So people ask me, “Victor, how are you able to overcome the fact that you were sexually abused or that your father was a violent alcoholic and you made a decision to not follow in his footsteps? How were you able to have positive relationships and to live a life that is pretty successful?” And then I think, “Success for me is just trying every day to not be better than anyone…I just want to be better than I was the day before.” That is something called TRUE NOBILITY, which is a great idea, a great concept. I learned that from Dr. Wayne Dyer. To me, that is the key to success. It’s to find people that are living positive lives and just see what they are doing and kind of model it.
But one day I sat down after someone asked me what I have you done to overcome these past pains? And actually there are four steps or four strategies that I came up with that I actually went through. And I did not know I was going through them at the time, but I put them on paper, and I’d like to share two of them with you in this video right now. The first one I talked a little bit about it in the last episode – is that you have to make a DECISION. You have to decide how you want to live your life. Do you want to live in the pain and have a Victim indset the rest of your life? There are people that do that. OR, Do you want to say, YOU KNOW WHAT? I am going to take responsibility for myself and I am going to find a way to not live in the pain anymore, and if that requires me to surround myself with people that can help me and counselors and therapists and positive people, then so be it. You have to DECIDE. No one else has to do it for you. You have to do it!
Number two is that you have to take OWNERSHIP. What do I mean by that?
I share this with students all around. What does taking ownership mean? All the students start raising their hands and say to take control, to be responsible, and that is correct. I also state something very specific and that is that you don’t want to blame yourself for what has happened in your past. I mean if you are a victim of domestic violence, or had an alcoholic parent or whatever the case is – DON’T blame yourself. And I think that is what is important. So many people blame themselves and it keeps them from moving forward. So this is how I look at it. This is the lesson for today – is to TAKE OWNERSHIP. And I look at my life like this. When it comes to living my life with a survivor mindset as it pertains to my abuse, I take this specific sentence. It is like a mantra… and I say this. “He abused my body, but I refuse to let him abuse my life.” And this is what I ask students…I’ll say, “OK, let’s break it down. Let’s chunk it down. He abused my body – What tense is that? And they will all yell out that is the past tense. Right, so he abused my body – can I go backwards and change it? Can I rewind it and not show up at that house that day? Unfortunately, I can’t. So….. I give him that. He abused my body. But, I refuse to let him abuse my life. What tense is that? That is the present and the future.”
If I were to write it on a piece of paper, I would chunk it down like this. My past is a very small part of my life timeline and my present is bigger and my future is even bigger. Even though we cannot predict the future as we do not know how long we are here for, we can still have a vision in our minds of what we want to accomplish. So I make my future really really big and I make my present really really big and my past is small.
Here’s how I get students and adults to look at their lives. Where are you right now? Are you looking at your your negative past as a big chunk? — If you are you looking at your present as small, you are living the past over and over again in your mind. You’re thinking about that past constantly. And then there’s your future – you can’t really have a vision for yourself because you are stuck in the past.
So, taking OWNERSHIP is saying, “Hey, he abused my body, but I refuse to let him abuse my life. My father hurt my family with his alcoholism, but I refuse to do the same thing to my family. So, if you chunk it like that, it really really puts things in perspective. Take OWNERSHIP and really be mindful of this time line.
I learned a lot of this from one of my coaches. His name is Dan Sullivan. He talked about making your future bigger than your past and decide what you want from your past to come along. Now when I say, he abused my body, that’s a negative. All the negative stuff, I am using that as material for me to grow. But all the good parts of my past I get to keep that with me forever.
So, it is all in how you look at it. That’s the key to the whole thing. That’s the key to success. It is how you view yourself in these situations and that’s it. That is a VICTIM to VICTOR mindset. And, again, I stress this over and over again, it has to start with YOU or it doesn’t start at all.