If you are not able, you can try. If you can try, you can succeed. (Anthony Robbins)
There is immense power hidden in each of us, but we do not always know how to wake him up.
This power stems from the responsibility we take in our lives to realize ourselves and to express our potential.
In this article, I will tell you a bit about my own experience as an "imaginary victim" and how empowerment has completely changed my life.
Then I will share strategies to help you make your own empowerment the trigger that will revolutionize your life!
My problems started at birth …
I'm kidding, but it's a way of describing the posture of being a victim of everything.
I consider myself immensely lucky. I was born in a good family, in a rich country, I have no major deformity (except for a head-like overgrowth), I do not have a health problem, I do not I do not have the intelligence of a peony, in short I could have much worse fall into the lottery of existence.
Despite this, I will not hide the fact that I find life rough, difficult, tiring, while others find it especially sweet and pleasant.
That's why I raise all my hats to a lot of people around me who make so much more …
I find life harder than average people maybe because of a game of hide-and-seek between serotonin and dopamine in my brain, maybe because of some difficulties in my youth or because of thoughts negative that I was repeating myself, or for other reasons.
I do not know. And that is not important.
Younger, although I was good at school, and maybe because I was good at school (and very little in sports), I was despised.
From point to point, I came to maintain a rather negative image of myself.
As the years passed, I had developed a rather morbid vision of life.
- I am unlucky;
- I will not be able to do anything in life that will make me happy;
- No woman can really be interested in me and love me;
- If I can find a job that does not make me sick and is not overpaid, I'll be lucky;
You see the portrait.
I had a real arsenal of destructive beliefs that accompanied me every day, helped define me, and systematically prevented me from realizing myself.
|Note to those who made me suffer in my youth|
|The Internet is accessible to all, if you recognize yourself as one of the people who have despised me and / or bullied at school during my youth, know that I forgive you entirely the harm you did to me .
First, you were not aware of what you were doing, since you were young …
Then I should almost thank you because, without your "wickedness", I would not have had to ask myself so many questions about myself and about life, and I would probably be a lot less happy today.
This note is not intended to justify contempt or intimidation but rather to show that it is possible to do something constructive. And this applies to all events.
When everything rocked … for the better
Sorry, I do not have a thrilling story to share with you like the fact that I would have taken drugs to the point of surviving a overdose or trying to kill me while hanging on my big toes.
Its not my style.
However, in the early 2000s, I was tired of being unhappy and started looking for solutions.
Instead of sinking deeper (for it can be reassuring to self-denigrate, to lick wounds, to moan, to sob over the vicissitudes of life: I plead guilty), I decided to try another approach, that of opening up and confronting me.
After all, I had nothing to lose…
It was when I was finishing my master's degree (which I did not really know why) that I confronted my prejudices by reading personal development books.
I did not really know the personal development, but I found it cheesy, easy, overrated, cutesy, in short, I did not see what it could bring me.
Of course, many personal development proposals correspond exactly to the prejudices that I had, and are even worse by adding to it the humbug and intellectual dishonesty.
But as in everything, there is good and bad.
And the good has been really good, among which Martin Seligman, Daniel Goleman, Stephen Covey and even this sacred Tony Robbins (He borrows many shortcuts, some references are questionable and I do not agree with everything he says, but it is damn good to motivate us and make us out of our mediocrity!)
Then, rather than accept any unsatisfactory job, I accepted a friend's proposal to start a business with him.
Once again, I was coming out of the box: I did not know anything about business and I did not have much confidence in myself …
This simple decisionot to open myself and to free myself from the mediocrity to which I had condemned myself was a real revelation: I stopped playing the victim and I accepted the active role that I could play in my life to be happy.
And today, I can say that I realize very satisfactorily …
Does my story remind you a bit of yours?
From near and far, some features of my story may remind you of yours.
If you are reading this article, it may be that you have not yet crossed this point where everything is changing … for the better.
If so, I would like to help you.
I am now going to share some simple tips that I learned (and experienced) that made all the difference.
The responsibility of your life is to choose to achieve the results we want, to be proactive in everything and to take action.
But proactivity is not just about taking initiatives.
