3 Ways of Turning Self-Defeat Into Wise Victory

"We can choose victory no matter our circumstances. Self defeat is spawned from assumptions, fears, lies, hopelessness and misinterpretations. Why put that on ourselves?"

We say we love ourselves.  What does that typically look like? What do you imagine? Commonly, people will use examples of spa treatments, treating oneself to that extra scoop of ice cream, tossing the toxic significant other, not choosing to work overtime for the week, or going on that vacation that’s always put off. These are wonderful yet external solutions. Maybe we choose to show self-love by deciding to ignore the toxicity of others, letting things go that would normally bother us and weigh us down, or by using deep breathing exercises to calm the body and mind. These are all wise and effective for the right moments; and actually, it’s always a great time to practice healthy breathing exercises. 

Yet, what about the internal self-love we need to show ourselves in the midst of our work week, in unstable and defeated moments or in chaotic occurrences we can’t seem to control – in our minds and lives? What do we do in self-defeatist moments where we feel no matter what we do, we can’t seem to win in a certain area? What happens when our brains go into fight or flight mode over the hurtful feelings? How do we stay and fight, knowing there is no where to flee to? Is fighting even the best option? 

When there’s no time to escape nor place to escape to, or no money to escape with, then our brains can end up with what I call a mental pile-up seemingly out of no where sometimes. We can feel like we’ve lost a handle on our thoughts, and our feelings can take us even further down a negative, unproductive rabbit hole of depression or self-pity if we don’t learn how to control our minds. If we can control our minds, then we can control the brain and body. It’s in those moments that we need a solid plan for our fluctuation of feelings and unproductive thoughts. These times call for wise measures and can be an instant cure for our “moments of insanity”. 

If you have moments or even seasons like these, then here are 3 ways for retraining your brain and renewing yourself emotionally and mentally:

I preface this by saying that these 3 wise steps are tools that you can use for the rest of your life that you will have to learn to adapt to your individual situations and experiences.

1 CHOOSE…

Ask yourself if you want to allow yourself to feel defeated. Also ask if you want to actually be defeated. This alerts and reminds your conscious self that you have a choice in the moment and matter – that you don’t have to succumb to the mental/emotional attack your facing internally, regardless of the external situation. If you choose to not feel defeated nor be defeated mentally, then your next step becomes more obvious…

2  CONSIDER…

Consider that you’re overwhelmed and ask if that’s what is allowing your emotions to exaggerate the situation and possibly causing your to overthink things. Ask also if you’re therefore exaggerating thoughts and feelings about yourself. Ask if you’re possibly misinterpreting the situation (whether the occurrence be mental or in the physical), through how you filter things through your thoughts and perceptions in life.

3 CONTROL…

What you then position yourself to do is to take control by intelligently challenging the thoughts and emotions that you recognize are out of control so that you can move your mind into a state of healthy acceptance and peaceful solution. Your feelings will be your alarm to let you consciously recognize when you feel out of control. Are you crying, uncontrollably angry, overwhelmed with sadness or frustration? Sense how your body feels. Is your jaw rigid and teeth clamped together? Relax them. Are your neck and shoulders tight or slouching? Relax them and make your body erect and strong. Is your breathing shallow and fast paced? The breath deeply and slow down. Are your eyes and forehead grimacing over your situation? Then release them and smile instead at the fact that, after you begin to put into practice what you learn from this blog entry, you will know how to better control or even prevent mental meltdowns. What I’m describing here is mindfulness. In the moment, mindfulness is where your remove yourself from the feelings and thoughts of the past and concerns of the future and place yourself into a “right now moment” which empowers you to create or recognize healthy “right now” choices.

Which leads me to the final part of step 3, “defragging”. Defragmentation or deconstruction of the scenario and how you are interpreting it can turn your mental meltdown into a mental gain and build wisdom within. This is where you observe and analyze what has happened mentally within you, step by step in comparison to the physical occurrence that has you on edge. This is key and takes the maturity of patience and kindness towards oneself. This too is self-love. The Bible says that, “love is patient. Love is kind.” (1 Corinthians 13:4) Those are the two adjectives that the Bible defines love as. This is paramount to understand for your own self-love awareness and wisdom. The Bible also says that “God is love.” (1 John 4:8) So to practice patience and kindness on oneself is to also experience the love of God. This is empowering to say the least! So to really deconstruct your situation and how you’re viewing it, patience and kindness will give you the grace and gratitude to intentionally analyze (not overthink), towards a healthy outcome. 

