Victor vs Victim

I saw myself as small, helpless, dominated, squashed….a worm with no back bone.  If anyone called me a victor I would look at them very strangely.  I did not see myself in a positive light.  Yet, I believed I could change.  I chose change, lots of change.

As I changed, I started looking at different types of article.  I do not see myself as a leader yet these qualities I believe are part of changing from surviving to thriving.  I imagine that someone that is thriving is victorious.  Cool thought.

I am only tackling one point this article shared.

The first step in owning a victor mindset it to be aware of where you’re at. When something goes wrong, pay attention to your self-talk and look at whether it’s empowering and goal-oriented, is it positive, or is it about shifting blame and overall quite negative. ~

He gives an example of shooting a film and the problems that can happen.  Not my area of strength.  Where I learned to do this was not in counseling.  I learned how to tackle a problem in 15 years of computer support.  Computers are weird, difficult and stupid.  I faced problem after problem.  I could either sit on my hands waiting for the IT guy to come out and fix the problem or I could look for another way to get the results I wanted.  I call this type of thinking, “Over, around, through or recreate” a solution.  Running a maze is another good example.  If I run into a block wall do I sit down and whine or do I back track and find another way around it.  Another example when I was laid off as part of a massive lay off I didn’t blame anyone or anything I looked around at what I could do next.  I took a year and a half to finish my photography degree and now work in a job I love helping students and teachers succeed.  Counseling did teach me how to use this same type of thinking with my emotions, relationships, and other ways of living.  More than one discussion was centered on computers and how I could fix that….now apply the same determination to go over, around, through or recreate with relationships.

One of the thing I painfully learned is some relationships need to go away or put distance emotionally or physically.  I had a nasty boss that did not like me.  I found out from office gossip the reason behind it but I couldn’t fix it and I wouldn’t apologize for being myself.  Instead, I had 3000 emails that documented his efforts to make my work life as difficult as possible.  When huge meetings showed the source of the problems in our department they asked me to write my perspective.  I asked them if they wanted it with or without documentation.  They told me both.  I spent the time and sent them 6 pages of examples of his behavior and 30 pages of those examples with documentation.  I got a new boss.  They also laid me off at the first chance they could.  I wasn’t sorry because I didn’t like working in an environment that mistreating subordinates was ignored or excused.  When I first took my concerns to HR they told me to put up with it or find a different job.  When I went to the equal opportunity people, they explained that if he treated just women or minorities with such disrespect they could do something but it is not illegal to be jerk.  They had a huge file on him.  His upper bosses were not ignorant of his behavior.  I am now working in a place that my principal wished me a happy birthday on campus.  He knew who I am and that I had a birthday.  I am now in a place that I love going to work.  I am the victor because I changed and let the past go.  No nasty boss was going to stop me from being the best person I knew how to be.

I believe there are several key elements that took me from victim to victor.

  • I needed to acknowledge where I was at. This step took a professional counselor to help me sort out my life story.  My mind played hide and seek with critical information and my therapist helped me sort this out.
  • I need to look around for a different solution.  If life isn’t working for me, change the game plan.  My counselor got me started doing this and now it is an ongoing daily process.
  • I need to consider how I am talking to myself. Am I putting myself down, calling myself stupid, punishing myself for the slightest mistake.  If I am being mean to me, STOP IT.  Treat myself with the same consideration that I would a coworker or one of my children.
  • I need to take responsibility for finding a solution.  This does not mean the problem is my fault.  Believe it or not I learned this one in defensive driving course.  I learned that the are many things I can do to protect myself when the other person makes a dumb choice.  I learned survival on the freeways by watching out for the other guy.  Taking responsibility for myself does not imply nor blame myself for the problem.  It simply means I need to find a solution that works for me.  As long as I am blaming someone else, I am looking outside of my domain of control for a solution.  I cannot and will not take responsibility for someone else.  For example, I was hit driving to work.  It was the other guys fault.  Fine.  We had insurance to cover under/non insured drivers.  I called my husband to come pick me up.  The police arranged for my car to be towed.  I called work and asked someone to come get the stuff I was bringing to be used that day.  Then I went home and gave my poor shook up body time to heal.  Other than the cop getting the other guy’s information, the other guy was not my problem, arranging everything else was.  I am thankful for my husband lending his talent with cars in finding solutions.  My job was to find solutions for my problems.

The problems facing the victor and the victim are the same…..what is different is the victor works out a solution and a victims sits and whines about their rotten luck/life. Changing my mind set took work….hard difficult work….however, the results are awesome.

Hit a brick wall?  Go over it, around it, or take it down.


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