It's about finding that we are the only ones to be able to bring the changes that we desire in our life.
Are you responsible, or not?
Listen to yourself when you speak.
Listen to your thoughts too.
Our speech speaks volumes if we take responsibility or play the victim.
Do you use phrases that disempower you? For example:
- That's how I am, I can not do anything about it …
- I do not have a minute to myself: it's the events (my boss, my children, etc.) that control me.
- If only I was more patient and less emotional …
- If I do not do anything, it's the fault of … (put here everything you want and you do not control: my ex, the government, the economy, the length of my ears, the weather, the price of toothpicks, etc.)
Do you use formulations that give you power, such as:
- I can choose a different approach.
- I can learn …
- It scares me, but I will try anyway to see what happens.
- The situation discourages me, but I will focus on what I can change.
In truth, most of what we live is a result of the decisions we make.
The people responsible for their lives do not continually accuse others or circumstances.
Their actions are the result of deliberate choices that are based on their values and their desire to bring about positive change.
On the contrary, people who are disempowering are just reacting to events.
It's not their decisions that drive them but their negative emotions.
In other words, they refuse the power they can have on their lives.
Self-realization should be a priority.
Unfortunately, we often start doing something only after that a catastrophe has occurred, that we have hit the bottom of the barrel.
So, when we talk about "asking for life", this does not mean "asking" and waiting …
Rather, it's about taking responsibility for what we want and doing what it takes to get it (within the bounds of laws and ethics 😉).
Feel victimized and do nothing …
There is no doubt, some things do not satisfy us.
But do we feel responsible for it?
Why that ?
As we grow older, disappointments lead us to believe that our resources are limited, that we must be content with little.
But is it the truth?
Imagine what happens when you think you can not do anything.
You do not feel proud of yourself and you refuse to exercise your responsibility.
You stop dreaming and you feel like you're the victim of life.
When this context has taken control of our lives, frustration is expressed indirectly through our reactions and it is the people we love the most who pay for it.
Aggressiveness, impatience, complaints … we make others pay our choice to do nothing.
But the goal is not to make you feel guilty by taking responsibility for things you do not control.
That would be the other part of the trap.
You must ignore everything you have no control over and focus instead on changing what you have power on, no matter how small.
No improvement will be possible if you do not take responsibility for the results you get.
Life is thus made: difficult and unfair.
But despite bad luck and hardship, you can make it a remarkable experience filled with happiness.
Astronaut David Saint-Jacques, an example!
When I first read the CV of David Saint-Jacques, I had a hard time believing that only one person could have done it all, and in addition, he did it before reaching the 45 years old.
He began by becoming an engineer, where many people would proudly stop their studies (and they would be right to be proud).
For his part, he pursued a Ph.D. in astrophysics at Cambridge University, which is saying a lot.
After a post-doctorate in the field, at age 30, he decided that he would like to give more to others and … started studying medicine.
Quite simply !
A few years later, this doctor in astrophysics also becomes a doctor of medicine.
But that's not all.
Because he is selfless and has certain human values, he goes to remote areas to help where medical resources are scarce.
He also speaks French, English, Spanish, Japanese and Russian and has only had to prepare for one week to run a marathon.
Not surprising that the Canadian Space Agency has recruited him …
In front of such exceptional people at all levels, he can come to us in front of varied images and emotions.
For example, we see how bad we are (comparison) and we can feel jealousy …
Yet these are destructive reactions that make unhappy and comfort the passive position of the victim …
For me, in front of a person of this scale, I prefer:
- Lift my hat and be very happy for him.
- Be aware of my limitations (compared to his own) and accept them. In any case, doing what he did would probably not have made me happier than I am, and my main goal is to be happy.
- Inspire me in what I admire to push further my initiatives, my confidence and my actions, to surpass myself by making sure to remain authentic in passing (I can be inspired without wanting to be in its place).
These people who stand out so many are beautiful inspirations that illustrate everything that a person absolutely responsible for his life is able to accomplish (even if David Saint-Jacques must be a little more spoiled than the average, especially in which concerns the intelligence …)
Clash with oneself: who wins? Me or me?
