I can’t remember if I saw this on social media or if someone said this to me, etc. Yet, I’m finding that I keep thinking about this statement:
“You are not stuck in traffic. You are the traffic.”
I keep thinking about how many times, especially in the year 2020, I’ve placed myself in victim mode. The reality is that I contributed to where I am today but why are people so quick to forget that. Obviously, lots of concepts such as defensive strategies, biases and even the drama triangle put a perspective on this dynamic. However, I want to go to a simple selfish element: I’m worried about my needs. Ugh, that even felt crappy typing but completely true. I can apply this in traffic, I can apply this waiting in long lines at a store, and I can apply this even in an unproductive work meeting. If I analyze this reaction, I find the biggest pattern is when I feel no control/ability to change the situation. For example, I can’t move other people’s cars. Yet, that’s not entirely true…I may have no control/ability to move other people’s cars but I can change the situation: I can move myself. I can get creative of what else I could do well sitting in traffic. I can let go of whatever anxiety I’m building and allow what will happen.
I know, I sound dangerously zen. Don’t worry, my type a personality will kick in. I think my biggest takeaway from this reflection is not whether I have control/ability – I always have that…it’s whether I am being challenged by others or by myself to get creative. When I play the victim, I’m usually by myself – no one to throw ideas off of – no one to question my quick excuse – no one to engage for moving forward. When I’m by myself, victim is easy. It’s why I don’t see it often at work; I’m rarely alone.
Every so often I wonder if I will ever run out of things to reflect on and learn/grow…a big fat NO is the answer.
How do you fall into victim mode?