Every once in a while, we hear a friend, colleague, or family member tell us how they could not do something or achieve their goal, making them feel worthless or useless. We think the same, too, don’t. Does that mean every time you think “I am useless,” you are? No! Here’s a take on why people feel worthless and what you can do about it.
Am I useless?
Imagine a situation where you could not perform a task your peers or colleagues did quickly. Many of us are instantly transported to our school days when failing at something meant being ridiculed or criticized as ‘useless’ or ‘worthless.’
Feelings of worthlessness and selflessness evolve from situations that make you feel hopeless and insignificant. Like a ‘loser.’ These feelings stem from our mind that is stressed, anxious, or depressed when subjected to conditions like trauma, emotional neglect, low self-esteem, low self-confidence, etc.
When feeling these emotions, it is essential to know how to navigate through them and convert them into positive affirmations for our positive mental health. So, every time you think you are useless, remember that’s not true! It’s just a phase, and you will sail through it.
What is The reason behind your thinking is I am useless.
Several factors can make you think you are worthless or useless– your childhood, upbringing, family environment, stressful situations, and social experiences. Few reasons why you may be struggling with such thoughts include:
- Childhood trauma
A negative childhood experience of neglect, ill-treatment, poor relationships with family members, or abuse may have left you with a lasting impression, making you feel useless. Children who experience frequent maltreatment grow up to feel they are worthless when they grow up. Research states that early personal trauma can lead to the development of worthlessness.
- Attributing a negative outcome as your fault
People frequently blamed for adverse outcomes in situations are more likely to develop depression and thoughts like “I am useless.“
- Excessive negative criticism in the past
Criticism is a part of life, but when repeated negative criticism goes overboard, it can leave a person feeling they are worthless or useless.
- A mental health condition
When people cannot cope with stress, it can change how they perceive themselves. Such people often develop worthlessness after suffering a setback like unemployment, divorce, or financial problems.
What are the Results of thinking I am useless?
After understanding what causes your feelings of worthlessness, you must take immediate steps to correct them. Here’s what happens when one thinks they are useless and fails to do anything about it:
- Increased stress and frustration
- Increased anxiety as you are not able to do anything
- Reduced productivity at work and home
- Inability to appreciate what you have as you are more focussed on what you don’t have or cannot do
- Sleeplessness and insomnia
- Loss of interest in life
- Affects relationships
- Suicidal tendencies
How to overcome this feeling
If you are feeling worthless or the feeling of being useless is creeping in way too often, here are easy steps that can help you overcome your thinking:
- Be kind to yourself
Negative self-talk and negative thinking can often fuel the feeling of worthlessness. Trying to be kind can be a challenge with an evident problem of thinking less of yourself. Once you have identified the issue, look for ways to rework your thoughts and be kind to yourself. For example, say, “I can do this today!” instead of saying, “I’m not going to be able to do it.”
- Track your feelings
Feelings like “I am useless” are not constant throughout the day. They will usually come and go at certain times, often triggered by some events. Tracking when you feel the worst or most worthless or what is causing you to think so is beneficial in correcting your negative thinking.
- A gratitude journal is beneficial.
Thankful for what you have acted as a positive reinforcement of your blessings. It goes a long way in changing the way you see your life. Instead of falling down the negative thinking well, noting down things that make you happy or are thankful for can keep you afloat, helping you change your negative thoughts.
- Do something for someone else.
It may sound challenging but doing something for another person creates a sense of purpose or positivity in our brain. Studies have shown that participating in social activities or helping someone in need gives you a sense of happiness, helping you do away with negative thoughts like selflessness or worthlessness.
- Mental health apps
With the world at our fingertips, so are various mental health apps. Several apps help you with mindfulness, breathing exercises, positive affirmations, and cognitive behavioral therapy to cultivate positive thoughts and eliminate negative thinking patterns.
- Seek professional support
Despite all your efforts, if you are still unable to rewire your mind to think positively, seeking professional help is highly recommended.
Every time the thought “Because I am useless” crosses your mind, remember you are not. We all have our low moments and go through significant mental stress due to our life, but that is not the verdict that we have for life. You are not useless until you believe you are. With the right and timely measures, you can pull yourself out of the negative thinking trap and develop self-confidence and self-esteem, cultivating positive thinking and reducing thoughts that tell you how useless, hopeless, or worthless you are.
While it is normal for us to feel worthless or useless once in a while, thinking so repeatedly and frequently can be harmful to our mental and physical health, with suitable measures and professional help, you can overcome your feelings of worthlessness before they begin to affect your life.
If you have noticed less of yourself, especially when you fail at a task or cannot reach your goals, speak to a trusted confidant. If some events or situations make you feel useless or worthless, re-evaluate the reasons for the same and work towards converting these negative feelings into positive ones.
If you need professional help from trained mental health experts, visit UnitedWeCare today!