This week, we’re going to discuss self-pity, why it sucks, and how to overcome it.
You are not valuable confident and competent
“Self-Pity lies to you about who you are and steals from you who you could be.”
Self-pity is “excessive, self-absorbed unhappiness over one’s own troubles.” Being self-absorbed will make you delusional, and delusional people struggle to add objective value. Unhappiness will undermine your peace of mind, emotional maturity, and rational thinking. Plus, you’ll be miserable. Lastly, obsession over your troubles is not the same as actively solving your problems. Complaining and obsessing destroy your confidence and potential.
Therefore, self-pity ruins an individual’s confidence, productivity, and potential. There are no net gains for an individual to pity himself.
However, collectivists do not benefit when individuals have a spine, confidence, and a clear sense of purpose. Governments, churches, corporations, and other institutions want you to second-guess your dreams, possess crappy values, and ignore the pursuit of virtue. The less capable you are, the more dependent you will be on those in power.
A few examples: if you lack frugality, then corporations can easily take advantage of your pointless spending. If you lack patience, then governments can easily take advantage of your short-sighted desire for quick “solutions” to complex problems. If you lack magnanimity, then religious institutions can replace your lack of faith in greatness with the worship of their beliefs. Even if those beliefs are anti-individualistic and hostile to the innocent.
How does self-pity manifest? Where does self-pity come from? Who benefits from you hating yourself?
When you pity yourself, you sabotage your ability to pursue virtue. However, what can a virtuous, competent individual do? Define their values and the purpose of their lives. Follow righteousness and excel in the art of living. Produce a sustainable life that needs little support from others.
Because you are not valuable to the powerful as a free-thinking, capable human being, you must be broken. Therefore, you are always told, day in and day out, how worthless, incapable, and incompetent you are. These messages provided by the powerful create individuals who believe they are useless creatures incapable of greatness.
What are some of these messages?
- The government states you are not responsible enough to plan for your own retirement so they’ll gladly take your money in the form of social security. Of course, social security, like many government programs, is completely unsustainable.
- Corporations drown you in messages of how uncool, fat, and pathetic you are. Of course, the only solution to these imaginary issues is to buy corporate products.
- Religious institutions declare you are too “fallen” and “sinful” to produce a virtuous life. Of course, you need to give them your resources in order to lead a holy, just, and righteous life as dictated by the religious leaders.
Furthermore, your own moral failings will produce self-pity. If you cannot control your eating, spending, or time, you will eventually grow to despise yourself. Your weakness and lack of moral courage will fuel the flames of your personal destruction.
How To Defeat Self-Pity
“Courage and confidence are practical necessities . . . courage is the practical form of being true to existence, of being true to truth, and confidence is the practical form of being true to one’s own consciousness.” – Ayn Rand
However, we are not here to lament your weaknesses. We are here to empower you as an individual. Defeating self-pity and overcoming your self-hatred requires many techniques. By crushing self-hatred, you will gain:
- Confidence in your purpose, potential, and life
- A clear understanding of what you value
- A strong personality capable of withstanding the manipulations and abuses of others
- Internal strength crucial to overcoming personal vice
- A love of life
Remember: the vindictive, vice-addicted aspects of your character do not want you to have a backbone. Collectivists don’t want you to have a backbone. When you wallow in self-pity, i.e., believe you are worthless and powerless, you are easier to control.
Today, let’s focus on defeating your self-pity.
1. Determine your life goal | Define your legacy | Embrace your identity
Purpose prevents fear. The clearer you are about your purpose, legacy, and identity, the harder it becomes to hate yourself. Why? Because at the darkest hour, your chosen purpose will prevent you from seeing life as meaningless.
Life Goal – Understand what you want to do with your life and head in that direction. You will fail at various intervals, but having a vision for your life is much better than having no vision at all. Additionally, having a clear vision for your life allows you to compare your daily actions to your end goals. Being able to classify your actions as “good” or “bad” is the first step to overcoming self-pity and increasing your productivity.
