Leadership Commitment number five says; As a leader, I create my results in life. Embracing this leadership commitment is a game changer for so many people. When I fully appreciate what this commitment means to me, I am able to set aside any inclination to be the victim in my life.
I want to address this commitment in two articles. The first is about Acceptance and the second one will be about Ownership and Responsibility. Both articles will focus on how to overcome the victim position.
The Victim Position
When I play the victim, I am consumed with what has happened in my past and I fixate on the pain and difficulty it generates in my present. I know I am in my victim position when I frequently talk about a painful story over and over again seeking acknowledgement, agreement and empathy. I call this being stuck in my story. If I find a few people who are willing to commiserate with me, I have officially launched a pity party.
I have to admit that personal development programs, like Connections can lend itself to this kind of fixation on painful stories, however, my hope is that we can all learn to take full responsibility for our lives and commit to writing a new story.
A Students Perspective
The way I move away from the victim position is to take on the perspective and attitude of the student. In my childhood it is quite possible that I was victimized. I did not have the resources mentally or physically to avoid being victimized; however, as an adult I have a choice about whether I will remain a victim of those events or to take full responsibility for how I behave as an adult. That is my choice.
The students focus is on acceptance (shite happens), personal accountability (own my thoughts, emotions and behaviors) and responsibility (manage my thoughts, emotions and behaviors). Rather than focusing on what is going on outside of me, I am conscious of what is going on inside of me and how it affects my responses and behaviors. My outcomes or results are much more determined by how I choose to react and behave than how someone else chooses to react or behave.
Acceptance: Shite Happens
Acceptance is a person’s agreement to experience a situation, to follow a process or condition, often a negative, uncomfortable or painful situation, without attempting to change it, protest, or exit.
This is the inner acceptance of what has happened, what is happening and will happen. It is the perspective that says, ‘shite happens.’ It is the perspective that says; all things work together for good. It is the perspective that acknowledges that there is meaning and purpose attached to everything that happens to me. There are no coincidences. This is a faith position, as opposed to a victim position. It is now my choice whether I see myself as a victim to what has happened, is happening or will happen, or a student who consistently looks at what I can learn from life’s experiences.
Here is what I have learned about the Students Perspective:
- The student’s perspective allows me to place value on almost every event that takes place in my life. There is no such thing as crisis…only opportunity.
- As a student, I view every event, regardless of how difficult, painful or pleasurable as an opportunity to learn something about me, others and the world I live in.
- As a student, I am not overwhelmed by the moment but recognize each moment as linked to other moments that build on the larger truth of who I am and what my unique purpose is. I see my life as a process of building on this truth.
- As a student, I bring an innocence, fascination and curiosity to the unfolding truth of my life. Students are like children who have not yet been hardened by the unfairness and injustice that so many adults chose to make their focus. They are not cynical, tainted and skeptical about every new experience they face.
- As a student, I remain teachable and humble in the face of life, never feeling like I have arrived or feel I have all the answers to all of life’s difficult questions. I incorporate a child’s heart into my investigations and am willing to feel the journey as well as understand it.
I guess what I am saying, is that students retain certain childlike qualities that allow them to keep looking at their journey with a fresh fascination that places a simple heartfelt trust in the process.
These are the perspectives and attitudes I want to retain. How about you?