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Embrace the Power of Responsibility
You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of." - Jim Rohn
I played the victim many times, but I could turn negative energy into positive when I “grabbed the bull by the horns” to take 100% responsibility for the situation.
Metaphorically, "grabbing the bull by the horns" implies I took charge, became proactive, and confronted a problem head-on rather than avoiding or passively accepting it. And until I did, my spirit had lots of drama and restlessness.
It really is the best way and signifies a bold and assertive approach to tackling obstacles, often involving a willingness to take risks and make difficult decisions. By directly confronting the bull or the problem, one demonstrates to others your determination, confidence, and readiness to face the consequences of your actions.
As someone who subscribes to Shane Parrish's, The Knowledge Project newsletter, I had the pleasure of listening to the podcast featuring Dr. Julie Gurner. I've included the podcast at the end of this post for reference. Below, I've gathered a selection of noteworthy quotes from the interview I believe are worth sharing.
"I think there are two ways of looking at things that have happened to you. You can be a victim, or you can be a survivor. Those are two very different cognitive positions. You can’t control what happens to you in either circumstance, but one is very powerful. You have overcome. One is you have had something happen to you, and you have been under that thing for quite some period of time. For me, if I hear someone and I hear that helplessness, one is that I want to reframe that experience. I want to tell a different story. I want them to tell a different narrative to themselves. I want them to rewrite that. In some ways, you want them to rewrite that narrative to survivorship and overcoming and what it took. You ask the right questions to get them to see that their own throughway in that case is based on their strength and ability. You want them to see those things rather than seeing the helplessness and powerlessness." - Dr. Julie Gurner.
In her quote, Dr. Julie Gurner beautifully captures the essence of two distinct perspectives we can adopt when faced with challenging situations. The choice between being a victim or a survivor is a crucial one that shapes our mindset and outlook on Life.
While we cannot always control what happens to us, we have the power to determine how we respond. We must acknowledge our ability to overcome obstacles and grow stronger by embracing the survivor mindset.
It's about reframing our experiences and telling a different story—empowering us and highlighting our resilience. Dr. Gurner rightly emphasizes the importance of rewriting our narrative and shifting our focus toward the qualities that enable us to overcome challenges.
"When people are telling me that “I’m doing this because of my childhood” or “I’m doing this because of this,” I think you’re giving up some amount of power. You’re giving up a lot of power to something outside of yourself, and also, how you’re interpreting that event is not useful to you. There may be a lot of truth to the terrible things that have happened, but those terrible things—you have to shut the door at some point and say, “I am my own man or woman, and I move forward. ... if you are somebody who uses other events as a reason to self-destruct, you’re ceding power… We see that even in companies—“I’m doing this because so-and-so made me angry. I’m doing this because…”—and you end up making some poor decisions and ceding power because of someone else. You’re willing to make a poor decision. You’re willing to give up. Sometimes people are willing to give up their entire future dreams because of X, Y, and Z, and it’s a tragedy. You want people to really understand the power they have to create their own lives at some point, and that creation is not given to anyone else but you.” - Dr. Julie Gurner.
The choice between victimhood and survivorship lies in our hands. Dr. Gurner's insights remind us that embracing the role of a survivor leads to personal growth, resilience, and the ability to create a narrative that empowers us to overcome Life's challenges.
To get here, I chose to be a victor, not a victim.
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