Legacy – You are an individual. However, you have to define your legacy by understanding what you want others to remember you for. Furthermore, a legacy gives you a narrative for your life. Having a positive, self-affirming story about your life gives you a counter-story to the cynical, wretched tale you’ve always been told. No, you are not a wasteful, sinful, lowly creature. You are an individual who wants to become a virtuous person.
Having a life goal and legacy can make life harder. That’s the point. You need to be able to snap yourself out of pity. By reminding yourself you have a vision and goal, you’re more likely to push yourself. You cannot afford to wallow in self-pity because there is work that needs completing.
Create Your Identity and Overcome Your Lack of Confidence
Lastly, you need to define your identity. Define who you want to be and why you want to be it. Your character gives you an idealized version of yourself. For example, if you state, “I’m the kind of person who exercises,” you’ll want to match your actions to your identity. Once you match your actions to your character, you’ll feel less hostility and hatred towards yourself. Your successes will inspire you to keep going in the direction you set for yourself.
Collectivists and the bastard voices in your heard will try to give you a new identity. They will call you “selfish,” “fat,” “sellout,” “weak,” “worthless,” and much more. Your chosen, positive identity will clash with the dark voices surrounding you. Therefore, define who you want to be and do everything you can to become the ideal you’ve set for yourself.
How To Develop Your Personal Identity and Decide Who You Are
Lastly, exercising your personal value is crucial to avoiding self-pity. Your identity must be chosen. Never fall into the collectivist trap of defining yourself by race, gender, sexuality, nationality, and other unchosen realities. As an individual, you must choose greatness. Binding yourself by things you cannot choose or control will lead to despair. Why? Because you cannot pursue virtue unless it is chosen. Being white does not make you frugal – spending your resources responsibly makes you frugal. Being a woman does not make you magnanimous – pursuing greatness and shunning vice makes you magnanimous. Being an American does not make you courageous – standing against evil despite being afraid makes you courageous.
Those who substitute virtue for race or gender or nationality are always frustrated when they can never achieve moral excellence. Virtue is a choice, while race, gender, sexuality, and nationality are not. If you want to be great, you have to exercise your mental and physical abilities to become great. If you’re going to live a virtuous life, then you need to choose an identity that pushes you to virtue.
And if you want to avoid self-pity, then reject passivity. Build your identity, create your life goal, define your legacy, then persist your ideal with zeal.
2. Do You Hate Yourself? Then Always Focus On Creating Value and Benefiting Others
“Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.” – Buddha
Self-pity cannot withstand value. There is dignity in work. The better you work and the more profit you produce for others, the less you will despise yourself.
Firstly, to do productive work, you have to possess certain positive traits. You have to be persistent to maintain your work ethic. You have to earn knowledge and expertise through rigorous study. You have to possess empathy to understand what products others value. Lastly, you have to have the insight to sell a product to others at a profit.
Secondly, productive work challenges you as an individual. The more time you spend working hard and working well, the more you build your focus, persistence, and fortitude. These characteristics enable you to do better work, withstand vice, and excel towards your goals.
Lastly, productive work is valuable to others. When your labor is a net gain for your fellow man, it becomes harder to despise yourself. You benefit the lives of others and elevate their standard of living. Being able to say such a thing will make it harder to feel self-pity.
3. Overcome Self-Pity By Mastering Your Health and Well Being
The healthier you are, the better you will feel about yourself. Groom regularly, exercise, sleep, and eat well. We’re not trying to make you into a supermodel. The goal is to walk up the stairs without shortness of breath.
Being physically healthy helps with mental toughness and happiness. Becoming stronger and healthier requires you overcome bouts of pain involved in the exercise. Additionally, resisting sweets or forcing yourself to sleep requires mental strength. You cannot become healthier without pushing yourself mentally.
