First of all let us see what is meant by the word ‘helplessness’. We need to know its meaning in order to be able to overcome it. Helplessness is a learned behaviour by which you have been able to ‘hook’ people into caring and nurturing for you. Provoking sympathy, acting in a way which draws others’ sympathy and compassion is in reality a manipulative ploy to get them to do for you what you don’t want to do for yourself.
In order for you to reduce your sense of helplessness and to begin to become more self-sufficient, competent, and self-confident, you need to try to do the following self-help activities.
1. Identify those problems, obstacles, fears, or issues over which you feel helpless and identify what beliefs keep you locked into being helpless for each one of them.
2. Develop a new belief system that encourages you to recognize that being independent, competent, self-confident, and capable of helping, ‘fixing’, and changing yourself is healthy, desirable, and necessary for you.
3. Practise healthy coping, problem-solving, fear-desensitizing, and conflict-resolving behaviour.
3. Build on your success at being an independent, free-standing self-helper, self-coper, and self-healer. Remember that success breeds success and be sure to reinforce yourself for all your successes even if they be small ones.
4. Accept that relapse is part of the recovery process and get back with your program of self-help if you should slip or fall back to your old mould of helplessness.
5. Call upon the Higher Power to give you the courage, strength, and persistence necessary to gain self-sufficiency to cope with your life.
6. Develop a sense of patience to accept that it takes time (an entire lifetime) to fully rid yourself of a sense of helplessness since it is often such an ingrained, automatic habit of acting, thinking and feeling for you.
7. Emotionally detach from all ‘fixers’, advice givers, rescuers, and enablers in your life so as not to fall into their need for you to be helpless in order for them to relate to you.
8. Stop hiding behind all your old excuses, beliefs, and cliches about why you can’t possibly help yourself.
9. Embrace the ‘new you’ who is more self-competent, self-helping, self-healing, self-respecting, self-confident, and self-enhancing and recognize all the healthy, normal, natural, beneficial consequences of living your life in this way.