They Aren’t The Reason You Are Miserable

grouchyBeing a motivational speaker feels a lot like being a therapist, only without the degree, knowledge, or credibility. But still I meet people in their places of brokenness. I hear their issues and concerns. And I try to motivate them to see their problems/issues from a different perspective. And one of the consistent things I find in people, is the belief that their problem is someone else.

My boss is  jerk.

They didn’t value my opinion.

He didn’t call.

She’s always running her mouth about something.

He drives me crazy.

She thinks I don’t have anything else to do but wait on her.

They didn’t pay me what I’m worth.

He’s an ungrateful teenager and I’m sick of it.

She thinks she’s better than everybody else.

They didn’t give me my money’s worth.

She just has it out for me.

Nobody will cut me any slack.

Sound familiar?

We all find ourselves victim to this sort of thinking. We don’t live in a bubble. Our lives are filled with people, and many of them are difficult to deal with.  And while we are often valid in our assessment of these people, it doesn’t change the truth – that we can’t fix them, change them, or find perfect people who act exactly as we want.

And they aren’t the problem.

We are.

Yes, I said it. And you’re probably mad. But it’s true.

They aren’t the reason you are miserable.

YOU are.

Life is filled with things circling us that are beyond our control – things happening to us – around us. Things that involve us directly, indirectly, or not really at all.  So much of what is circling around us can’t be controlled. Sure, some of it can be, and we should definitely work to control what we can in our lives. But the only thing you can control in EVERY situation, is how YOU will react to it.

YOU control your reaction.

YOU control your feelings. Well, maybe at first you  can’t control your initial reaction. But after you calm down, you can.

YOU decide what story you are going to write with this data you have been given, even if you are standing in the middle of the colossal mess. YOU still control whether you will allow it to make you miserable.

Unless you have a chemical imbalance, or issues bigger than you (in which case, this does not really apply to you, except that it is YOUR responsibility to get help for it and not use it as an excuse) you can control your reactions, your emotions, and your happiness. Yes, it’s a choice.

YOU are the one who turns one bad moment into a bad hour, and then a bad day, and a bad week, and a bad life. You are the one who instead of letting it go, carries it around with you like a comfort blanket – finding more people to share your issue with – making it the focus of all your time, energy, and conversations.

So, unless you want to stay miserable (which apparently some people do – and actually thrive on it) that’s your choice. Just acknowledge that it’s your fault, not theirs. They aren’t the reason you are miserable. You are.

You can choose happiness. And if you do it enough, one day you’ll wake up, and it just is.

If we let others make us miserable, we always will be.

Kelly SwansonKELLY SWANSON is an award-winning storyteller, comedian, author, motivational speaker. She has been described by “Our State Magazine” as one of North Carolina’s funniest women. She uses hilarious comedy, powerful stories, and a wacky cast of southern characters to make people laugh, remind them of their value, and show them how to stand up and stick out in their lives, businesses, and communities. Her shows have delighted audiences from coast to coast, from board rooms to cruise ships. To invite Kelly to your 2014 event, contact Sue Falcone at or call 1-888-766-3155.

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