“You are not the victim of your choices.”
The other day I was wallowing in self-pity – another day of not doing. I hadn’t worked toward any of my goals. The manufacturers of my living room couch just had to make it so incredibly comfortable, didn’t they? Facebook needed so much of my attention. I wasn’t feeling like my futile attempts were getting me anywhere, so why bother? I was playing the victim role – even though the situation I was in was totally in my control.
What about you? Do you find yourself unhappy in the place you are, even though you may have been the one to have driven yourself there? Maybe you chose to push people away. Maybe your actions towards those people are what drove the wedge between you – and now you decide that they are the bad guys. Maybe you have been waiting for something amazing to happen, haven’t put in any effort – and now you feel the world is working against you. It is saddening, maddening and so incredibly tiresome to stay in this mindset.
So often we don’t step back and really take ownership of the decisions we have made – especially our mistakes. If we choose to stand still or react in ways that have no benefit, who or what are we serving? We are serving defeat. We are serving loss. We are serving hurt and anger. We are serving the part of ourselves that we do not want to feed.
Taking ownership of our choices allows us to control our reactions to the results. When we acknowledge that our decisions and actions have taken us to a place where we are unhappy, it gives us the power to rectify and overcome. This doesn’t mean those relationships we have lost are suddenly going to be back to their happy place – what rectify and overcome means in this instance is accepting ourselves in this moment of self-realization, understanding that our decisions and actions have put us here. This is the most crucial time to coach ourselves out of the victim role.
If we have been awful towards a person for a long period, it is only a matter of time before they turn and flee. When we become angry or sad that they have left us, how is it anyone’s fault but our own? It isn’t. We are not the victim here. It is time to realize that we did not nurture or value that relationship, and although the outcome has hurt us so badly, we must choose to learn from our mistakes and decide to do better by them.
“When we work toward something, the only regret we can have is that we didn’t do it sooner.”
This does not only apply to relationships. I am sure we all have goals and pipedreams that we yearn and wish upon stars for, but when was the last time we made any steps to see these dreams come to fruition? (I know your sofa or chesterfield feels just as comfortable as mine does some days.) When we work toward something, the only regret we can have is that we didn’t do it sooner.
You can not possibly place yourself in the victim role if you have made exactly zero steps towards getting to where you want to be. I don’t think anyone who genuinely cares for you would put up with that kind of bullcrap either. When I hear someone complaining about not being able to reach their goals or making excuses about how many hurdles they have to get there – for a few minutes I commiserate because we can all agree that self-doubt has a pretty loud voice sometimes, then it usually hits me, “Well, crap, they’re never going to get there with that attitude.” Hurdles are meant to be in our way. Hurdles are the parts of life that make us stronger and create the traits of perseverance and determination. These are great traits to have and I believe anyone who is successful demonstrates these qualities. That must mean they have encountered quite a few of those hurdles, eh?
After my “victim pity session” I had on my couch on Wednesday afternoon, I had an amazing opportunity to attend a super empowering, mood boosting workshop with a woman by the name of Jill Payne (check out Jill’s “Spiritual Athlete” website here or her amazing Instagram here). Jill was born and raised about twenty kilometers from where I was. We are the same age and I kind of knew her from playing a summer or two of soccer together when we were kids. I had no idea how much this workshop would impact me and I have to thank Kathy Johnston and all the Fitness Junkies (check out the Fitness Junkies website here, or their facebook page here) in the Fitness Junkies tribe for attending and making this sort of thing happen in our community.
This workshop was all about boosting your mood, creating a sense of self-worth and building a practice of mindfulness that can elevate your productivity, positivity and overall wellness.
We talked a lot about our emotions and how we could communicate with others to change negative thoughts and feelings into positives – and how to learn from emotional blockers we may have like fear, guilt and frustration. We danced, we sang our hearts out, we high-fived and hugged, and some of us cried.
I have always known that I use procrastination as a means to stop failure from affecting me. If I delay doing something enough, then I end up not doing it and therefore I can not possibly fail at something I did not try. With a little self-reflection, I now know I am truly failing myself by becoming my own victim and allowing my excuses to have so much power.
At the workshop, Jill mentioned a certain book that gives a crucial piece of advice to anyone who is stuck in the procrastination game – the book is called The 5 Second Rule: Transform your Life, Work, and Confidence with Everyday Courage by Mel Robbins and it is coming to live at my home forever. The general idea of the 5 Second Rule is to get shit done. Stop the excuses and stop the procrastination.
I love real, workable concepts that can be added to a mindfulness practice and this is one I took away from the workshop: skip the procrastination urge by giving yourself five seconds to begin the task ahead of you. Literally, count down from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and hit the ground running.
Do you have a hard time getting out of bed in the morning? (Jill doesn’t, she gets up at 6am every-damn-day) Just get out of bed. Instead of worrying about the day and the chores ahead of you, get up and do them – then they are done and it is one less concern of yours.
Procrastination causes so much worry, which can lead to anxiety – and then the self-victimization begins.
YOU ARE NOT THE VICTIM OF YOUR CHOICES – instead, you are the ambassador of the decisions you have made and the lessons you have learned along the way. Being sad or angry does not serve you. Worry and regret do not serve you.
I am so glad that Kathy and Jill are teaming up once again and offering another workshop in my hometown next week. I signed up as soon as I could and I am sure I will leave with more critical thoughts and ideas for living a more mindful life.
Becoming better, becoming my own ambassador and learning to love myself fully.
How are you going to choose to remove yourself from the victim role?
Have you attended Jill’s workshop? I’d love to hear from anyone who was impacted in any way. Comment below!
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