The most successful people have in common that they are able to know each other, to set goals, to motivate themselves and to persevere to the point of failure.
I like to quote this little "statistic": the most successful ones are also the ones who have the most failures because they are the ones who try most.
We can all do as they do, learn, take action, correct things and persevere.
We tend to run away from what scares us.
Unfortunately, this "comfort zone" is also a great prison in which we lock ourselves up.
You can decide to go beyond yourself by doing what scares you but can bring great results.
You will see how this attitude is a source of confidence and gratification (I swear that doing in my pants before giving lectures to 200-300 people was a terrifying experience, but oh so growing!)
Learn and become autonomous in one's personal development
The decision to take initiatives is not about becoming opportunistic or aggressive.
It's about making the decision to make positive things happen in our lives.
And when we exploit this huge hidden potential, we can achieve MUCH more than we thought we could do before.
This potential comes from our ability to learn and solve problems that engage us in a virtuous circle.
Most people do not get results because they do not have the patience to look.
Where should I go to find the right information?
What should I do to fix this problem?
Instead of depending on others, answer these questions yourself.
Search for resources yourself.
You will become accustomed to finding the answers to your questions yourself and you will increase your skills, your autonomy and your results.
Imagine in many years when you say, "I'm responsible for what I live today because of the decisions I made in the past."
Do not you want that what you live then corresponds to what you dream at this very moment?
This is exactly what happened to me when I made the decision for the first time to stop seeing myself as a victim and to remain passive.
If this is your case, today is perhaps the perfect time to start taking charge of your life?
In closing, to help you, here are some ways to get the process started:
This list is not incredible or exhaustive: I wrote it to illustrate what you can to start to work.
You understand the idea.
I let you enrich it!
Steps to take more responsibility on your life
Can you increase the power you have on your life?
Here is a list of things to remember if you want to start taking responsibility for your results today.
- Avoid blaming others and events when things do not go the way you want. Instead, take the time to see what role you really play in your life.
- Concentrate your efforts on what you can change.
- If constructive criticism can be helpful, avoid blaming others and see what you can do to improve a situation. You have no control over others: but about yourself, yes!
- To get off your list, for life: give yourself an excuse for not taking new initiatives, listening to your fears, letting others and events free to decide for you.
- You perceive yourself as a victim whenever you believe that you can not do anything and that you drop the actions that could make all the difference. The next time you tend to think the world is unfair, focus your efforts on what you can do to improve the situation!
If you like this article and would like to go further
If you like this article (the many comments I received and which are posted below show that many appreciate it), if this article is a small trigger for you as self-empowerment has been a fantastic impetus to build my life, you might like to go further.
One of my books is about exactly this subject but goes much further and provides you with concrete tools.
It is Unlimited growth. Do not hesitate to get it, because I wrote it to be as useful as possible, like everything that I do with this blog.
A final but fundamental nuance about self-empowerment
The theme of personal responsibility is very popular in the culture of the United States, among others through the myth of self-made man and the famous "American dream".
And the United States influences the rest of the world, especially through their cinema.
However, this very individualistic vision of success means that everything is a question of will and work (therefore, of merit), and that if we find ourselves in an unenviable situation, such as poverty, it's our fault.
I deeply disagree with this idea.
And many studies in sociology and economics, among others, demonstrate that there are factors that we do not control and that influence our lives.
To give just one example, people from wealthy families tend to be wealthy, and people from poor families tend to stay poor.
This sad state of affairs is particularly present in unequal societies like the United States where the American dream is, precisely, out of order.
And with the ideology of neoliberalism that continues to become widespread with politicians, inequalities are widening as governments reduce the taxes of the richest and cut into social programs, which mostly benefit the less affluent.
So yes, even if we have a share of responsibility in the results we get in our life, we must not believe that everyone can easily get what he wants, as long as he works, and that solidarity in this context is not fundamental to the success of all.
If you liked this article, know that it is from my book Ask yourself the right questions. You can get it in ebook version to read it in full.
Resources to go further:
And you, how do you see this responsibility in your life? Are you able to make your choices? Do you focus your actions on what you really control? Looking forward to reading you and responding to you in the comments.