Resistance, guilt, shaming are not the answers. You can always grow and learn from the lows, build from it. As I always say, enjoy the highs and embrace the lows. Take it all in. Some say, if you are not able to embrace the lows. You will not be able to appreciate the highs, and I agree. If you can’t appreciate the highs, what is life really?

Getting Through the Storm

There will be difficult times in your life. Times when it is hard to see the good and be positive. As much as I love positive vibes. We can’t have that mindset all the times. Sometimes situations just suck, but being able to bare through, and accept the situation takes a good mindset and strength. It is easy to fall into the negativity trap, and it will seep through. It is normal. Are minds are set to see the negative. That is fine to allow some negative thoughts in. It is only a problem for our well-being when it is consumed too much.

I had a tough week at work. It was a struggle to remain positive. I decided to just accept what is, and tried to keep thinking that the weekend will come soon, and I can relax again and recharge. I didn’t want to consume myself with too much negativity, so I tried some things to calm my mind and find some inner peace.

Getting up in the morning was tough, but once I was up. I tried some meditation to calm my thoughts for the upcoming work day. I also did some journaling to get my thoughts out and face my emotions. I sometimes just sat in my living room. I really enjoy just sitting in my living room. i like the space and peace of it. I just sat there immersing myself in the moment, in the scenery, and my surroundings. Just sifting through my thoughts and emotions. I also spent some time watching Kpop content, although I don’t like to consume myself with it too much. There are times when I watch it to bring me joy. The content brings me happiness and laughter, and at times like these you need to find the little things that bring a smile to your face.

Another thing you can do to get through it is talk to others. I like venting my thoughts and feeling to my coworkers who are in the same boat as me. The empathy and understanding comes along way to healing. There is something very therapeutic about talking to others and having someone empathize with your words and feelings. Now remember venting is healthy, but constant complaining can get be a bit much and create negativity in your life and others. Complaining won’t get you anywhere. Let your thoughts and feelings out, get some relief, and then move forward. You got to find peace from within yourself.

I took a nice walk this Saturday, which was also very calming and joyful for me. I also spent time with family communicating and connecting which was nice. That is also a good way to get your spirits up. I am now enjoying a nice relaxing day of productive writing. I can use this day to relax and recharge myself before the storm hits again in the new work week.

I accept that work will be challenging, until we get more people. Long days, lots of work. It is what it is. If I want change, I can make changes. If I don’t want to make physical changes, than I must try to change my mindset. There will be times when you are unhappy, annoyed, angry, frustrated. I must remind myself that it is okay to feel these emotions, but I must remember to take a step back, take deep breaths, and let things flow. Embrace the little joys and times of peace.The storm will pass eventually. You just got to build strength to take in these difficult times. See some positive. I at least get the weekend to relax and enjoy the things I like to do. I will get through this. You will get through this. Just keep moving forward.

Things you can do to help get through the storm:

  • Journal
  • Take nature walks
  • Take deep breaths
  • Face thoughts and emotions
  • Connect with others
  • Communicate with others
  • Find little joys
  • Find laughter
  • Create something
  • Make changes
  • Adapt
  • Accept

Coping With Loss

Loss is a tough subject to discuss. It is a subject we like to avoid at all cost. The problem is that it is unavoidable. We will all deal with loss in our lifetime. Avoiding the subject may be our safety net. It gives us comfort and keeps us at ease. But avoiding isn’t always the best solution. Life is unpredictable and we should expect that loss is inevitable. People may think this is a grim way of looking at life, but it isn’t. It is about accepting the reality. Acceptance brings peace of mind and freedom. It will allow an individual to cope, manage loss, and the grieving process will be much easier. It will still be painful. Loss comes with pain. It will just be easier to deal with being able to face the dark reality of life.

I am talking about this heavy subject, because a coworker of mine lost a close friend recently, and discussed his concerns to me about it. He even witnessed it in person. When he was explaining what happened. I felt a lot of empathy and sorrow for him. It is tough knowing what to say in those situations. I am sorry seems so simplistic, but sometimes that is all you can say. We may even say things that can be hurtful to the individual, because we think these words are helpful, or we just don’t know what to say. The one thing you can do as an individual is be there and listen.

As he was telling me his story, he felt said he felt guilt for not doing more to save him. This is a very normal reaction to witnessing a death. Guilt is one emotion that will most likely be felt, during the grieving process. It is understandable, but as I reminded him that at the moment you can only do all you can do. It is a stressful environment and it can be hard to think logically in that type of environment. The best thing you can do for yourself is be kind and compassionate towards oneself, during grief. An individual is dealing with enough, during that time. You don’t want to add self-blame to the mix.

Sadness, sorrow, and even depression will be felt, during the process of grief. It is okay to feel these emotions. It is best to not mask it with external means(alcohol, drugs, food). We need to endure the pain and sadness, so that we can move forward and accept.

It does get better, but one must go through the pain of loss. Talking to others who understand can be very helpful. Be it family, friends, support groups, people who dealt with loss as well can be comforting. I gave him as much comfort as I can, but having someone there to listen can be enough. If there is no one there to listen, than journaling can be another outlet to get your feelings out there. Also crying, screaming, or just taking some time off to just grieve is perfectly okay. If you want to stay in bed and not do anything, that is okay as well. No one should feel ashamed of grieving or sadness. There is no quick fix or happy pill. We all have our own journey through the grieving process, some take longer than others. There is no timetable to grieving. You get through when you are ready, no one else should define that for you.

Not just a loss of someone can create discomfort, but a loss of a job, home, financial security, divorce, and accident(cultivating a loss of an ability to walk/see etc,.). We need to be aware that loss is part of life. It is better to be aware and prepared as much as you can, because the unavoidable will happen. Preparation and awareness can help you heal and find peace much sooner. It will still hurt, but it won’t be as devastating to your well-being if one chooses to avoid the subject.

Understanding & Coping with Loss and Trauma | Dr. Christina Hibbert