By the time we’ve ticked off four or so decades, we’ve all done this: come to a T intersection where we know our life or job or relationship cannot continue in the same direction. There’s nothing ahead. We’ve run out of road.
Our main choices are to go left or right—reversing is possible but it’s hard—and if you go left, you’re taking the victim path. The path of poor me, it’s not fair, whose fault is this.
There’s a lot to love about this path: it seems a whole lot easier, you might get lots of sympathy, people doing things for you, throwing their arms around you and asking you what you need. It absolves you of any blame.
If you turn right, you take the empowered direction. Instead of asking yourself why, you ask yourself the how questions. How can I move forward, how can I grow, how can I find my learning in this, how can I look after myself right now?
It’s about being the victim or the victor. Choosing victimhood or victory. They’re two distinctly different choices you can make and have two very different outcomes.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s no right or wrong choice. Making one depends on your personal strength, beliefs, what you need to get you through tough times. There’s absolutely been times I’ve gone down the victim road, but it’s not one I choose to stick on for long.
If you find yourself as a victim and it eventually doesn’t feel like it’s taking you in the right direction, you can put the brakes on and turn around.
Here’s how to do a U turn if you feel your journey isn’t serving you and isn’t making you feel how you’d like:
Step one: start with the outcome first. Ask, who do I need to be, what do I want, how do I want to feel?
Step two: identify what are the things you need to put in place to enable yourself to feel that way and be that person.
Step three: take action. Surround yourself with different people, read different books, stop doing something you don’t love and start something new.
Say in your mind, “I want to be in control again. I want to be happy again.” That’s your inspiration.
Make wise choices on this wild, fabulous journey!