How You Can Stop Feeling Futility and Being Helpless
You’ve undoubtedly felt futility and helpless numerous times in your life as pressures and stress overwhelmed you. Feeling futility and helpless is depressing; it envelopes you in a cloud of despair. When faced with obstacles and adversity, it’s easy to give into feelings of futility. If you allow this way of thinking to creep into your mind, it can take control and stop you from attaining or even attempting goals you set for yourself.
Causes of futility and feeling helpless could be due to an argument with a loved one, a dead-end job in which you feel trapped, financial pressure, relationship conflicts, illness, unruly children, or work overload.
In all these situations, you had a vision for your life that hasn’t unfolded the way you imagined or wanted. Feeling futility and helpless can lead to you feeling alone, alienated, without hope, and ultimately depressed.
Futility Starts at an Early Age
Disappointments are a part of life, aren’t they? You have undoubtedly had wonderful hopes and dreams that haven’t materialized the way you wanted. You’ve probably tried doing positive affirmations and visualizations and still you haven’t seen the results you were anticipating. So, after doing all the practices outlined in self-help books you still find areas of your life falling woefully short of your dreams.
Think back to your childhood and your discouragement with not getting the Christmas presents you wanted, or getting disappointing looks from your parents when you brought home your report card, or having an illness, or not doing as well as others on your sports team. These kind of experiences are felt by nearly everyone and can not only contribute to you feel futility, but they can also program you for failure later in life.
The conclusions you reach in childhood become the programs forming your self-image and self-esteem that chart the direction of your life as an adult. This can lead to feeling defeated and settling for an unfulfilled life. How can you be happy when life hands you one disappointment after another?
Over time, you learn to keep your mouth shut and sacrifice yourself to survive socially and receive a measure of approval and acceptance from others. Inside you feel like your spirit has died. This colors your outlook with self-doubt and uncertainty and you trudge through your life just going through the motions, but feeling unfulfilled.
How to Dig Yourself Out of Helplessness and Despair
You are In Control of How You Feel
In what ways are feelings of futility and defeat going to help you have the life you want? They won’t, but you may think there is little you can do to escape. This is not true. It took me many years to realize that the traditional approaches to coping with negative emotions don’t usually solve the problems. Most clinical and self-help approaches for dealing with negative feelings and reactions only manage the pain. The problem with this is the causes remain intact waiting for the next event to trigger them again.
Here’s what traditional approaches miss. Your feelings are derived from conclusions you came to about your circumstances. This process started very early in life when you were disappointed in so many ways. Why do two-year olds throw temper tantrums? They aren’t getting what they want and are so frustrated they try communicating by venting the only way they know how with screaming and crying. This sets up early patterns of anger responses which if not addressed lead to discouragement or depression and settling for mediocrity or less.
For a two-year-old child emotional outbursts are one of the main ways they have of communicating their needs and wants. They usually are not able to formulate their frustration verbally and parents, in turn, don’t know what to do when a tantrum outburst erupts. One effective way to address a young child in the throws of a tantrum is to say, “Show me what you want.” The child can then try to communicate by pointing to something or demonstrating what is causing the frustration. This is not how most parents respond, however. They typically yell, threaten, or isolate the child which only further imbeds the child’s anger and futility. This is an example of how anger, futility, and discouragement originate. Of course, you don’t remember the tantrums you threw when you were two or three, but they made indelible imprints on your subconscious mind which then became programs that run your reactions as an adult.
Emotions almost always arise spontaneously without conscious thought, although they can be triggered by conscious circumstances. That is because emotions arise from the subconscious programs that are rooted in basic security, safety, and survival instincts regulated by your subconscious mind. These programs are based on conclusions you came to early in life which then became subconscious beliefs and programs.
The Good News is Subconscious Programs Can be Rewritten
There are several ways you can begin reprogramming your subconscious such as positive affirmations delivered both audibly and subliminally, visualizing the positive outcomes you want, training your mind to master positive speech, finding the silver lining in all circumstances, and addressing the subtle-energy components of the triggering content.
One very helpful approach to start with is my 14-day Self-Clearing System. Each day you’ll receive a guided meditation that is only 6 or 7 minutes long, yet goes right to the core of the issues with a clearing process that frees you.
If you’ve already done that program you need to address your childhood programming and my Heal Your Childhood Wounds is an excellent resource that I believe every person should go through. Everyone has had childhood disappointments and wounds that need to be addressed, resolved, and cleared. This program targets your injured childhood feelings of abandonment, insecurity, and anxiety and guilds you neutralize them and replace them with a positive mindset.
Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Your mind needs to be shown a better way of responding to life than through the negative programming from your past. You can start today by addressing your circumstances with a new positive framework. Think of each event each day as a stepping-stone to your next opportunity. If you think of your life as composed of numerous vehicles that carry you toward your goals, you can recontextualize each circumstance as moving you forward even if the present condition is negative or not yet the outcome you are wanting.
