You’re Wasting Your Time on Bad Coping Skills

Do these two things instead

Frank Vaughn
3 min readApr 12


Photo by Uriel Soberanes on Unsplash

You fancy yourself a writer, but you can’t find the words. You want to be financially secure but your bills are piling up while your bank account isn’t. You want to be with someone but they don’t show mutual interest.

You’re bound up by either internal or external forces that seem impossible to break free from.

I’ve been there, and very recently at that. Want to know what I did about it? Well, do you? Ok. Here goes…

I got honest with myself

Almost every single time I’ve ever felt trapped in my circumstances, it was because I was in the wrong circumstances. And guess what? That was my fault.

See, I’m one of those — what do you call them? Adults! You know, grown people who have agency in their own lives.

My negative circumstances have almost always been traceable back to some really bad decision I made that put me there.

I had to be honest about my own fault in things before I could fix them.

And look. I acknowledge that sometimes bad things happen to us that we can’t avoid or could not possibly have foreseen, like when I had a spouse leave me for someone else.

Actually, that’s a super bad example, because the reality is, she either cheated on me, broke up with me, or did one because of the other at least once a year the whole time we dated before we got married.

Oh! I know! What about the time I got phone scammed out of thousands of dollars by some scumbag with a generic American name and a distinctly not-American accent? How in the world could I have seen that coming?

In that particular case, the question answers itself. So yeah. That one was on me too.

The point is, you need to be honest with yourself to the point of sheer brutality. Seriously examine the place you’re at in life and own what’s yours to own.

As for those outliers that might actually be someone else’s fault? Maybe a drunk driver hits you when you’re driving as safely as any human can possibly be?



Frank Vaughn

Regional Emmy- and AP-award winning journalist and writer. Everyone’s brother.