If You Feel Like, "I Can't Cope", Try This
When you’re deep within some difficult feelings, have you ever caught yourself doubting your own resilience? Maybe you said to yourself something like: “I can’t cope.” “This is too hard.” “I’m not strong enough.” Or even “Things just affect me more than other people.” These are the sorts of things I used to tell myself anytime I found myself in emotional pain (like intense anxiety, shock, or loss) or physical pain (like my back injury flaring up). Of course, these thoughts only ever made me feel worse… a lot worse. In fact, this is one key thinking pattern we overcome in The Positive Perspective Course, since these thoughts make difficult experiences much harder to handle. So what’s the alternative? It can be helpful to shift from viewing resilience as a matter of innate inner strength ("I either have what it takes or I don't") to seeing it as a learning journey ("my resilience can grow and change"). Here’s how this looks in practice:
“I can’t cope.” → “I’m learning to cope with this.” “This is too hard.” → “This is hard. I'm learning how to navigate it.” “I’m not strong enough.” → “I’ll figure out what works for me one step at a time.”
“Things just affect me more than other people.” → “With practice, I’ll get better at dealing with this. All people struggle at times.”
Trust in your own resilience, friend. You are even stronger than you realise.