Sometimes the simplest little things can have big impact on our lives. In this series of posts I examine very short sentences (each just three words long) that can make a difference in your life. If you have a three word sentence that changed your life somehow, share it with me and I will share it with the world.
Today’s three little words – “Be a victor” – were coupled with three more words – “Not a victim” – in a quote by Joell Osteen; however, they have often been used within the context of articles, weighty psychological papers and blogs about the “victim syndrome” and the tendency of many people to see themselves as the victims of situations that occur in life. This is the “poor me, why does this always happen to me” reaction to life. There is comfort for some to wallow in self-pity; but, in the long run that is just a precursor to depression. Don’t go there. That is the flight reaction in the “fight or flight” choice that we all have to make when faced with confrontation or issues. You can shrink back into a pitiful little ball or you can suck it up, thrust out your chin, and Be a victor.
While researching the origins of this little quote I ran across some really good reads – posts that have been done and papers that have been written about the victim syndrome and how to avoid that. One of the better ones was by Guy Harris, a motivational speaker who describes himself as The Recovering Engineer. To paraphrase Guys three suggestions for avoiding being the victim – 1. Own your piece of the problem, 2. Talk it out, and 3. Forgive the other party. Let’s expand upon those so that we both can see how to avoid being a victim and start to Be a victor.
As Guy says in his blog, there are seldom any conflicts or problems that are totally one-sided. It took two to tangle and it will take two to Tango again. Perhaps the other party did something to set you off, but the fact that you responded in a way that now defines this as a conflict makes you a willing participant. You must own your piece of this brouhaha. Until you admit to yourself that you are also a player in this situation and not just some innocent bystander that got swept up in things, you are playing the role of the victim. Don’t go there. Man up. Be a victor.
Guy’s second suggestion is to initiate conversation – to talk it out. All too often we get involved in something that has offended us or caused us pain or made us mad and we just hold it in and let it fester. Instead of confronting the issue with the other party involved, we may turn silent, perhaps even avoiding that party. We allow our own imagination to take whatever the incident was and turn it from a minor or off-hand thing into a huge deal of epic proportions. We may even back ourselves into corners by creating elaborate scenarios of what the other party will have to do to get back into your good graces. After all, they committed this grave offense against you. You were the victim of this injustice, right? They need to apologize to you because you were the victim. Don’t go there, either. Be a victor.
Guy’s final piece of advice is one that I have written about here in an earlier post (Click here to review that post) – Forgive the other party. It is essential to being able to move on to let the issue drop in your mind and forgive the other party. Nothing can sour a friendship, a relationship or a marriage quite as much as that lingering and unresolved disagreement that floats around in the back of your mind to be dredged up again and again whenever anything new happens between you. Let it go. Put it to bed. Forgive the other party. As long as that little thought floats around in your head you are playing the role of the victim. Get it out of there and Be a victor.
While I thought that Guy’s advice is great and the best way to deal with situations that have already happened, let’s take a moment to advance the thought for today into proactive territory. When you get up in the morning, ready to face a new day; you have the same choice to make before anything has even happened that day. If you get up with a dread about going to work, afraid of what might happen or a fear in your heart about maybe facing a test at school today or ju
st a general feeling of waiting for something bad to happen to you; you are setting yourself up to be a victim. Don’t go there. Instead look yourself in the mirror and say “This is my day and I’m going to handle whatever comes my way and Be a victor.”
Remember as you face the day and whatever challenges you hit that you and only you can determine whether you will retreat and hide in the mantle of the victim or take up the sword of the victor and fight back by using the advice that Guy gave you. You own your piece of the problem and your reaction to whatever it is, so talk it out and forgive the other side and forget about it. Move on because you have other more important things to do in life, now that you have decided to Be a victor.