One of the most unproductive questions we can ask ourselves is “why me?” At times, it’s a hard question to resist. Maybe you recently became ill, lost a loved one, lost a job, or were involved in some kind of accident; or maybe a combination of several of these. During extremely difficult situations, it’s hard not to ask the universe why all of this is happening. It seems like your stressors in the moment are exceeding your ability to cope. So what happens when we ask, “why me?”
Well, first, it affects our self-confidence. It implies that there is nothing we can do in our lives; that the universe controls our fate. It also leads us to accept feelings of being overwhelmed. Feeling overwhelmed can be a good thing in that it allows us insight that maybe we are taking on too much responsibility and it can create motivation to make changes. On the other hand, when we succumb to feeling overwhelmed, we allow our anxiety and life situations to control us and we give our power to change solely to our emotions rather than our wise mind.
Does this mean that we are never to ask “why me?” Absolutely not. That would be unrealistic. What is more helpful is to realize that we’re thinking “why me,” feeling overwhelmed, and then reframe that thought into something more positive. For example, “why NOT me?” Just that one word leads to a feeling of empowerment. It means that we may very well be experiencing overwhelmingly stressful situations and stressors but feeling empowered by this rather than overwhelmed allows us to realize that we are still in charge of our lives. If changes need to be made, we can make them. When we feel empowered rather than overwhelmed, we can look for the learning in the situations in which we find ourselves. In this way we can see what role our decisions played into our current situation so we don’t repeat those same decisions in the future. We can also reinforce our ability to have pride in ourselves when we overcome our distressing situations.
Ultimately, I would encourage everyone to become aware of asking “why me?” I challenge you to reframe that thought into one that allows you to feel encouraged to make changes that will improve your situation. Rather than giving away your power to your situation, recognize your strength, have confidence in your abilities, and change the negative to the positive.