There are two kinds of people in the world: Owners and Victims. The key to success is identifying who is who. Think you know? Think again.
Are you a Victim? You would probably argue you’re not. People who read business newspapers don’t usually label themselves as ‘Victims’.
But your thoughts and actions betray your true intentions. And your unconscious Victim mindset may be stopping you from getting what you want.
Owners vs Victims
I have a PhD in Victimese. I wasted years of my life expecting other people to bring me success – bosses, clients, customers, politicians. It was their responsibility to make me happy.
When my success and happiness didn’t materialise, it was all their fault. How could I think otherwise? I was intelligent, driven, ambitious … and a victim of my circumstances.
Who is a Victim? Someone who believes life is happening ‘to me’; Other people (customers, politicians, bosses, economists, spouses, slow drivers, dysfunctional team members) control how they feel from moment to moment.
At a deep level, the victim reacts to the world.
Who is an Owner? An owner is a person who has created a way of thinking which defines them. They own their energy, choices and decisions because they own their response to a situation. If things happen outside their control, they will step up and claim responsibility.
A Victim will often call an Owner ‘lucky’, unaware the Owner spent years working alone in the darkness to make their own luck happen.
Looking in the Mirror
You’re probably still thinking, “I’m not a Victim”.
But if you’re not where you want to be in your business, health, relationships, or if your bank account is looking emptier than Devonport Road on a Sunday morning…
It’s because you’re acting like a Victim.
The fastest way to spot a Victim is to listen to language.
A Victim will say things like: “I’ll try”; “I should”; “I have to”; “It’s their fault”.
I’ll try to finish work early tonight. I should do more exercise. Sorry but I have to go to this meeting. The client is being slow.
Starting to sound a bit more familiar?
An Owner only deals in certainties: “I am”; “I will”; “I am taking responsibility for this”.
Here’s the uncomfortable truth: Tolerating a Victim mindset in your business is going to cause big problems.
Problem 1: Training doesn’t work on Victims
The Victim can do all the training, read all the books, go to all the sales conferences, attend all the customer service meetings. Then they will give you a long list of reasons “why it won’t work for me”.
Maybe they’ll tell you, ‘sales calls won’t work in our business’ or ‘I’m always running late’, or mention some excuse about ‘tall poppy syndrome’.
Owners know they can create and recreate themselves with focused intentional action. They can be whoever they need to be to succeed in that situation.
Problem 2: Victims can’t make mistakes
Sales meeting went down like a Wallabies flag at Eden Park? Child decided to start potty training in the background of your important Zoom call?
For a Victim, it’s “just my luck” and the fault of their circumstances. That’s why they will start to engage in all kinds of lies and avoidance behaviour to ensure mistakes will never be their fault.
Owners see mistakes as ‘miss-takes’, an obstacle that teaches them how to be stronger next time.
Problem 3: Victims see commitments as feelings
Committed to your business but don’t feel like working today? Committed to your fitness but don’t feel like the gym? Committed to your relationship but don’t feel like supporting your partner?
Put your feet up, perhaps you’ll feel in the mood tomorrow. Or not.
Owners don’t waste time and energy negotiating with themselves in the commitment hokey pokey. They are committed to something … or they’re not.
Problem 4: Victims expect other people to give them energy
“My boss should inspire me”; “My partner should support me”; “My team should stop weighing me down”; “My workplace should motivate me”; “My kids should stop draining my energy”.
Victims are empty vehicles, always expecting others to fuel them up and ignite their engines.
Owners see other people and situations differently. Nothing and no-one affects how an
Owner feels without their permission.
Problem 5: Victims create scarcity
There’s never enough time. There’s not enough money. There’s a talent shortage. Business in Tauranga doesn’t work that way. We could never charge that amount.
All of the above is true.
In the mind of a Victim, that is.
Owners make time for the things they value. They make things happen. They live in ‘now’.
They solve important problems.
Make your Choice
I help a lot of businesses overcome their Victim vs Owner struggle. The positive outcomes are immediate, powerful and impactful.
But it isn’t about ‘us’ vs ‘them’.
We are all capable of adopting Victim mindsets. If you’re anything like me, you see life through the Victim lens on a daily basis.
They key is recognising the shift and flipping the switch back to being an Owner as quickly as possible.
Life isn’t perfect.
We all face personal and professional difficulties, mistakes, and unexpected disasters. But you can choose your reaction.
So own it.