Optimism is a strategy for making a better future.
Because unless you believe that the future can be better,
you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so.
Today, let’s begin to analyze how harmful it is when we think that we are merely victims of circumstances. When we buy into the notion that life goes by without our input, or our ability to make an impact on the course of things. When we accept or decide that we are just pawns in some grander scheme we can’t even pretend to understand. That our fates, our destinies, and our futures are already etched in stone, and we can neither escape nor change them. Taken on its own, away from all our other beliefs and stories we hold dear, can you see how severely limiting this belief is to us? Let’s see how…
It is all too easy to play the blame game. To believe that someone else, anyone else, is responsible for the situation we find ourselves currently in. To assume that our circumstances are the products of other people’s actions, and never our own.
When we don’t hold ourselves responsible for our current conditions, it allows us to remain caught in those circumstances. After all, if we did not create the problems or circumstances, surely we cannot be held responsible for changing them.
And so, we don’t make any forward progress. We fall back on such thoughts as, “I can’t believe that they put me in this position. This is not my fault. I am not responsible for where I currently am.”
The limiting mindset is that we are not responsible for where we currently are in life. Someone else did this to us.
This thinking allows us to play the constant victim. When something goes wrong in life, we can simply blame it on others and the circumstances they have placed us in. We refuse to take ownership of our own situation. And, therefore, we can absolve ourselves of any need to try to fix it.
It also means we never learn, or we never have to. Because if we are unhappy with our circumstances we have choices to make. Either we can accept things as they are, never expecting them to change, let alone, improve. Or, we make an effort to learn how to make things different.
Let’s look at ways to rewrite this mantra into something much more empowering:
Our current self-talk:
● “I’m not responsible for where I am in life.”
● “I am fully responsible for my life.”
● “I take ownership of my circumstances.”
● “I refuse to play the victim game.”
● “I can create different circumstances.”
● “I am in complete charge of my life and determine what it looks like.”
If you’re going to make forward progress in life, it’s absolutely essential that you take 100% responsibility for the circumstances in which you find yourself. Yes, other people play a role in your life, but ultimately, you are responsible for what you accept and what you refuse.
Next week, we’ll talk about some action plans to flesh out or better self-talk. It is the voice we listen to most often. So, let’s see if we can give it a new and improved monologue.