Are you a Leader or Victim?

The headline for this blog post isn’t a quote from a great philosophical teacher or a spiritual guru. Nor is it from a 7 figure personal development leader.

It’s from a client. It came the day after our coaching session. In an email.

He was facing a very difficult personal situation and felt deadlocked into 3 options, none of which he wanted.

Questions were offered.

Challenges made.

And he left with things to reflect on.

The very next morning I received an email from him. He had reflected and even made some steps which he hadn’t previously thought about.

It stemmed from the coaching conversation and a question he posed himself.

“I can either be a leader or a victim in this”

He hadn’t realised until the session that he had been avoiding facing up to the situation and was blaming others and so making himself a victim of the circumstance.

“I’d been living as a victim of life not a leader. That changes now!”

The strength and determination was strong in his email. It was a man stepping up. Taking responsibility for his life. And facing into the difficult stuff.

This is quite a common coaching conversation.

Many of us, and I include me in this, have grown believing that we are victims of our circumstances. Of Life. And that there is little we can do about it. “Because this is who I am.” FULL STOP!

And yet when life throws a curve ball; redundancy, divorce, death, illness etc we put aside the “this is who I am” and find a way through. Admittedly not necessarily gracefully, comfortably or easily. But find a way through we do.

What I have noticed both personally and professionally, is that in those moments we take responsibility for what we can do. We take responsibility for ourselves.

As the clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson says “you are way tougher than you think.”

I realise that not everyone sees themselves and their situations this way. It’s one of the reasons I think people die by suicide. They have beliefs that they are not tougher than they think. At least, I know that is how I felt when I attempted to remove myself from this life. Reflecting on that now I can see how I took no responsibility for my life. And labelled myself (not consciously) as a victim. All my behaviours fed into this label. Therefore how things were, was not my fault and couldn’t be changed. I was a victim of the circumstance. Honestly, loving life in that way place was very hard indeed.

I was on edge most of the time. Fearful.

Thankfully, like the aforementioned client, at some point I saw things needed to change and that I needed to take responsibility. Lead my life. Believe in far more helpful thoughts about myself. It didn’t happen over night. It was small consistent steps.

The above client email arrived just as I finished watching an animation of Jordan Peterson’s work. The connection between the two was amazing so I shared it with him and of course, here is it for you too.

N.B.The video is only around 5 mins long (the latter part of the video is promoting audible.)

I’ve watched this several times.

It may not seem like it at times, but we do have a choice. We have to look for it and it will come down to us taking responsibility for ourselves, our lives and where required others. But when we do, things really can change.

When my client left the session, he knew he had things to think about. Taking the time to reflect gave him the opportunity to realise he was behaving as a victim, and from there question whether that is how he wanted to live his life.

Taking the time to reflect and ask yourself questions can encourage us to look for more options. (as long as the questions and reflections are resourceful and not wallowing in self pity. Very often they will help us move out of that overwhelming limbo, confused place and help us make decisions. Even if we do not know the how, at least with a decision you can start taking steps, no matter how small.

It may mean you being uncomfortable, investing time, money or energy into you. It may mean taking a step forward into the unknown. But at least from that point you get to lead your life rather than be a victim of it!

Recommendations to help you become a leader of your life:

Jordan Peterson’s book 12 Rules for life: An antidote to chaos, is a great read and I have found the lessons very helpful.

(Click on book below to buy)

My Leading with Belief Online course which you can study at your own pace and have lifetime access too.

Recent feedback from the course…

” I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ – I’ve been following your Leading with Belief programme, and that combined with my coaching has really helped me be confident enough to resign from a role that was really making me unhappy. What’s next – I have no idea, but I know. I am open to opportunity. Thanks again!”

If the above has sparked your interest of working with me as your personal coach, then email me direct letting me know how you want to lead your life now.