3 Strategies to Feel Empowered In Moments of Helplessness

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

When trauma hits, we may feel utterly helpless. We may feel powerless, wounded, paralyzed.

The trauma may be a physical trauma, such as a car wreck or any kind of abuse; an emotional trauma, such as bullying or poverty; or a community trauma, such as an earthquake or murder.

It may be a single experience or a series of events. Either way, the moment is so extreme that you’re left feeling completely powerless.

Helplessness manifests on two levels: On a cognitive level, trauma overwhelms the areas of the brain responsible for problem solving and judgment.

When this happens, you can’t think on your feet, find a solution to make things better, or problem-solve to reduce the grip of the traumatic effect on you.

On a physical level, trauma paralyzes a person with fear and causes extreme fatigue.

Thankfully, there are many things you can do to reduce feelings of helplessness.


Every time you’re feeling stuck, you’re actually feeling helpless in that particular time frame. It may be the past, present or the future.

We tend to feel stuck about things that happened in the past, or when we don’t get expected results in the present. Sometimes we feel helpless when we’re feeling uncertain about our future.

By understanding this concept, you’re free to shift your time frame in order to prevent yourself from falling deeper to the limbo of helplessness.

  • If yesterday was a terrible day for you, think about how you can make it better today and tomorrow.

  • If you’re not sure what to do with your future, focus on what you do best now.

  • If you’re feeling helpless with the overwhelming obligations that you have right now, know that today will be a past that paves the path for your future.

There are many ways to make yourself feel better using this simple technique. The key is to shift your focus and break the negative thought pattern quickly.


Martin Seligman, Ph.D., psychologist and author of Learned Optimism, discovered three conditions that characterize learned helplessness called the Three P's:

In order to overcome learned helplessness, you must challenge the Three P's by:


Helping someone out can leave you feeling rewarded and fulfilled. People who participate in volunteer work feel more empowered than those who do not.

According to a survey by the United Health Group, 96% of people who volunteered over the last 12 months said volunteering enriches their sense of purpose.

Once you’ve watched today's episode, I’d love to hear from you.

In what moments do you feel helpless? What strategies have you tried that helped you overcome such moments?

Which of the strategies I shared you found to be of most help to you? Do share your knowledge and experience in the comments below.

Share as much detail as you can. Many lovely souls come here for insight and inspiration. Your story may be just what someone else needs to have a major breakthrough.

I really hope the strategies shared here helps you overcome the feeling of helplessness. Instead of focusing on how difficult your current situation is, focus on the things that can lead you to your desired outcome.

Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and adding your thoughts.

Live strong, and have the courage to create a life you love because your happiness matters.

With SO much 💖,


P.S. Have a question you’d love to ask me? Do give me your Q on my page Ask Trish Anything and I'll personally get back to you with some empowering steps to help guide you through your challenges. I look forward to serve and help you towards a brighter future, a future you've always dreamt of. Do give me your Q here.

Knowing when to ask for help and guidance is not weakness. If anything, it's a strength.

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