You’re a victim. We all are. Or at least we think we are.
Everywhere we go, we play the victim to other people, other things and other circumstances in our business and our life.
We play the victim all the time, and we don’t even know we’re doing it. We think our interpretation is the correct interpretation of what’s going on (the absolute truth), instead of it only being our opinion. And we feel that we had no other choice to make, given the circumstances.
Studies have shown that if you ask a convict in prison why they did what they did, they will tell you that they had no other choice, given the circumstances.
We do the same thing. We justify our choice in our mind. Then we sell (tell) our story to everyone who’ll buy it (listen to it), so that they know we did the absolute best we could, given the circumstances. We tried our hardest. We had no other choice.
Sometimes we take the offensive, and simply let people know right off the bat with no provocation:
“I couldn’t stay on my schedule this week, I had so much going on, it was so overwhelming.”
“My diet is so hard, I only cheated four times last week.”
Many times, however, someone calls us out on our choice, then the victim lashes out!
“Do you know how hard….(I work), (my life is), (it is to do what I do all day long), (etc.)…?
Or, worse, the deep seeded victimization we have, sometimes from long ago, pops out. This is mostly in our thinking, but sometimes it’s said out loud.
“I had a bad childhood!”
“Nobody loves me!”
“I don’t deserve it!”
“I’m not good enough!”
“You don’t understand, no one understands me!”
“You don’t appreciate me/what I’ve done!”
“I’m doing the best I can with what I have!”
And so on.
Bottom line is we will use every excuse we can to justify our choices, and why we don’t keep our word to ourselves and others.
Furthermore, our lives tend to be a continuous series of the Aesop fable “The Fox and the Grapes.” You know, where the fox wants the grapes, but can’t reach them. And after trying and trying, he walks away disgusted and ends up saying they were probably sour grapes anyway.
“Hey, Bob. What happened with that diet you were on? You wanted to lose 10 pounds. How’d it go?”
“It was really hard. I tried, and then my dad’s birthday celebration was 2 weeks into the diet, then there was my daughter’s high school graduation party, and we had the 4th of July. I lost 3 lbs, and I’m feeling real good about that. 10 lbs is a little aggressive, you know. I really never was into 10lbs. 3’s a good number. I feel good.”
So we justify our choices, defend our positions, and rationalize that even though we made the commitments/promises…we really didn’t mean to make those promises, or we really didn’t want what we said we wanted after all.
A coach of mine once said that we, as people, function as if a broken promise to ourselves or others with a really good excuse as to why we broke the promise equals a kept promise in our minds.
“I know I said I’d be here at 5pm, but there was traffic, so I’m not really late.”
What that person really was saying was that they’d TRY to be there by 5pm, but they’re not really committed to being there at 5pm, and if something happens to keep them from being there at 5pm, it’s not their fault.
Commitments are tought, grant you. Especially if you make them when you’re caught up in the moment.
Hey, I know, personally. I committed to losing 20lbs in 4 weeks on Isagenix’s 30 day cleanse. And I told hundreds of clients that I was going to do this. 4 weeks is a long time when you’re talking about committing to exercise every day and changing the way you eat. It was a pain in the butt!
A couple weeks into it, and I’m looking to get out of this promise I made. Hey, I lost 10lbs, that’s good enough. 4 weeks is too long! It’s hard to prepare, I don’t have time to exercise. It’s easier to grab a burger than to take the time to make a shake. I feel good, 10lbs is good enough.
Frustration would have been much worse, if I didn’t see results immediately, because we are a fast-food, drive-thru, microwave society. We’re conditioned that if something doesn’t work right away…abandon ship.
We get bored, we get pissed, upset, whatever. Then we lash out at ourself and others. It’s almost as if we’re mad at other people for the promise that WE made! No one MADE us make that promise, but we play the victim to that promise.
“What the hell…cookies? You’re keeping cookies in the cabinet when you know I’m on a diet?”
“Oh, great, this is the meal I’m supposed to have a shake, and you bring home pizza! Thanks a lot!!”
As if it’s their fault we made this commitment!
I’ve gone on long enough in this space…we’ll cover responsibility in my next blog. In the meantime, recognize when you’re playing the victim and look at the power of creating your own choices.
Oh, yeah, and I lost 35lbs in 8 weeks. If I can do it, so can you. And I’m not just talking about losing weight.