A Quick Guide To Overcome Helplessness
Have you ever felt helplessly stuck in a certain area of life and wondered how to overcome this feeling of helplessness? How to get unstuck?
Have you ever gone through thoughts like,
“I feel like I have no control, I feel totally helpless”
“I don’t think that things would change, there’s no hope”
These are the kind of statements I’ve heard over and over again in my sessions, and honestly, I too went through such states of mind several times in the past.
Certainly, we don’t have control over many things in life so it is common that many people tend to feel that way.
Such feelings of helplessness often make us feel stuck. We feel like there’s nothing we could do. For the time, it might seem as if there is no end to the problem.
If you have ever experienced such a phase of life or are experiencing it right now, you can stop worrying now as we are going to discuss some resolutions that will shift your experience of life. God-willing.
Why Do We Feel Helpless/Hopeless?
Have you ever been curious about why do you feel the way you feel?
As you wonder about this question, notice what answers are coming up in your subconscious mind. What direction are your thoughts moving towards?
Are your thoughts revolving around blaming your circumstances or other people?
If so, then let’s shift your focus away from external things and bring your full attention and focus towards yourself.
Dig deep in. What is it inside that you are feeling this way?
Pause for a moment and reflect.
It is found that the two most common reasons for feeling helpless or hopeless are:
- Fewer Options and Choices.
- How we approach the situation.
Let’s look into it.
1. Fewer Options And Choices
Many of us have a very limited number of ways to approach certain situations of life.
Everybody has their own few ways of dealing with different things which we have learned from our environment and upbringing.
The moment we have tried all the possibilities that we know, we begin to feel hopeless as there are no more tools left in our toolbox.
We have tried the tools we already had but none seem to work. So we unconsciously come to negative conclusions. Such conclusions disempower us.
It is very important under such scenarios that we keep a healthy, curious attitude.
I will not tell you to superficially keep a “positive attitude”. But I will encourage you to be curious.
There’s an entire guide on How to develop healthy Curiosity and Why it is essential for a thriving life. You must check it out.
You will find that being curious in a healthy way, will shift your focus away from negative thoughts and painful feelings, and instead drive you to connect with your deeper self, enhance your higher wisdom, and come up with empowering solutions and ways to handle life.
The thing is, most people have never really been curious enough or open enough to learn more ways to deal with life. Hence they never expand their toolbox beyond what was already given to them by their family and society.
Expanding your toolbox gives you more choices.
A person who only has anger as their tools to deal with things will often react with anger or frustration.
When they have tried this tool (anger or reactiveness) in a challenging situation and it did not work, they will get more and more frustrated and eventually feel depressed and lose hope.
On the other hand, if a person has lasting Patience, Composure, forgiveness, acceptance, the ability to influence, prayer/connection to God and social skills in his/her toolbox, no wonder he/she will have a great variety of options and choices to deal with things in a healthy and empowering way.
You can mix and match several tools and approach the situation from different dimensions when you develop such a variety of tools.
Your challenges become a journey where you will experiment with different strategies and tools, gain feedback and wisdom from it, learn, and grow forward.
How to increase your options in life?
It’s pretty simple. BE OPEN TO LEARN NEW WAYS.
To be open, we’ve got to give up on what we currently know and be curious about what else is out there for us to learn and apply to our lives.
Once you’re fully open to learning and ready to change your life, you’ll find this hunger for wisdom inside you.
There is so much to learn from so many people.
Many people have gems of knowledge and wisdom in certain areas of life that we can learn but often times we let our judgment and ego get in the way of learning from them.
Next time when you see someone you know or think about them, sincerely ask yourself “What good has God put in this person? What is it for me to learn from him/her?”
Initially, to get into a positive and learning state of mind, you’ve got to push yourself out of the stuck state forcefully.
How to get out of the stuck/helpless state?
Here are a few tips:
- Push yourself to go and sit in the gathering of good people. Observe them and take some positive lesson from them.
- Register yourself in some seminar or workshop on personal development. Even if you don’t feel like it, just do it.
