Are you feeling like you’re a lost cause? Like nothing you do is ever good enough? Like there’s no point in making the effort to move forward because no matter what you do, it never seems to work? Do you experience a lot of thoughts that are variations on this theme?
If some or all of this resonates with you, then read on.
After my last post on “Going with the Flow” I was asked to write something on being a lost cause. My immediate thought was to ask what could possibly lead to feeling like this. First though, it might serve us well to do a little exploration on what a “lost cause” actually is. To me it indicates someone who believes themselves to be beyond “redemption”. Beyond help. That no amount of effort or input will be of any use, or have any positive outcome. Consequently, it would make sense that the person no longer believes there is any point in putting in any effort to strive toward what they feel is important.
How does that sit with you all? Do you agree?
I wonder how many of you have thoughts running through your head that tell you you’re a lost cause. Thoughts like “you idiot”, “stupid woman/man”, “you worthless scum”, and so on. Whether or not your thoughts are subtle or extreme is irrelevant. Often the more subtle ones can still have a significant impact on the way we feel about ourselves. When the put downs are couched in terms of “fun”, sarcastic comments they can kind of creep up on you. It’s like they work their way inside through the pores in your skin, a teeny tiny drop at a time. They pass through unnoticed and collect in a pool close to your heart, slowly eating away at it. The big ones, on the other hand, hit you in the nose, which makes them a lot easier to block because you can see them coming. Although we don’t always do that and they end up knocking us around quite a bit!
So, what can you do about it?
- Watch your language! The fact is that YOU deserve just as much respect as every other person on the planet. So if you wouldn’t talk to anyone else the way you talk to yourself, and even if you would, STOP! The language we use is very powerful. The more we talk to ourselves with respect, kindness and compassion, the better about ourselves we will ultimately feel.
- Understand this (and I mean a REALLY DEEP DOWN understanding here): if you have something significant (and possibly emotionally painful) happening in your life, ask yourself how you would talk with someone you loved, trusted or respected if he or she were experiencing exactly the same thing. If that person came to you with the same thoughts and feelings that you’re experiencing right now, what would you say to them or encourage them to do? That person is a human being, right? Humans live a life full of unexpected (or even expected) events that produce all kinds of emotions and have all kinds of consequences. If something painful (or bad) happened to him or her, would you have the expectation that they suck it up and move on? Would you give them some compassion? Some understanding maybe? Some kindness? In all likelihood, those emotions and the thoughts that come out of it are a NATURAL response to the event. And we wouldn’t expect another human being to react in a way that isn’t natural, right? So why do you expect YOU to be able to brush that exact same event off your shoulders and move right along without even blinking? Understand that YOUR response is NORMAL! You are allowed to have it. Allow yourself to be human and stop running away from those emotions. You don’t necessarily need to stand up and run to greet them with a smile on your face (I mean, who would, right?), but if you can stop fighting with them and simply allow them to sit with you when they appear, they will likely dissipate quicker than they would if you engaged them in battle. There is research to back that up by the way (at some point I will do an entire post on this one point, cause it can be really involved and deserves to be expanded).
- Love yourself. Nurture yourself. Find and do things that fill your heart and soul with fulfillment and meaning.
Can you think of any more ideas?