"Are you going to play the role of a victim, or are you gonna get off your ass and make it happen."
Ouch, I was 17 years old and felt like I just got punched in the face. I was a starter my whole life in football...one of the best players always, and I had just gotten benched.
I had all the excuses. It was a new position I had never played. My coach yelled at me more and singled me out more than anyone else. I didn't "feel" like he liked me at all or wanted me to succeed and on and on. Nevermind that I really was having trouble playing the position. It was new, but I was a superstar the year before at a similar position. It wasn't my fault.
As I sat there, after getting my worst reaming by a coach in history, I could not help but feel sorry for myself. I wanted to quit so bad, but I did love the game. My dad saw all this. He knew what was up and came to talk with me. He had coached me when I was younger and was tough, but fair.
We talked through my options. Yes, I could quit the game I had played since I was 6. I could ride the bench the rest of the season. Or I could make a change. As we sat there talking, he said a few things that really sunk in. First, he said "You're right, your coach yells at you louder and more frequently than anyone else on the team. But, you know what my coach told me when I played? It's when I stop yelling at you or getting after you that you better worry - because at that point I don't care anymore." And then he laid it on me, "You can be a victim or you can get off you ass and make it happen. You're still one of their best players and the best are not victims."
I perked up and said, "Yeah, I guess your right." The next day, I went into the locker pulled my head coach and my position coach aside and discussed how I could have the best impact on the team. My head coach suggested that I move to a position I had played and excelled at when I was younger.
I made the move and when I got my chance in the next game...I never came back out for two years and was "All League" for both of them.
Why tell this story?
It is a powerful lesson in how to succeed that I was fortunate to learn, but not realize the true signficance of, until later in life.
There are no successful victims in life. You can't be both. You're either successful or you're the victim; or you're lying about one or the other.
Playing the role of the victim does not help you reach your goals, grow yourself, enhance your status, or help you lead others. Noticed that I said "playing the role," because that is what most people who claim to be victims are doing. They choose it.
And that is the point, you can choose to be a victim like I did, before I got some sense knocked into me, or you can choose not to be and press on and make things happen in your life. Don't blame or complain because it really does you no good. Blaming others doesn't help you succeed. Complaining about it doesn't help you succeed.
The only thing that will make a difference for you is your choice to act and do something about it; to win, and to not let yourself fall into the victim trap.
If you think about it, all you do when you play the role of a victim is cede control of your life to some outside force. You are literally giving away your power as an individual. Why would you ever want to do that? You want to be in control of your life, right?
It's easy to be a victim. It's extremely hard to press on in spite of fear, worry, doubt, and all of the other things that can hold you back in life. It is the desire and will to press through that sets people apart and makes them successful. Successful people stay in control of their lives and don't give up their power.
And that is why you will never see a successful victim.
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