- Get Life Coaching from a good coach who’ll help you get out of the stuck state and into a positive, productive and healthy state of being.
- Go to a bookstore, browse the personal development section, and buy a good self-help book. Take out at least 15 minutes daily to read it. Commit to reading that book to the end.
- Additionally, come to this blog every now and then to go through the guides and articles. You might want to bookmark it.
2) How We Approach The Situation
The mindset with which we approach anything determines how we experience it.
If someone approaches a specific situation or even life in general with negative and limiting presuppositions. He/She will experience life according to what they assumed.
It’s difficult to find solutions in a negative state of mind.
It’s very important that we first change our state into a productive one and approach the challenges of life with curiosity instead of drawing conclusions.
How to get into a productive state in the midst of life’s challenges?
Simply shift the focus of your thoughts away from the problem itself. Instead, begin to focus on the solutions. Begin to focus on your growth and learning.
Often times we run entire movies in our minds about the worst case scenario or the past bad memories and experiences. We ran them in our heads over and over again, and as a result, we created more and more negative and disempowering states.
From now onwards, what you must do instead is,
Focus on :
What is in this for me to learn and grow?
What wisdom am I gaining from this?
What can I do to make things better Now?
Ask these questions again and again. Make it a habit to approach any uncomfortable situation or life challenges with this attitude. Repeat these questions in your mind.
The more you’ll do it, the faster you will train your mind to be in a productive state in midst of the problems and challenges.
Empowering answers and solutions will begin to come to you naturally. God-Willing.
Trust God’s Wisdom
What seems to be our breaking point, may actually be a point of “Break Through”.
The phases of frustration can often turn into creative solutions when we keep a resourceful approach towards life’s challenges. Our mental, emotional, and physical potentials grow when we are pushed to limits.
Yes, this will not be comfortable, but maybe this is required for you to take yourself to the next level.
Take the example of our physical body. The only way to keep growing our muscles to become stronger or bigger is to keep on pushing it. This is called Progressive Overload in fitness terms.
Progressive Overload simply means that you keep on increasing the intensity of your workout over the period of time.
As you push yourself more and more, your physical boundaries of strength are also pushed and expanded.
You become able to handle heavier weights or do tougher exercises regardless of if you are a male or a female. And as the point reaches when you start to become comfortable with this increased intensity of your workout, what do you? You increase it even further!
That’s the universal Law of Growth in anything in life whether physical, spiritual, mental or emotional.
Consider this phase of your life as a Training from God Himself. Trust that God wants you to grow.
Everything that happened or is happening has a higher purpose. Whatever you’re going through in life, it is there to push you to grow mentally, spiritually and emotionally.
Instead of feeling like a victim. Take this as an opportunity to become a stronger and higher version of yourself.
“Perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you, and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”
When things don’t go our way, we unconsciously tend to resist it.
You can Now stop resisting it and just be in harmony with yourself.
You can Now be in harmony with the Will of God. Know deeply inside your heart that Everything is Going to be Okay. Having Good expectations from God regardless of what might apparently be happening.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said,
“Allah says: I am as my servant expects me to be and I am with him as he remembers me.”
“If he thinks good of me, he will have it. And if he thinks evil of me, he will have it.”
Source: Sahih al-Bukhārī 6970, Sahih Muslim 2675
Trust the higher wisdom and accept that sometimes you might not be able to understand what that higher wisdom is but yet you trust it and be at peace inside yourself.
You may not notice but you know deep inside your heart that there is always a way even if you currently don’t see it.
For thousands of years, we didn’t witness the existence of microorganisms, yet they were always there.
If we don’t see, hear or feel anything, doesn’t mean it’s not there.
We must let go of the limitations of our physical senses and begin to operate on a higher level of the soul.
The soul is not bound by the physical world. Our basic identity is our eternal soul, not our physical worldly existence.
It is easier to let go of the worldly worries when we understand this deeply.
“If Allah knows [any] good in your hearts, He will give you [something] better than what was taken from you, and He will forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
– Quran 8:70
I wish all the best for you. Till next time.
Very nice and helpful article, thanks!