Victor Not Victim – A Personal Walkthrough
So today I woke up angry, frustrated and pissed off. Sue me, I’m human.
The trigger was due to the accumulative effects of numerous issues which arose the day before. It was just one of those days that progressively got worse and worse until the point where it was nearly laughable.
The day involved everything from technology blow ups, being let down unexpectedly by others, losing important leads, communication blunders, losing the rugby, to not sleeping through the night. It was one thing after the next. No sooner had I put down the phone did it call with another problem. We have all been there. Just one of those days…
So, I woke up this morning with a unique idea. I would walk people through the way I was going to re-frame and get back on the horse. This would document how I forcibly slap myself off of the victim bandwagon and get on with life. This is as transparent and honest as I can be about something that is happening real-time.
Step 1 – What Do I know?
Whenever someone gets ‘spooled up’ like I did the day prior, it is usually following a number of assumptions or assertions that have been placed into the narrative.
1. In my instance it is very easy to assume that the ‘attack’ on me from multiple fronts is due to a higher and more insidious attempt to break me.
2. That the people who let me down did so in order to deliberately annoy and frustrate me.
3. That the leads we lost were a complete and utter waste of time.
4. That the technology mishaps were entirely preventable
5. That the rugby game we lost was the universe’s way of putting the ‘cherry on the cake.’
When you say it out loud one immediately starts to realise that it is a massive list of thoughts generated by self-rationalisation.
A narrative that directly places me in the cross hairs of a victim mindset.
Instead let’s look now at what I know to be true:
1. I had a crappy day with a whole bunch of unrelated but equally frustrating events.
2. The day prior was quite good and if I choose I could average it out and come out on top. Or better yet I could reinforce the fact that what happened one day is very unlikely to have full effect on the next.
3. It is very unlikely that the interpersonal disappointments were malicious in any way. More likely it was how I chose to interpret them.
With that detailed, let’s move onto the next step…
If you are interested in learning more about the distinction between facts and assumptions, read this article I wrote previously.
Step 2 – Who do I choose to be?
My personal values are below. Let’s see how I can use my values in order to make better choices. In doing so I need to be 100% honest with myself and leave my ego and pride at the door. I need to ask myself some challenging questions.
1. Whilst I am wallowing in self-pity and anger, am I providing service to others? No
2. Would the mindset I am currently demonstrating align with my reputation of service to others? No
3. Are there better ways I can demonstrate service to others? Yes
4. Will what I experienced recently redirect who I provide service to in the future? Partly Yes
1. Is there a more productive way of using my time in order to provide service to others? Yes
2. Am I currently being forward leaning or reactive? Reactive
3. Can I make a deliberate choice right now in order to demonstrate initiative of thought and activity? Yes
1. Did I have a part to play in the proceedings that happened the day prior? Yes
2. Could I have responded in different ways that would be more resourceful? Yes
3. Is this an opportunity for self-learning? Yes
4. Are we now more informed about the realities with the people, technology and markets? Yes
5. Will this allow me to adjust my style and approach in the future? Yes
1. Did you demonstrate integrity in the way you responded to stimuli? Yes, but I could have done better.
2. Do you have a choice to demonstrate integrity moving forward? Yes
3. Did we learn about other people’s integrity throughout the process? Yes
4. Will this help in allowing me to better allocate our time to people with like-minded values? Yes
These questions, and others like them are the result of personal discipline to stop oneself getting worked up. It has taken me many years to realise my limits and personality flaws to the point where I can ask myself questions like this in order to snap myself back into the person I would like to be remembered as. In this way our values can become powerful circuit breakers.
Step 3 – Contextualise and re-frame
Moving forward I have to make some choices. The first is a choice as to whether I will whine like a little child and play the victim, or whether I choose to act like a mature adult that accepts their part to play in the events, learns from it and makes better choices in the future.
The second is whether I contextualise what I am experiencing with the real world.
1. Is anyone dead or dying? No.
2. In ten years time will I remember or care about the shit day? No.
3. Have I personally dealt with worse? Hell yes!
Then get off your high horse and get back down to reality where you belong….
My decisions and choices moving forward:
1. Today I will act in a way that acquits my values positively
2. I will make more informed choices about the people I invest time in, the technologies we use, and the markets we service.
3. Today I’ll re-frame with a chosen phrase of ‘shit happens’. Sometimes you have crappy days. Get over it.
4. I’m going to start looking for opportunities and gaps and regain my hunt for ‘good people.’
Step 4 – Get on with it
It is time to execute on the promises, and implement the lessons learnt.
No excuses. Get it done!
Getting these things done is what we will define as success and winning.
I hope by walking people through this internal discussion and dialogue they can see some opportunities for their own personal growth. Either that or you now think I am a loony madman.
I trust that the importance of personal choice and accountability rings through and this resonates with the people who are currently ‘spooling up’.
I am confident that there is at least one person out there who might gain value from this article.
In closing I would like to quote Viktor Frankl:
“Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”
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Author: David Neal – Director – The Eighth Mile Consulting