“Poor me” to “What’s Next”

by Marcy Heim on September 14, 2022

RJ, Mom, Dad, Bailey

He’ll be gone two years. Is it fair to say I’m both excited and heartbroken? RJ and Bailey leave today for Portugal where she’s attending the University of the Algarve. RJ will be working remotely on the beach between dives.  Sure, we can visit. Sure, we can Facetime. No, it’s not the same. Poor me.

One of my MORE Major Gifts Accelerator Program members is Holly Guncheon, Advancement Director at Herzl Camp. She shared that kids at camp want to be two places at once – at home and at camp. It’s called homesick and it’s hard for kids to manage.

Perhaps you sincerely want a donor to discover the gift that is most meaningful for them…and, at the same time, you want them to give to YOU, your mission – not something else they might choose.

Or, you sincerely want to deflect the credit to volunteers, other staff, and donors. Yet you feel frustrated that you aren’t getting credit and appreciation for your hard work.

As adults we don’t always manage two, BOTH TRUE, conflicting feelings well either… and we feel bad and often act out.

Flip your switch from “Poor me” back to Happy by asking, “What’s Next?”

1. Own you are being a victim.

It’s easy to shift into a “poor me” victim mindset. Life happens TO me. It’s not my fault. Your own struggling self-esteem wants to blame others for what you don’t want to take responsibility for. The excuses flow. Taking personal responsibility is hard.

2. Decide you don’t want to feel like this.

When you are a victim, at some level you know its bunk. You lash out at those around you, often those you care about most, because you are afraid or hurting and you often want to get those words back. They can be mean or defensive.  Unmanaged “poor me” can bring deep regret, strained relationships and labels of being hard to live/work with. 

3.  Ask yourself, “What’s next?”

Get beyond being a victim. Ask, what can you do next to shift away from this?  It may be as simple as taking a deep breath or jumping into a new task/activity to bring you to a better space.  It’s amazing what happens when you can simple tell yourself that YOU are a masterpiece and you are doing amazing stuff. Nobody has to confirm it or agree – it  comes from within you. Putting kids into an activity at camp will evaporate homesickness. Taking a new action will switch you away from those conflicting emotions.

4.  Use some tricks to speed up the process.

Decide how much time you really want to give to feeling bad about something – to being that victim. Maybe even set a timer for 2 minutes – then say, “I’m done with feeling like that!” Maybe put on Abba! LOUD! Maybe say out loud, “What’s next?”  Be careful talking about it – it can be difficult to actually express what’s really going on and you may find yourself in mean mode. Are you hungry? Are you really tired? And beware – have you had a couple of cocktails? This can have a big negative impact on how you express these struggles.

5. SMILE and declare you have moved on from these “poor me” emotions. Shout, “I CREATE MY LIFE!” and mean it.

Sometimes our actions to reconcile this may feel (and can be) manipulative or insincere – like your talking out of both sides of your mouth.   I want RJ to experience this adventure AND I want to be able to see him every day. I want to be appreciated for my hard work AND I want to deflect the credit to others. I want donors to have personal joy AND I want them to give to MY cause.

Looking back on a long, and mainly happy life, I can tell you the time spent in Poor Me space leaves you low. Recognize when you are slipping into low self-esteem and the blame game. Create your unique way of flipping the switch to What’s next? It’s important to find a way. 

Switch to Happy

You CAN change your mind like the flip of a switch. Believe that you are the key – you create everything in your life. You determine your spirit, joy and happiness.

“What’s next” for you? I believe Happy!

Invest in JOY®

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