5 Ways That You’re Inflicting Unnecessary Suffering on Yourself
If you’re new to the personal improvement circles then there’s something that you have to understand so I’m going to get it out of the way and it’s personal accountability. All of the self-help gurus and badasses will harp on personal accountability. There’s really good reason for this. Happy people understand accountability. Successful people understand accountability. Resilient people understand accountability. Miserable people avoid accountability. Sick people avoid accountability. This article is hopefully going to give you some nice opportunities to take some personal accountability. But first, let’s get a couple of important details out of the way.
- There’s a big difference between accountability and blame. Accountability is taking responsibility for things inside of your control and blame is responsibility for things outside of your control.
- Accountability hurts at first and then it sets you free. I think one of the biggest barriers facing our younger generation is how they allow uncomfortable emotions dictate whether something is good or bad and they avoid things that cause them emotional discomfort even though it’s really good for them. Accountability hurts at first and will not only set you free but empower you.
So without further delay, here are five ways that you are inflicting suffering onto yourself.
- Complaining – Complaining basically results in one thing. Powerlessness. If you want to improve your life it’s extremely important to understand the role of power and how it relates to human beings. I think the greatest secret in human psychology is the role of power. If you want to increase your power, you need to know where you’re giving it away and nothing will give your power away faster than complaining. Complaining is completely pointless and totally useless. There’s a degree of healthiness that comes from processing through events and situations as a form of emotional catharsis. But after that, rehashing complaints only causes people to more and more powerless. Complaining, like worrying, only creates more complaining. If you’re complaining and not focusing on solutions than you’re giving away your power.
- Dwelling on the past – Speaking of useless, dwelling on the past is completely useless. I used to ruminate over past mistakes and regrets and the only thing that it helped me do was find new levels of deep and profound depression and self-loathing. When I was young, I just didn’t really understand that I had a choice in this regard. There’s nothing that says that I have to sit around and hash over all the garbage that I just can’t do anything about. Accepting the past because I couldn’t change it pushed the rain clouds away and allowed me to experience a happier life.
- Seeking approval from others – When your own wellbeing is hinged on the approval, or lack of it, from others, your day to day life and emotional wellbeing will swing on a pendulum. It’s chaos and misery. Getting approval from others is something that we actually have no control over. People can be as cold and withdrawn as they choose to be even if you go to great lengths to get them to like you or gain their approval. You can’t make somebody like you, people can always choose to dislike you and you’re giving away your power if you allow your happiness to be hinged on it. You don’t need other people to like you if you like yourself first. Needing approval from others is a mental prison. I was fortunate enough to free myself from it a long time ago and I have been encouraging others to do it ever since.
- Prolonging bad relationships – I know that there are a lot of men out there that stay in really bad marriages for some pretty legitimate reasons. I worked with a family once in which the dad had confided in me that he was intending to stay married until both of his boys had turned 18, in about two more years. He was certain that his wife would do everything to gut his life out and use the kids as leverage and after getting to know her, it was clear that her mental state was so unstable and warped that his fears would likely come true. She was already labelling him as abusive and he knew if he ended the marriage, she would fire all missiles. He had a lot to do to prepare for his divorce and I don’t blame him for prolonging it. However, I have found that people like that are more the exception rather than the rule. I’ve talked to so many guys that remain in chaotic, abusive and toxic relationships. They are enmeshed and codependent. The two people in the relationship keep each other sick and yet they will use the word ‘love’ when they talk about it. Despite reports of intense fighting, verbal insults and degradation, physical altercations, theft, domestic violence charges and so on, the word “love” is still tossed around. The other way that I see people lying to themselves is that they hope it will get better and that sometimes there will be really nice and shiny moments which is kind of like living in a place that rains 6 days out of the week but telling other people that you live in a sunny place because the sun comes out once a week. Be self-respecting enough and honest enough with yourself when a relationship needs to end. You can’t be happy as long as you remain in denial about relationships that bring you down. It’s okay to let go of the stories about heroism in relationships.
- Blaming and seeing yourself as a victim -This is where where I said about accountability and blame is extremely relevant. When you blame other people for things that you can control, you’re causing yourself misery and suffering. If you’re speeding and you know you’re speeding, it’s your fault if you get a ticket so don’t blame the cop but there is a bigger issue. All of us know others and see others that are always victims. Nothing is ever their fault and they blame everybody else for everything in their lives. Let’s be honest, those are the most heinously toxic people. They are miserable and intolerable. Unfortunately, there are a lot of narratives in our society that support the idea that seeing yourself as a victim is somehow heroic. It’s not. Being a victim and blaming everyone else for everything bad in your life is not only guaranteed to relinquish all of your personal power but it’s also guaranteed to chase away all potentially positive and healthy people in your life. If you insist on being a blamer and a victim, don’t be surprised when you’re surrounded by crappy people.
Like a game or a sport, there are strategies in life that get you the results that you want and strategies that will completely torpedo you. You can choose how to learn how to bring what you want into your life or you can you choose to keep chasing it away. If you want to decide, right now, that you want to do what works, we’ll help show you the way.