Why me indeed?
Well, why not you?
We hear people say it all the time, ‘why me?’, what they mean is ‘why is this happening to me?’
The ‘it’ could be anything. But the sentence implies, that the ‘it’ is out of your control, there is very little that can be done about ‘it’, ‘it’ is unreasonable.
We don’t often hear people say this when something good is happening do we?
So, why me?
Well, I’ll say it again, why not you?
Let’s think of some examples shall we…
‘Why me?’ said Grace describing a life she felt miserable in, a partner not showing her enough love and respect over a long period of time, and feeling trapped in a life that she wanted more from.
‘Why me?’ said Len, when the company he worked for got taken over, and he had to use a load of new systems, and felt aggrieved by how he was treated during the TUPE process.
‘Why me?’ said Louise telling me about the process she was facing for having been off sick from work for an extended period due to a breakdown in her mental health.
All of these coaching clients felt that in some way they were out of control, they felt that things were being done to them, and that they had little choice but to accept their fates.
but, Why me? gives away your power
In all situations, these clients had some power that they weren’t engaging with, in part because they weren’t aware of it, but also because engaging with that power would take effort and energy, and they were happy (to a degree) to stay in victim mode and complain about what was being done TO them.
To take ownership of their own situations felt risky, unpredictable, and unrealistic: how do you take control of a situation that you feel you have no control over?
But feel assured that there is always something, some part of what is going on for you that you do have control over.
Engaging that part of your mind can change everything for you.
Find the tiny aspects, and take baby steps if that’s what it takes – but know that until you do this, it is unlikely your situation will improve the way you actually want it to.
“If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else” ~ Laurence, J. Peter
The first step is really to think about where it is you would rather be. If like our three friends above, the situation you find yourself in has become intolerable – what would be better?
Visualisation is really useful here: if you can take the time to really sink into your preferred future, eyes closed, in a quiet space just for you. If you find it hard to decide what you do want, start by just removing the stuff that you don’t want, and see what is left! Remember though that this will be an incomplete picture, and in order to get what, you want you will have to decide what you do want, what is important to you, what meets with your values. and how you want to live your life. If you want to drive a Porsche – why? What will this brand bring to your life? What value will this add? My point is that this is not purely an exercise about material things.
Going back to our three friends above…
Grace knew that the only way forward was to end her relationship, it wasn’t repairable, and she was the only person who was going to end it. Clearly this was a massive step actually, not baby! And when thinking about this giant leap, it seemed so complicated and painful that up to the time we worked together she hadn’t been able to do this. She was very much stuck in victim mode, wanting somehow to be rescued, but knowing that this wasn’t going to happen. She actually became the Heroine of her story and she rescued herself!
Len was able to get past the ‘why me?’ stage, and work with his Managers to review the systems and processes that seemed so unwieldy. Changing the question to ‘why not me?’ enabled him to take ownership of his situation and make improvements to the work which made it more enjoyable for him and others in the team.
Louise similarly was able to reframe the process she found herself being managed within and see it as something to support her and her health needs in getting back to work, rather than feeling attacked for having been absent, punished for getting unwell. She knew that ultimately work would be good for her recovery.
You can see that actually it is the reframe that all three were able to do that was the key in moving them forward in their lives, and ultimately left them feeling happier and more in control.
A shift in thinking that can be so simple, and yet so difficult to do on your own.
Are you stuck in victim mode? Or are you ready to take ownership of your life?
What step do you need to take next in moving towards your preferred future? Let me know in the comments… You know I love hearing about your progress
What could be better in your life?
Maybe we should talk? The easiest way to get in touch is to book into my calendar here: book here!
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