Monday, November 20, 2017

Helplessness Unlearned

Many of us experience a sense of melancholy because we have been conditioned to believe that we are powerless to change our lives. We begin to see the monotonous routine of our existence. What aggravates this is the presence of uncaring and callous individuals who inflict constant and ever-present misery upon us. We suffer daily from being captives unable to alter our circumstances. But what fills us with dismay is the thought that things will be like this forever. And this creates in us the desire to escape. But escape seems impossible. And the trepidation builds up. It reaches a point when all we can feel are dread and despair.

But despite how miserable things appear to be, maybe there is a way to alter our existence. And that is by beginning to see our circumstances differently. This sense of helplessness is of itself merely a belief. Why do we sometimes feel this way? Is it because we consider ourselves to be inadequate or weak? Is it because we think we lack the ability or the skill? Or do we believe we can do nothing to change our lives because we see ourselves as less than the people who succeed? 

These self-defeating thoughts cause us to feel powerless. But the truth of it is, we feel helpless only because we believe we are. Overcoming these thoughts entails a gradual and systematic process of empowering one’s self. To develop the sense of being in control of one’s life involves changing small things first. And this means doing things we normally do not engage in or perhaps we were too shy to do before. Confidence in one’s ability to have novel experiences is slowly built. In time, we start to feel that we are somehow in charge of our lives. Once this sense of control is achieved, we can unlearn the helplessness that once imprisoned us.  

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