How to Get off the Self-Pity Train

I am a part of the One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle right now, and we were asked to choose between two prompts. We could either talk about something that we’ve done that has made us successful or talk about something we are still working on. I chose to talk about something I work on everyday. Forgiveness. AKA -- “Hey girl, stop beating yourself up and move ON ALREADY.”

So many of my clients (oh and me too) spend a lot of time beating themselves up over things.

Why am I not famous yet?

Why haven’t I done this?

Why did I post that?

Why Why Why?

It is easy to get caught up in feeling sorry for ourselves for the things we don’t have, the mistakes we have made and the things that just didn’t work out.

For every achievement and big awesome thing I accomplish, I focus on the 100 other things that need to happen next. I obsess over the mistakes and the people I made upset along the way. Every win is just a brief exhale before DISASTER STRIKES.

This is, of course, the way most people are when they are just starting out. The learning curve is steep, and you are just trying to make something happen. But staying this way can be bad for your health.

Boy, do I know it.

This is so important because if you stay in this mode, your business doesn’t make you happy. You are just surviving which is not the point.

Maybe you’ve experienced this too. You have a launch, and it fails. You don’t necessarily stop having launches all together, but you are cautious, glitchy and paranoid about it. You overthink it. You stop trusting yourself to make decisions. You get in a funk. WHY LAUNCH? WHY AM I EVEN HERE? WHAT IS THE POINT?You somehow manage to figure something out but then you find yourself in the same place 2 months later.

Recently something happened in my business that was so traumatizing; I didn’t think I would come back from it. I even had an email planned. An official goodbye to biz for good.

Dear People Who Read This,

I CAN’T DO THIS SLKDMGSG

It got that far because I had spent so much time beating myself up and obsessing over things that I could not see the light on the other end, just dark.

And when you can’t see the light, you can’t move forward in anything.

The most obvious answer is gratitude, but gratitude has never been active or official enough for me. I needed something I could do -- a ceremony of sorts, to clear out the bad juju and feel-bads and start fresh.

Forgive but not forget.

Learn but not dwell.

Take action but not out of panic or regret.


Behind the scenes, I’ve been designing little projects to help with those invisible things we need. The things we have to do in order to make our businesses happen in reality and not just in our heads. The things nobody really sells. This is one of the first ones I’ve designed, and I actually used it the other day.

I call it the “Get Out Of The Clusterfuck Of Feelings” Project.

Goal: Clear out the mental clutter, stop feeling sorry for yourself and give yourself a new shiny clean slate. -- Tweet this!

Step 1: Detox

Unsubscribe. Unfollow. Stop looking at everyone’s greatest hits. It is bad for your feels. I usually go digitally dark for at least 24 hours while I work through the project. You might need more if you are deep in the hole.

No, you are not missing anything.

Step 2: Write yourself a letter

Have you ever read Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed? It is by far the most beautiful thing I’ve ever read. People send her the most gut-wrenching letters, and she sends the most amazing responses that are full of forgiveness, love and acceptance. It is truly one of my favorite books. Anyways, I’ve been writing myself letters as a way to process the things and feel better. I simply ask for what I need and what I think will make me feel better, and then I put on my advice hat and answer. Gamechanger.

Step 3: Create a “never the hell again” list

Now that you wrote your letter, what are the things you’ve learned? What will you never do again? What would you do differently? Write it and file it away. Don’t look at it now, just have it somewhere so that when you start your next thing, you know what is up.

Step 4: Do nothing for a while

The digital space does not allow a lot of time for breaks. It is easy to feel like if you don’t DO that you’ll somehow get left behind. I like to give myself “nothing time.” This is the time you can take to do your final wallow in self-pity. Give yourself a time limit. After you feel your feels, you gotta brush yourself off and leave that thing behind.

Step 5: Just figure out your next 3 steps

This is my policy from bouncing back from anything. You don’t HAVE to think big picture. You shouldn’t. Just get through the next 3. And the next three. AND THE NEXT. This has been huge for me bouncing back from my thing. I just eat one piece of pie at a time and eventually I’ve finished the whole thing.

That is how we forgive, accept and TRULY move on.

PHEW. Deep breaths. That was some heavy stuff.

A reward

This post is part of the blog tour for One Woman Shop’s Solopreneur Success Bundle, a roundup of e-courses, e-books, and subscriptions designed to help you succeed in all aspects of your solopreneur biz. Your chance to grab over $1,500 in products at just $99 is only here from September 14-18th -- learn more and get yours now!


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UncategorizedShenee Howard