It might be time to tear up that victim card, don’t you think? I’ve always believed that success favors those who help themselves by positioning themselves for the greatest chance of accomplishment. A theme that keeps coming up in my conversations with clients lately is how many of their teammates are making excuses and willingly playing the role of the “victim.” I don’t know about you, but I have little or no use for excuses and I also don’t have much good to say about people who spend more time complaining than they do working to try to improve the situation. If you’re similarly inclined, read on…
Embrace The Reality of Your Situation To be perfectly clear, there isn’t a day that goes by that one of us doesn’t face some kind of unanticipated adversity. I’ve come to realize that this is a part of life, even a fact of life if you will. Given that, doesn’t it make sense to be realistic about the situation that we find ourselves in, rather than pretending that we’re in a different or better situation? What good is THAT going to do us? I’ve concluded that it’s best to admit that we’ve had our number called, and adversity has knocked on our door. When you open the door you have control over exactly one thing, and only one thing. That’s right, my friends, you have control over your response to the adversity that visits your door, and nothing more. So, what exactly do you want your response to be? Do you want to melt down into a temper tantrum or an emotional hijack? Nope, that’s not going to improve your situation. Rather, try this. Welcome the adversity. Realize that it is the price of admission to this game we call life. Roll up your sleeves and figure out how you can adapt and address the adversity by replacing it with something better. Make no excuses. Point no fingers. Embrace the reality and embrace your opportunity to turn the adversity into something positive. Then choose a course of action and take helpful action.
Embrace Your Role In The Situation Don’t think like a victim. Don’t give yourself a free pass. Don’t avoid accepting responsibility for the choices you’ve made which have contributed to your current situation. Don’t tell yourself little lies. Unless you’re OK with creating dissonance, you need to embrace the facts. Your brain knows you messed up, but your emotions are going to try to cover up and convince you to play the role of the victim. Dissonance causes stress, which causes illness, which causes decay and death. Don’t pretend. Don’t allow yourself to think like a victim, to act like a victim. Don’t tell yourself that it wasn’t your fault that you chose not to spend the time preparing for whatever situation you mishandled. Embrace your responsibility. Embrace your role in the situation as a participant, not a victim.
Embrace The Golden Opportunity To Improve The best thing about living on planet Earth is that we get to make choices, lots of choices, thousands of choices. So, what kinds of choices are going to help you to grow and to improve your situation as you move through life on this planet? Making great choices improves your chances of controlling the circumstances that are going to come from your choices. Be mindful and make decisions with purpose. Do you want to lay down your victim card and pretend to be like a speck of dust, just blowing in the wind? I doubt it. That seems highly likely to lead to someone ELSE determining your destiny. Do you want to take responsibility for yourself and for the members of your team? I expect so, that sounds like it might have a chance at leading to a positive outcome. I try to be careful about my mindset and my attitude at all times. I purposely choose to be optimistic, and aggressive rather than passive. Furthermore, I choose to be growth-oriented and always trying to learn from my experiences, even the mistakes. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve decided that love is much more positively impactful than hate, so I try to lift up every human being I come in contact with in this life. I try hard to maintain a mindset where I’m grateful for the many advantages I’ve received and achieved, and I try to turn my good fortune into good fortune for others, by investing in them. I try to turn life upside down by focusing on serving others, investing in the success of others. I have found that this outward mindset keeps me focused on my employees, my colleagues, my prospects, my customers, and my business partners. When I think of only myself, I get into trouble too often. When I think of others, first, last, and in between, things usually go much better. At the end of the day, I realize that MY choices, MY conversations, and MY decisions are the things that lead to the outcomes in my work and in my life. That, my friends, is in my opinion the way it SHOULD be. I am at peace with being in charge of my own destiny. I do not play my victim card. I do not own a victim card, I shredded mine long ago, and I do not want another….
What about you? Are you slapping down YOUR victim card too often, or too easily? It’s easy to choose to be a victim, and do something careless or easy. On the other hand, you can choose to be mentally tough, resilient, and to define your own destiny by rising to the occasion and choosing a behavior that will drive you forward successfully and with accountability for your outcomes. I’m convinced that playing your victim card is a losing strategy. I’m not interested in that. It seems like a gutless way to go through life. I’ll choose to go through life Positive Aggressively every time, rather than Passive Aggressively. I’m making choices. Smart choices. Positive choices. I plan to continue to do so because this approach has worked for me and kept me from a lot of misery. What are your thoughts?
Michael is an award-winning Master Executive Development and Business Coach who runs a firm of great coaches with offices in Minnesota and Arizona. Michael and his coaches work with fast-growth companies, often in the technology industry, across the United States and Western Europe. He and his team of outstanding coaches advise C-Suite Executives, their Leadership Teams, and their Emerging Leaders. Michael and his coaches are passionate about contributing to the building of strong culture in their clients so that those clients execute positive change and drive strong consistent results in their businesses while enjoying working closely together with their teams. If you’d like more information about Michael or his team of outstanding coaches, contact us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.