What a terrible burden it is to have low self-esteem or to even hate your life, your family and yourself. Imagine a world where you feel bad much of the time and want to start over, or worse, you don’t even want to live.
We all go through bad patches in our lives. Some are worse than others, and it’s at times like this you might think, “I hate my life.” Maybe you haven’t achieved what you thought you would, or you have the boss from hell, or you’re just exhausted.
Why Do I Hate My Life?
Whatever the reason, it’s normal to feel down on and hate your life once in a while. And, before you start to think that you’re the only one that hasn’t got it all together, relax. According to Statista, 7.4 percent of Americans suffered from mental health or depression in some form or another in 2016.
Sometimes depression is characterized by a general state of sadness, and at others, it’s downright despair. Do realize one thing – you’re not alone, and there is hope for you. You can take many steps to improve your situation right now.
And the good news is that even if you can’t change your actual circumstances, you can change how you see things. And that could be all that you need to get over the hurdle. In this post, we’ll look at what to do when you hate your life and how you can learn to love it again.
Step 1: Why Do I Hate My Life?
It’s simple enough to say, “I hate my life,” but have you analyzed why you do? Your first step toward feeling better about your life is to figure out what’s made you so upset in the first place. Take some time to work out what your reasons are for feeling bad, and you can find a solution.
Here are some possibilities to get you started.
You Have Unrealistic Expectations
We’re not saying this to be negative at all, but unrealistic expectations are often a significant cause of upset for us. And, in this day and age, it’s not that unusual to have expectations that are less than realistic. People often tell others they can’t have it all, and they can’t live the life of their dreams.
We watch TV and see people who have tons of friends, always look gorgeous, have perfect relationships, etc. It sets us up for disappointment. Then, on top of that, we also compare ourselves to others and their perfect lives.
Here’s a secret for you – no one has a perfect life. The superstar with legions of fans has insecurities about their experience, in much the same way as you do. That guy with lots of money has problems of his own. They might not be the same problems as you have, but scratch beneath the surface, and you’ll see.
There is no such thing as perfect, but we’re all told that we have to achieve perfection. So, what do a lot of us do? We fake it. We don’t want to admit our failures to others. Which is ridiculous, because if we did, we’d find we had a lot more in common than we thought.
In the meantime, though, we’re striving for something that we’ll never achieve. No wonder we get so frustrated with life.
You’re Not The Person You Wanted to Be
When you’re young and idealistic, everything seems possible. You’ll never sell out, or trade in your passion for job security. But that’s not really how life works. Everyone has to compromise somewhere along the line, and everyone changes as he or she grows.
Compromise can be disappointing and a source of discontent for the young idealist that is deep down inside you somewhere.
You’re Too Exhausted
Just 30 years ago, things ticked over at a more reasonable pace. There were no mini-computers in our pockets that made us reachable at all times, every day, and information didn’t bombard us on the same scale as today.
The pace of life today is frenetic. We strive to have the perfect experience that we think we are supposed to have thanks to the media and social media, and we work to have it. So, when the boss emails you at 10 o’clock in the evening, you respond to his email.
You have to be the perfect spouse, employee, maintain a good work-life balance, etc. It’s exhausting. It also shifts our focus from what should be more important to us. We lose sight of the things that are good in our lives because we’re trying to pack so much in that we get fatigued.
Your Neurochemical Balance is Off
Sometimes, it could merely be a matter of your body not producing the right chemicals to help you modulate your moods. Perhaps you don’t eat as well as you should, get enough exercise, or don’t sleep properly. This could be a cause for mental health.
Once in a while, this is not going to make that much of an impact. But if it happens repeatedly, it’s not that hard for the systems in our body to get out of whack. So, if you feel like you are in a black mood just about all the time, it’s a good idea to be assessed by a professional.
Your Life Lacks Purpose
There must be more to life than spending all day at a job that you hate, and then flopping down in front of the TV at night. For a lot of Americans, though, this is a sad reality. And, yes, you can survive like that, but it’s not very fulfilling.
All of us need to find a purpose in our lives. And it doesn’t have to be something huge, like saving the world. Perhaps your goal is less ambitious but still significant, like raising awareness about a disease, or just being a friend to someone who needs one. The point is, you need to figure out what your purpose is.
You need to find something that will motivate you to get out of bed in the morning and something that will help you to feel more fulfilled overall.
Step 2: Ask Yourself Some Tough Questions
Now that you understand the reasons you feel despondent, it’s time to do some tough soul-searching. It’s something that can be both difficult to swallow, and also immensely liberating, understanding that we have a choice in everything we do.
