Why Does this Always Happen to Me?

Why Does this Always Happen to Me?

The dog and I were walking my daughter Sydney to school this morning. Somehow it came up that one of her friends often dramatically asks, “What is life?”  So I picked up on the teachable moment and answered the question, “Life is a classroom.”  Sydney looked at me very calmly and said, “No wonder so many people don’t like life.”

Couldn’t have said it better myself.

It’s true though.  Life is a classroom and until we learn our lesson we are going to continue to take the same test over and over again.  

Has this been your experience?  Do you have the same situations arise time and time again?  Do you find yourself asking, “Why does this always happen to me?”  

It could be the same fight with your spouse, the same battle with your children, constantly running up against “difficult people”, or a work situation that keeps reoccurring.  For some people it can be heavier, harsher things.  Repeated divorce, loss of jobs or losing loved ones.

Often we want to give up or give in.  Depending on your personality, you could react in one of many ways: anger, stress, suppression, self medication, self-flagellation, resignation.

But there is a different way to react that can completely change how you feel and has the power to get you out of the repeat cycle.

React with curiosity.  When you find yourself asking, “Why does this always happen to me?” Pause.

Instead of reacting emotionally, actually step back and look for an answer. Try to figure out what the lesson is and what you need to do to learn from it.  This is the way to “pass the test” and put it behind you once and for all.

Because, chances are, when whatever the thing is that you repeatedly face happens, you do the same thing you have always done.  You repeat your same side of the argument, you scream the same thing at your kid or you immediately get angry and defensive with the customer service rep.

The first part of your lesson is that what you are doing is NOT WORKING.  Remember, doing the same thing over and over again while expecting a different outcome is the definition of insanity.

So, what can you do differently?  How can you speak to your husband so that you both don’t go down the same rabbit hole? What concession can you give to your child so that you get what you want, but he or she feels heard and acknowledged?  How can your attitude before you get on the phone with a customer service rep change the outcome of the call?

When you do something different the situation is forced to change.
Let me repeat that:

When you do something different the situation is forced to change. 

It is inevitable.  You can’t drive a different route and have the scenery be the same.

Will you pass the test the first time?  Not usually.  But you will see immediately that the pattern has changed. You may have to tweak things, but you are instantly rewarded with the knowledge that you have the power to change the dynamic.

Sydney was right, there is a reason that many people feel troubled by life. Everyone faces hardship. It is easy to get frustrated and feel like things just happen to you.  But that isn’t how it has to be.  It is how you handle the things that are thrown at you that determines the quality of your life. 

What can you do differently next time so that you are closer to passing your test?

Thanks for reading.  I hope this was helpful.  If learning your lesson and passing the test feels overwhelming, please know that I am here to help.  I have one coaching slot still open for this Fall.  Please hit contact in the upper right hand corner and we can set up your complementary session to see if we’re a good fit.




7 Responses to Why Does this Always Happen to Me?

  1. Deb says:

    I totally agree! As soon as you identify , “this always happens “, it is a great opportunity to be curious! And yes, doing something different does change everythibg! We are creatures of habit, but when a habit does not serve us, creating a new one, can create a very different result.

  2. Maria says:

    Life is sure full of lessons and the lessons keep repeating themselves until we have learnt them – so insightful Lorna. Curiosity and objectivity are now my friends – it is working – what is my lesson here? Love life – it is a journey but can be so fabulous too!!!

  3. Susie says:

    Couldn’t have said it better, Lorna! I sometimes hear it’s not worth dealing with’ and I think if you don’t deal with it, it will simply happen again. Love that you used this as a teachable moment for your daughter.

  4. Michelle says:

    I love the concept that life is a classroom because I’m a former teacher and one of those lifelong learner types. :-)

    I’ve been working a lot on letting go lately. I try not to react. Instead, I flow and look for the opportunities in the life roadblock. I’ve always done this, but there’s been extra roadblocks this season, which means extra credit in life’s classroom. :-)

    Always learning. Always growing.

    Your daughter is adorable.

  5. Cathy says:

    Out of the mouths of babes…

    Interesting point: I say the same thing about symptoms and pain. Get curious about it, see what it needs/wants from you.

    You’ve made me realize the same theory can apply to the business side of my work. What can I learn from the place where I always get stuck?

  6. Cathy Sykora says:

    Love this! I think each situation is full of opportunity to learn and grow and when it seems we keep stumbling over the same situation dressed in different circumstance, it a lesson we need to learn. This perspective is so empowering, it takes one out of the role of powerless victim, to one of being able to not only move past, but become stronger and more able because of it.

  7. april says:

    well said, lorna. (and sydney is a smart little girl!) i love the idea of looking at life with curiosity. life becomes an imaginative puzzle with twists and turns, challenges and triumphs – not something to endure.

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