Getting back to it! A great example of step 3, to more clearly explain, is a time when my teenage daughter called my phone extremely hurt, depressed and upset that one of her teachers seemed to always respond to her negatively when she asked questions. She said the teacher never seemed to react that way with the other students. Because of this, she no longer felt like asking questions and she wanted to withdraw her efforts. As she explained, she’d begun condemning herself and proclaiming other many harsh and negative things about herself – all just from this one experience in her classroom. Or was it just one experience? It was a great time, in the midst of her meltdown, to deconstruct the situation. What did we need to address here?

  • For one, I needed to allow my daughter to vent her frustrations with no negative judgment. She needed to know I was listening and present and maybe it would open her up for any solutions and conclusions I could help her come to. I didn’t want my daughter going into a negative loop of feelings and hopelessness so my best bet was to hear her out – no matter how upsetting it was to me to hear her so sad – and extend any opportunity for wisdom to answer her frustrations. 
  • My daughter felt exhausted and had a self-defeatist attitude. However, eventually, she realized that in her limited and negative thinking, she had a choice. She could choose how she wanted to feel and behave. She could decide whether she wanted to continue feeling that way and nothing get better, or to gain victory over her defeatist attitude and feel good and behave in resolve. 
  • We needed to explore and make some obvious observations that could’ve added to her feelings of overwhelm. My daughter could see that she was already overwhelmed with school but why? Two reasons; she wants good grades and strives for them but she was viewing school more as an inconvenience rather than a growth opportunity and investment in self. When you’re already intimidated or frustrated by something, agitation can come much more easily – as in her case. 
  • My daughter said she asked the teacher dumb questions (as if it justified the teacher’s rude responses). 
  • She said that the teacher agreed with her that she was asking dumb questions “in so many words”. My daughter negatively assumed and interpreted that the teacher felt she asked dumb questions.
  • We revealed that she had an [irrational] core belief that she felt she was dumb.
  • I had my daughter define the word “dumb”.
  • She did and found that it meant nothing associated to her and her identity – so she was able to dispel that negative core belief about herself, then identify herself with a positive truth – that she was using an intelligent method to receiving resolve which is wise and mature (asking questions for clarity). She could find no fault in this and this had to be clearly understood. (Two wins right here! YAY!)
  • She then needed to self-analyze in humility where maybe she could find fault because clearly there was a problem between her and the teacher. This too is a mature observation.
  • She was able to account that her teachers had addressed her before about not paying attention in class. 
  • Also, my daughter looked at the fact and had to admit that she draws pictures and day dreams in class and it handicaps her listening skills.
  • She was then, through the emotionally intelligent act of using empathy, able to understand how her asking questions to the teacher who had already gone over the material was likely getting frustrated again that she hadn’t been listened to and was being asked to repeat herself. Its merely an assumption though so there was no need to go deeper in thought there.
  • My daughter was now able to see how the tension between her and her teacher could have likely come about and how it could be prevented. So now it was time for solutions and prevention methods.
  • Now that she’s consciously self aware of how her previous lack of listening, the lack of desire to listen, and her unconscious negative beliefs about herself could’ve greatly played the role in creating that mental meltdown, she is empowered to check those things about herself to prevent such occurrences and could communicate more effectively with her teachers instead of feeling intimidated and insulted by them. 
  • Also in resolve, as a preventive measure, my daughter would follow up with that teacher to express her previous concern and how she has come to a resolve and to clarify with the teacher how she appreciates how the teacher still took time to answer her questions – although in frustration – and that she is more conscious about focusing in class to prevent this. 

She used the 3 empowering steps to take control of how she was interpreting the occurrence, reacting emotionally and behaving in her body. Through choice, consideration and control, she gained more wisdom on how to mentally challenge any similar future occurrences or self-defeatist attitudes that may try to arise and cause mental chaos. 

We can choose victory no matter our circumstances. Self defeat is spawned from assumptions, fears, lies, hopelessness and misinterpretations. Why put that on ourselves? The most important real estate in the world is the mind. The more self-aware we become of our own real estate and what’s within it and  trying to invade and control it, the more victories we gain in life.  

Share this post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email