We do have a lot more control over our lives than we realize, but the next step might mean making changes that are not that easy to make. Sometimes, it’s easier to sit back and blame everyone else for the problems in our lives. It’s scary to realize that we are the ones who are in control after all.
Here are some questions to get you started and 50 more questions that make you think.
Are You Living Your Own Life?
This question may sound strange but bear with us for a second here. Look at your situation and ask yourself, is this the path that I chose, or is this a repeat of the same mistakes my parents made?
Our early conditioning plays a vital role in our attitudes later in life. It’s something that Dr. Robert Firestone deals with thoroughly in his book “The Self Under Siege.”
Firestone believes that all of us are similar to our parents regarding the destructive elements and attitudes that we adopt in life because these aspects are ingrained in us from a young age. So we are bound to start taking the beliefs that our parents did.
He notes that the aim is not to lay all the blame at our parent’s door, but rather to better understand why we act the way we do.
Say, for example, that you had a parent who always chose work over you, and it may have made it hard for them to maintain a relationship. As a child, you might have been resentful of this choice, and you probably vowed never to repeat the same pattern.
As an adult, however, you might very well emulate that parent without even realizing it, though you understand at some level that the behavior is damaging. It’s what your earliest conditioning set you up for. Differentiation is about breaking this cycle.
Harvey Firestone suggests following a series of simple steps to help you escape self-limiting beliefs that may stem from childhood pain. His idea is simple – identify whose life you are living. Are you living according to your own truths, or are you repeating destructive patterns?
Are you living up to the idea of what you want to be, or what someone else thinks you should be? What means a lot to you? What do you find important?
How Optimistic Are You?
This problem is hard to face, but sometimes we view things from a negative angle. We’re not saying that you have to run around thinking everything is sunshine and roses, but are you perhaps looking at things too critically?
Maybe you’re listening too much to your inner critic, rather than taking stock of the good things in your life. That can be extremely damaging because our internal critics are ruthless. Nothing will ever be good enough for that guy, and it’s easy to fall into the trap of focusing on what he says.
Sit yourself down and take stock of your life. What is going well? Are things as bad as you think they are or are you just looking at them from a negative perspective?
For example, let’s say that you work as a freelance writer and you have established yourself. You have a few good clients and more than enough work to keep you busy, but you often work every day, from weekends and until late into the night.
If you were looking at that from a negative point of view, you could think, “I always seem to be working, and I never have enough time to do what I want to do.” But let’s look at it from another perspective.
Sure, you work hard, but if you had the opportunity, would you switch places with the clerk at a bank, for example? The chances are that you wouldn’t. Why? Because you have a pretty good life. You’re not chained to a 9 to 5 job, you can earn what you like, and you get to choose who to work with.
Now, let’s say that you are the bank clerk, on the other hand. Sure, you work at a desk, but you work regular hours and get a set paycheck at the end of the month. You might wish that you had the freedom to skip work here and there to go and catch a movie or something, but overall things are good.
We could go through hundreds of similar examples, but you get the idea. There is something good in everyone’s life, all we have to do is change our perspective. Stand up to your inner critic and challenge the negative things that voice tells you. You’ll be happier for it.
Are You Resilient?
Isn’t it amazing how some people seem to succeed in life, despite many setbacks, while others crumble under the pressure of something small? We love to use Sir Richard Branson as an example. Branson is a man who has failed many times.
He made a fortune and then lost all of it again. But that’s not the point – the point is that despite these setbacks, he dusted himself off and started over again. He’s now amassed a bigger fortune thanks to this resilient quality.
What sets someone who is resilient apart from someone who is not? It’s usually a straightforward thing – acknowledging that we can exercise some control over our situation. So, instead of giving up when things get tough, we look at the tough times as an opportunity to learn and grow.
We all tend to want to blame outside forces for the disappointments in our lives. It’s part of how we as a society function – everyone wants the win, but no one ever wants the loss, so it’s easier to blame something else when we lose.
Hardiness means taking back control of your own life, looking for ways to overcome a bad situation. You can always move forward somehow, even if that means improving a millimeter at a time.
Wrapping Things Up
Often we spend so much time worrying about what we’re missing out on that we don’t enjoy what we already have. Start improving your life by refocusing on what is positive in it. Maybe things are not going as planned, but if you look, you’ll find something positive to focus on.
When you’ve found the positive aspects of your situation, you’ll be in a much better position when that nasty little inner critic starts the nonsense again. You can tell them to beat it and look for ways to improve your situation even more.
The key to living an authentic life is to start seeing things as they are, instead of from a negative perspective. Stop saying ‘I hate my life’. In this game, attitude is everything, and that’s fantastic because you’re the one that controls your attitude.