Monday, December 19, 2005

How to SAVE yourself

[These are not my own words but from somewhere I do not remember now; good to share it here].
There is life beyond self-pity!
Emotions can be injurious to health too. Like accident-prone people, there are emotional limbo-prone people! Complicated though it may sound, our emotions do rule our lives. For some it is an excessive tendency while for some others, there is a marked lack of it. Too much of anything is corrupting. Like wise too much self-pity can be ruinous to our health, personal and professional life as well.
Read the signs well
Self-love is good. It is even very healing, if it translates into positive and productive action. An excess of it can border on narcissism. This can distort any criticism, lending it a decidedly negative tone. It could trigger resentment, anger, self-pity, and even a self-deprecating attitude. So how do you know when you are beginning to go over board? Constant irritation at the mere hint of criticism, desire to sulk and withdraw rather than react sportively to criticism, are symptoms of an impending gloom time.
Better still, nip it in the bud!
Once you are aware of the trend you are beginning to follow, watch how you react to criticism. Criticism is not often unwarranted. There must surely be something that must have triggered it. Get rid of the, I, me and myself fascination. The ability to look inward is indeed a rare ability, but limit it to self- appraisal, and use these insights to better yourself. When you are beginning to feel sad on the slightest pretext, it’s time to do a thorough study on yourself.
When things go wrong…
Life is a roller coaster ride. Moments of happiness, disappointment, and heartache are inevitable. Consider the instance of Surekha, a content writer with a dotcom company. It was an almost picture perfect life for her, till a minor accident upset the apple cart. She had nearly lost the use of one of her fingers. The subsequent operation and the interim period of convalescence was a revelation. Despite such testing times, her courage was inspirational. She retained her lively sense of humour and availed every opportunity to get back on to her feet. Very soon, she was back at the office, getting into the grind of regular work. It was an amazing experience for everyone at the workplace as well. She never let the shadow of self-pity or depression get the better of her. These are positive expressions of life. Whenever tragedy or trauma strikes, it’s a call to bring forth your inner reserves of strength to the fore and tackle the problem head on. Self-pity can only delay the process further and instead land you in a deeper quagmire than before.
Self-image does matter
A poor self-image can contribute to further self-pitying tactics. Before you even realise, it assumes the nature of a package deal! Low self-esteem and self-image can trick you into playing with negative emotions on yourself. Even remotely unrelated events that have gone awry can make you aware of your shortcomings. It’s then an easy guilt trip all set to make you feel like the only sinner and failure in the world. So what’s good about the whole thing? Your limitations. When you are consciously aware of your limitations, then it’s easier to make a head start on things that you do like doing, despite inherent barriers. Face up to the problematic issues squarely and analyse how you could use them positively.
If you still want to be an infamous masochist…
Then wallow in greater sadness, nit-pick on everything that goes wrong and drown yourself in sorrow. It’s nice to feel victimised, for you whimper for as much attention as possible. The only thing is, the novelty of the whole thing will soon begin to wear off everyone. You will end up with nothing but self-pity for a friend. So be proactive, consider self-pity as an indication that you need a break, be kind on yourself and do better things that boost your motivation levels.
So the next time round, whenever you feel the need to feel sorry for yourself, go ahead. Just remember though, that it’s a fine way to do yourself in, better than even your best enemy can!
Are you feeling low?
Sometimes, workplace pressures can pull us down and we can end up feeling undervalued and unappreciated. This happens to the best of us. It pays to pinpoint those factors that pull us down and also learn strategies that’ll keep these workplace blues at bay.
Withdrawing never helps
When we feel down and under, we can be tempted to keep to ourselves. Take a simple example. On the way to work, a stranger on the road raved and ranted at Saritha for overtaking his vehicle. She was stunned and totally upset by the time she reached office. Initially she was hopping mad and responded to her colleagues in curt monosyllables. Later, as she shared the incident with them she felt the tension leaving her. She could laugh it off and soon her good humour was restored to her. Had she just sat in her corner and brooded over the confrontation all day long, the chances are that she’d have had a lousy day!
When things are not going well, don’t isolate yourself- it’ll only make you brood and think negatively. Make an effort to interact with others and you’ll soon be back to your normal self.
A private viewing of trophies
At some point or the other, we’ve all received compliments from our boss or co-workers. File all such feathers in your cap and when you’re feeling low, just leaf through them. It can pep up your sagging morale and make you feel your worth once again. If you have never received such appreciating notes, don’t get disheartened. Look at projects or assignments you’ve handled successfully. Remember how you faced challenges and the end result of it. Focus on your triumphs and successes rather than on your failures and goof-ups
Playing the games people play
Workplace politics can be the biggest drain on your self-esteem especially if you’re the football being kicked around by one and all! Just stay away from all Machiavellian characters.
An occasional treat
Ok, so maybe no one is patting you on the back for all the work you put in. How about treating yourself for what you do and what you are? Shikha, a technical writer with an unappreciative boss, pampers herself once in a while by splurging on a new CD or a new gadget. She feels that this works wonders for her motivation. If no one else rewards you, you do it!
Whose life is it anyway?
It’s your life and your sense of sense of self-worth should be defined by you - not by others and certainly not by circumstances. When the chips are down, you don’t have to be down too. Hang around with people who do wonders for your morale, not with those who make you feel like an unwanted child! Interacting with those who bring out the best in you and being committed to being true to your true self are sure ways of riding the crest of those lows in your life.

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