Thought Catalog
April 14, 2017

If You Actually Want Your Life To Change, You Need To Stop Being Fucking Obsessed With Your Problems

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What is the issue?
SOPHIA SINCLAIR

If your life is shitty, it’s probably not because you have problems, but because you’re in love with your problems, and don’t realize it.

When you meet up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while to spend an hour talking over coffee, what do you talk about? Do you hang out with people who give you advice, or people who feed into your complaining? Are you happy for successful people or are you jealous of them? Are you more aware of what you don’t want in your life than what you do?

If you feel like you can’t overcome a “problem” in your life, it might be because you don’t want to.

You love your problems because you think they do something for you: you’re defending them and keeping them firmly intact in your psyche because you’re afraid of letting them go. There is no other reason anyone would hold onto something that keeps hurting them so much.

This is usually a defense or coping mechanism of some sort. A lot of people cling to their anxiety because they think that if they are already broken nothing can break them.

Think about it this way: if you’re the “funny single girl” whose punch line is always about how you’re in a relationship with wine, you’re receiving affirmation for it, and it’s going to make you much less inclined to actually try to find the right relationship. There’s a lot to lose if overcoming a problem means sacrificing a part of the identity you’ve built, and sometimes, it doesn’t outweigh what you think you’ll gain.

If you’re upset because you’re single, actually put yourself out there. Try being set up on a blind date or download a dating app (perhaps not ideal, but it’s a start). If you don’t make enough money, pick up a side gig, or start grooming your résumé and applying to new positions. If you’re always over-spending, make a budget on excel, download Mint and start holding yourself accountable. If you dislike how your body looks, either embrace it or start eating better and actually try. If you’re always anxious or depressed, go to a doctor or therapist, and see what combination of nutrition, medicine and therapy you would need to start improving your quality of life.

Solutions do exist, if you stop justifying why they don’t, or why they won’t work for you: “The universe is so well balanced that the mere fact that you have a problem also serves as a sign that there is a solution.”

Nobody’s saying it’s going to be easy. Nobody’s saying that it’s not going to hurt. They’re just saying that it’s possible when you stop justifying and defending why you “can’t,” rather than focusing on what small, incremental steps you can start taking now.

Problems have a sneaky way of convincing you to defend them. Sometimes it’s because you begin to think that they are a part of you, or that you need to be expressive about how much pain you’re in because otherwise, people just won’t “get it.” What you don’t realize is that you are the only person who can validate your pain, and you are the only person who can let it go.

Once you do, you will realize that your problems are not who you are, they are what’s standing in the way of becoming who you are.

It’s easier to be more in love with coping mechanisms than solutions. It’s instant gratification. But at what cost? Ask yourself: Why do I love this? What do I think this does for me? Once you identify the need it is meeting, you can find another way to meet it.

“If you are waiting for someone to fix you, save you, or even help you, you’re wasting your time. Only you have the power to change your life.” TC mark

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