We’ve all been to the land of “Why me?” It’s not really a pleasant place. It’s a land where our most vivid memories are the things that didn’t go well for us…or so we felt. Yet, somehow, we stay there much longer than we should. Why is that?
One of the reasons is that it’s easier to blame someone else…God, the Universe or other people…for our misfortune. It relieves us of all responsibility for the unpleasant outcome. And, deep within our psyche, we’d prefer our discomfort and disappointment to be someone else’s fault.
If it’s someone else’s fault it means that there’s less work for us to do. We don’t have to spend time being introspective about how we contributed to the unwanted result. Nor do we have to invest any time or energy finding our way back out of the dilemma in which we find ourselves. Languishing in the land of “Why me?” may not be fun, but it’s a way to avoid doing some soul searching and hard work. Or is it?
For the vast majority of us, there comes a time when we realize that things aren’t going to get better unless we do something. That’s when we embark upon the work required to produce a different, better outcome.
This shift in thinking is inevitable because we grow weary of the result we’re getting. Or as Tony Robbins says, the perceived pain of change is less than the pain we’re currently experiencing. At that point we realize that things aren’t going to change unless we take action…and we want things to change. If this is where we’re going to ultimately end up, why not go there sooner rather than later? Why suffer the land of “Why me?”
Why me? ➠ I can
If the shift from “Why me?” to “I can” is inevitable, let’s make it happen more quickly? There are a number of things I’ve discovered that help me move more quickly out of the land of “Why me?” They are:
- I realize that I contribute to every problem I face, every disappointment I experience, every unwanted result I get. No one is out to get me. I am a major contributor to my problems. Reminding myself of this fact enables me to act more quickly to produce the result I desire.
- Realizing that nothing is going to change unless I initiate the change. Everyone else in the universe is dealing with their own issues. To think that they have the energy or inclination to solve my problems for me is sheer folly.
- The longer I languish in the land of “Why me?,” the longer I prolong the fear, anxiety, anger and frustration I experience. Whereas returning to the land of “I can” enables me to take back control, become optimistic and happier than I would have been in the barrenness of “Why me?”
- There is no joy of accomplishment in “Why me?” It is indeed a barren land…and will always be so. Fortunately we can move from this barren land to the land of joy, excitement and love within milliseconds, by shifting our thinking from “Why me?” to “I can.”
The next time you find yourself uttering, or merely thinking, “Why me?,” immediately remind yourself that you contributed to the result you got. Remind yourself that only you can effect the changes necessary to get a better outcome. Recall that you’ll inevitably reach the conclusion that it’s you who needs to take action, so why not take it now? Finally, recall the joy you’ve experienced in the past when you took control and initiated the changes you needed to get what you ultimately wanted.
For our kids
When you find your kids asking “Why me?” share with them the four ways of quickly making a mental shift from “Why me?” to “I can.” Better yet, live with that mental state and it’s likely they’ll mimic your behavior. Teach them this valuable lesson and you’ll help them avoid the prolonged agony that comes from languishing in the land of “Why me?”