Do you ever feel stopped in life? I mean, don’t you sometimes feel that people or circumstances are strategically placed in your way to hold you back? Ever feel that you have big dreams and desires but you always bump up against someone else and unless they change, you feel you can’t get what you want?
For instance, your team at work isn’t giving their full effort and so you feel your company can’t be as successful as it could be because of that. Or you would love to be closer with your spouse but they just aren’t being very emotionally available and so you feel that unless that changes, there’s no hope.
Do you notice what these two examples have in common? They are both examples of blaming someone else for what we don’t have. It’s called the game of victim, and it’s a favorite game amongst many of us. Why would we want to play the game of being a victim you ask? Well, it’s quite simple. Being the victim lets us off the hook. As long as it’s someone else’s fault, we never have to look at doing something different. We don’t have to take a risk, do something that is outside our comfort zone. And we get some sympathy too. When we’re being the victim we look for others to say things like “it’s going to be OK”, “It’s not your fault”, “there was nothing you could do”, “let me handle that for you”. We would do just about anything to hear that when we are in the victim role. Can you see this in yourself, certainly not all the time, but part of the time?
The problem with playing the victim game is that we NEVER get what we ultimately want. We never get to be happy or satisfied. All we get is to be RIGHT. And I have never met a HAPPY person that has to be RIGHT all the time.
Effective leaders chose to be happy. They know that their own happiness never lies in someone else’s hands. They know that it’s up to them. Even if it feels and appears that someone is standing in my way of getting where I want to go, leaders simply find another way. They find another way to get through to someone, inspire people, get their point across, get the support they need, create the closeness they are craving, and get their financial and emotional needs met. They don’t stand in blame of others. Leaders are willing to see when they are walking down a dead end road, and they choose to walk another way. And if they can’t see another way, they get the coaching and support necessary to make that happen.
So the next time you feel like you’re beating your head up against a wall – stop yourself. Simply try something different. It may take many attempts at doing something different, but at least that has us in the driver’s seat and not just at the effect of how someone else is being.
This is ultimate safety. We often mistake being in our comfort zone for safety. They are actually completely opposite. True safety comes from trusting ourselves to get outside of our comfort zone. When we do, we get to discover that we can handle just about everything, and we can create just about anything.