In the last post we explored the emotional payoff you can receive from victimhood. Let’s expand the view and look at the bigger picture of how you co-create almost everything in your life: the stuff that makes you happy – and the stuff that makes you miserable.
Coach Jerry Colonna has a great book Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up. In it, he shares an important question he asks of the people he is coaching:
How are you complicit in creating the conditions you say you don’t want?
It’s a great inquiry because it can lead to uncovering some of those subconscious emotional rewards I mentioned. (Or in severe cases, living your entire life as a professional victim.) Perhaps the single most important breakthrough you can achieve against negative outcomes is getting out of denial and recognizing the contribution you are making to them. Once you become aware of self-sabotage, you’re much less likely to fall prey again. But there’s another question, very deserving of your brainpower. It’s the opposite of our first question. And sadly, one that few people ponder.
What are you doing to contribute to the situations you actually do want?
Because if we’re going to blame you for the bad stuff, let’s give you equal credit for the good stuff. Failure and success both can be reverse engineered to discover the process which created them.
When you wake up hungover, you probably make an assumption about the cause and effect relationship. But what about the days when it’s three in the afternoon and you’re still feeling energized and excited about the work you’re doing? What about when you’re immersed in something for hours and the time seems to fly by? Are you looking for the cause and effect then? Was your positive, energized state because you got enough sleep, did cardio, and made healthy food choices?
Why are some relationships taxing to you and others enhance your life immensely? It’s easy to decide the difficult relationships are the result of toxic people. But it may be worth a look to see how and why other people seem to pull the best out of you.
The amount of things that happen in our lives we don’t attract, create, or have a strong influence on is shockingly miniscule. Yes, sometime a branch falls off a tree and dents your car hood without any participation from you. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we have to accept that we truly are the co-creators of our lives, contributing in large part to both the things we say we don’t want, and those we do. And once you accept that, it’s a lot easier to increase the positive part of the equation.
We’ll explore this process deeper in the next post. In the meantime, if you haven’t already listened to this podcast about maintaining a prosperous mindset, do that now.