This approach gives you a philosophy of life that will serve you well by establishing a positive foundation for your life success. Say to yourself, “I am grateful for this day and my experiences this day and they move me closer to the fulfillment of my life’s goals.”
Don’t Take Things So Seriously
It’s often easy to overthink every little thing trying to resolve it or fix what isn’t working. This can lead you to become mentally exhausted and frustrated, and this approach usually ends up energizing what isn’t working. You end up letting your thoughts stop you from going for your goals because you are focused on what could go wrong.
A simple and effective way to avoid being caught in this trap is to make a list of the pros and cons. Then break down the steps to achieving what you want by focusing on doing each step. This puts you in control of your life and taking each step leads you closer to your goal. My Decoding Abundance program has many hours of guidance and instructions on how to put this into practice.
This approach breaks down the processes of your life into manageable segments and your stress levels will be cut down. Treating so-called failures as feedback can lead you into a positive future that will help free you from feeling helpless and lost. Failures are really just learning experiences that can lead you to something better.
Train Yourself to Pay Attention to What Triggers You
Usually when you become triggered emotionally, it seems to happen automatically. This is because reactions are a product of your subconscious mind, but recognizing the reaction is one of the most effective ways to deal with the feelings of futility and helplessness because it helps you to understand what type of events trigger the feeling. You must become aware of those issues that have the potential to undermine your best efforts.
Once you pinpoint the issue triggering the helpless feelings, it becomes more manageable and far less daunting. When you feel like you can face the problem with control, your confidence builds, and the futility and helplessness diminishes.
You are in Control
It often seems easy to be self-critical and self-blaming. Most people have inner self-talk that is negative from time to time. Turning self-talk into something positive recontextualizes your situation and energizes a positive outcome.
When doubt starts to form, take a deep breath and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. In this space you are stopping the doubting thoughts and becoming mindful. As simple as it sounds, it helps because concentrating on anything else even for a few minutes takes your mind off what is causing feelings of futility and helplessness. Then you can go back and approach the current situation with new eyes and a better way to address the situation.
The feelings of futility and helplessness are nothing more than thoughts. They are perceptions and projections of your mind and therefore can be changed. However, most people are convinced that what they think and believe are factual and true, but really they are just opinions and points of view which may or may not be true. Because most people are heavily invested in their beliefs they may feel threatened by change or even assume that they can’t change. Change requires you to move into new territory and the mind often perceives this as a dangerous move because it is moving you into unknown territory. That is why sometimes you prefer the status quo even if it is painful. The mind thinks the pain in the current situation is at least known whereas change means heading into an unknown future which may be worse than the current situation. I know that may sound illogical to your conscious mind, but that is the way your subconscious mind and ego-controlled mind operate.
It is Time to Defeat Learned Helplessness
by Retraining Your Consciousness
You don’t have to succumb to the crippling effects of futility and helplessness. You can eliminate despair, helplessness, and self-defeat. There are certainly things outside of your control, but knowing this doesn’t stop the mind from trying to control or fix those things. Take the time to determine if your expectations are reasonable and attainable. Be creative and try other routes and methods.
Every single time you feel negativity rearing its ugly head, refute the thoughts. Challenge and contradict the defeatist thoughts with an opposing view. Ask yourself where is the proof this is true and irrefutable? Is it possible another point of view is equally or more valid? What if the opposite of what I think is actually true? After a short time, if you are persistent, it will
become a natural habit, and a good one. Your mind will then begin to process similar or related circumstances with more positivity and optimism. With practice, the futility and helplessness fade away until they no longer threaten your efforts, and more importantly, your success.
Stop Feeding the Monster
Take a good, hard look at what you feed your mind. Unless you are determined to research alternate viewpoints on important topics, you are apt to accept what the mainstream media and educational systems have programmed you to believe. There is nothing more challenging for you to do than be willing to change your beliefs.
You likely have media streams coming in from multiple directions. The internet, nightly news, social media, books, and blogs are all inundated with
stories of problems. You may also have friends and family you spend time with who are programmed with false or distorted information.
Sixty years ago Eric Hoffer wrote a book titled The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements. When you read it you’ll think he wrote it yesterday as it addresses the phenomena of how humans convince themselves something is true and then base their life decisions on it, not realizing they have been programmed to believe what they do. It takes curiosity, courage, and resolve to deconstruct what you have assumed to be true.
You are the only one in control of what you subject yourself to on any given day. If you want to feed the monster of learned helplessness and futility, continue with how you currently think. If you want to be an optimistic achiever who is evolving, then it is necessary for you to make adjustments in what you hear, see, and believe.
You can move out of the stagnant realm of futility and helplessness by reframing negative situations and finding positive value in everything. It takes practice, dedication, and persistence but the rewards are a peaceful, happy, and fulfilled life! My Be Happy & Optimistic program supports your day with positive visualizations affirmations, and subliminal programs.
Practice makes the master!