The better your physical health, the less likely you’ll fall victim to self-pity. Self-pity overtakes you if you can’t withstand it. Therefore, the more positives you have, the better you can push back against harmful narratives. Having good health is another way you can resist any call to self-pity. For example, when I feel worthless, I can immediately push back: “Sure I may have made a few mistakes today, but I did go to the gym and maintain my health routine. I’m not perfect, but I’m trying.”
Lastly, good health usually implies other things: eating good food means you spend your money well. Consistently going to the gym means you have the habit-forming practices needed to live your best life. Sleeping on time means you’re disciplined and have a strong fortitude. Keeping up with your health requires virtue, and pursuing virtue reduces self-pity.
4. Measure your approach to the world: Reject Negativity and Manipulators
“I have never had much patience with…[those] always ready to explain why one cannot succeed. I have always had high regard for the man who could tell me how to succeed.” – Booker T. Washington
As always, I urge you to avoid destructive, harmful people and ideas. If you want to feel like crap, then engage in collectivists’ ideas or associate with abusive people. However, if you want to feel healthy, light, and fulfilled, then pursue greatness.
Here are a few quick ideas: Don’t go on Twitter. Consume less than 30 minutes of news a day. Don’t consume media where the bad guy wins. Read uplifting, engaging works.
Additionally, be aware of your associates. Look at their values, actions, and ideas. For example, someone who only wants to be friends with you because of your race will never value you as an individual. Therefore, never let snakes become your allies: the more you understand your beliefs, the better you can screen other people.
Lastly, if you value certain traits in people, then you have to adopt those traits and live them as fully as you are able. Becoming what you admire will reduce your self-pity. Why? Because you’ll pursue the good you respect by living up to the values you claim to appreciate. The more you push yourself towards greatness, the harder it becomes to dislike yourself.
5. Study and practice virtue. Live A Morally Righteous Life
“It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen.” – Aristotle
Virtue is moral excellence. The more your actions align with righteousness, the happier you are.
Look at the 13 virtues: Courage, Fortitude, Patience, Persistence, Gratitude, Generosity, Loyalty, Industriousness, Authenticity, Discipline, Zeal, Magniminity, Frugality. When faced with a problem, always reflect on what is most virtuous. You will never be 100%. You are human. However, the goal is to be as noble as you can. The more humble you are on your pursuit of greatness, the less likely you will drown in self-hatred.
Remember: collectivists will set impossible standards and mock you when you fail. Ignore them. For example, I’ve always been judged for not being “black enough.” What moral value does this hold? Is being “black enough” about industriousness? How about discipline? Zeal? How will being “black enough” make me a smarter, kinder, more considerate individual?
Collectivists wish for me to doubt my goals and my sense of life. Instead of focusing on improving as an individual, I’m chasing the phantom mission of “become black enough.” Pursuing this mission forces me to define myself by the terms of the very people who want me to hate my life. So, I push back and develop the virtues needed to thrive and excel.
Self-Pity will destroy you: Lose the self-pity and earn your rational pride
“True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.” – C.S. Lewis
The only way anyone can value themselves is by facing adversity and winning. As an individual, you must take control of your life by working smart. Lose the self-pity and ignore the collectivist solutions.
You will never vote yourself to confidence. You will never feel good about yourself for stealing money from the rich and middle-class to give to the poor. You will never feel proud and comfortable defining yourself by the terms forced on you by the masses. You will never excel by buying shit from corporations who mock and belittle you. You will never develop your ability to reason by seeking moral teaching from one group and one group only.
Pursue weakness, and you will pity yourself while hating others. However, the more you build your character and embrace greatness, the better you will be. Don’t listen to the greedy, selfish collectivists. And don’t listen to the vice-addicted voices in your head. Instead, become an individual and help others do the same.
- When was the last time you pities yourself? What were you saying? How did you feel?
- How did you feel after your confidence came back? Is there any way you can bring your confidence in while you feel self-pity?
- Of the actions in the post today, which item is most effective at helping you defeat self-pity?
- Is there a particular person or piece of media which makes you feel low? Why do you feel low after engaging with the person/piece of media?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.