Why me? Why do things always happen to me? Why is this happening to me? Anyone else thought this? We all go through hardships in life. Whatever season of life your currently in, I bet you could name something hard. I’m no stranger to this. School, work, relationships of all kinds, personal goals; I’ve had a reason to think “Why me?” I would feel sorry for myself. Blaming an outside force or person was much easier than admitting it was my own fault or I wasn’t taking enough initiative. If you can relate to this at all, here is what I did. I changed my narrative from “why me” , to “why not me.”
I learned some self reliance. There have been multiple times in the past years where I would be waiting on someone to help me with something. I would be irritated because they weren’t doing it fast enough. “Come on! I need to get this done!” I would tell myself. Then someone would ask the status and I would say, “I’m waiting on this to come back so I can finish. I sat in frustrated until one day someone asked me about the things I was working on. I finished listing off my projects and most of them came with “when this person gets back to me.” The next thing they said to me was, “sounds like your relying on a lot of other people for things.” My stomach dropped. They said, “Sounds like you need to get a little more resourceful.” He hit the nail on the head. Resourceful was something I struggled with. I was getting much better. I realized I was sitting playing the victim, feeling sorry for myself that my projects weren’t at the top of others priorities. How can I figure this out myself? What can I learn or who can I connect with to move myself forward? When I changed my perspective to “Why not me” I learned to help myself.
I found the opportunity over the hardship. One of the big lessons I’ve learned about hardships is being able to find the opportunity in the middle. When things get hard, we begin to survive. We were so busy being busy before pandemic hit that it took something drastic and hard to make us appreciate what we no longer had. Human connection. Social Events. Our pick of a place to eat if we didn’t want to cook. Many people found the opportunity to better themselves, to get outside and be active, to spend more time with the family they could see. Instead of taking everyday people and things for granted, we learned to appreciate them. A couple of times I found myself thinking, “WHY ME?!” Then I started to think, “This may suck, but something will come from this to make me appreciate the hardship.” Growing pains never felt good, but they were necessary. Sometimes we get forced into a new job, a new department and get some responsibilities we didn’t want to take on. We get overwhelmed and stressed. We think, “Why is all this getting piled on me?” Little did we know we needed to have some short term hardships for a long term reward. We prove we can handle things and we get a big promotion. We buckle down and make the hard move or the hard decision. We find the hardship was really and opportunity we didn’t know we needed to take.
Then my support network began to shift. We always hear you can be successful when you have a good support network. Well, what if it starts to change before we are ready or before we anticipate? What if the way people support us changes? All these things can be a bit of a shock. We think, “Why is this happening to me when I need it most?!” Don’t they understand? I began to see I was getting the support in the way I needed, not wanted. Which in turn was making me be more self reliant. (See my humor?) Even if your support network doesn’t act how you thought it would, doesn’t mean they aren’t supporting you. Maybe you need to learn some things and they are letting you learn them. When my supports shifted in the way they worked, I began to be more resourceful. I went from having victim mindset of relying on them more than I should have to a growth mindset of “I can do this and be supported from a far.” I started to think, this hardship right now might be making me that much stronger so I can handle it well in whatever the next stage or season brings.
A victim mindset is normal. A defense mechanism our brain does. The hard part is changing the narrative and thinking, “nope not doing that.” If you get stuck in a pity party playing victim, tell yourself, “its been real but time to move on.” When things get though we find out we can do the hard things if we put in the effort. As my mentor from afar Brendon Burchard says, “You are tougher than you think.” Don’t let yourself off the hook and play victim. Someone before you has made it through whatever your going through, and so can you! Change your narrative from “Why me?” To “Why not me?”