We all have those days…. You know- when nothing seems to be going our way and you’re ready to just start the day over again. I know I certainly do. Usually I notice it in a traffic jam when I’m ‘talking through my windshield’ “What IS it with everyone today?” Cue the video in my head. An Oscar worthy dramatization of characters and events which proves my point that – YES everyone is crazy today!.
John Maxwell calls this the BOB PRINCIPLE (Winning With People) which states:
When Bob has a problem with everyone, Bob is usually the problem!
So many times our attitude is allowed to create a wrong perspective. It’s not intuitive to have self accountable reality checks when we life happens. Our natural mind immediately adopts a victim mindset which may be helpful to our ego and maybe even suffices an immediate painful self discovery. But believe me it isn’t going to help us in the long run AND because it is a false sense of protection it’s kind of like the icing on a stale cake! Yuck!
I once met a woman in a meeting and as soon as we were introduced I simply asked if she lived nearby. She rolled her eyes and said ” Well – I USED to live in the “such and such” neighborhood in a 4000 square foot home but now I live on the other side of town in a 900 square foot apartment. You see, my husband left me for another woman (more details than I can share…) and then I lost my job … I’ve just been getting by with part time jobs since then – I’m looking for a new job now in fact because the people at work are not nice to me and my boss gives me grief about stuff I can’t control like traffic- He doesn’t drive in the traffic- he comes in at 9:30 or 10 everyday when traffic is over can you believe that?” When it was my turn again – I said “Wow! that’s really alot to handle – when did your husband leave ?” – “It was 14 years ago, right after our last child went off to college…I don’t know why bad things keep happening to me” By the way she shared the details and even dates you would have thought is was really recent.
I guess the more you deny the easier it becomes to keep blaming. Eventually it’s easier to believe the lie we’ve told ourselves to get through it than to start uncovering the pain and deal with reality. As they say – it’s a slippery slope. Or maybe it’s slippery ladder that we can choose to start climbing or just go where gravity pulls us. Like I said before, it isn’t natural or intuitive to be accountable – we have to choose to learn it and practice it.
So what can we do to avoid becoming BOB?
- When “life happens” train yourself to ask the question “Is this me being Bob today?” ” Am I looking at this from my BOB perspective?”
- Listen to the questions you ask others and yourself? Are they VICTIM or ACCOUNTABLE questions? (see below)
- Memorize a couple of delay tactics and avoid decisions when you can. If you can apply these to others and even yourself you can buy a little time to process a reply rather than react in the raw. (i.e. “let me chew on this a while”… ” I’m going to think this through” ” I’m not sure how I feel right now “, ask yourself – “I have so much on my mind at the moment – is it absolutely necessary that I respond right away?”
- Watch and guard your energy level. Bob the victim loses lots of energy little by little as things progress and then at the end of day even the feeling of overwhelm somehow validates the victim thinking which then becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.
- Monitor what you are doing to COUNTERACT the natural tendency to lean into victim thinking and behavior.
- Practice Affirmations
- Count Your Blessings
- READ about Accountability
- Listen to positive, upbeat music
- Memorize scripture
- Plan time just for RESTING – Don’t say YES to everything and everyone!
“Why is this happening to me?” “This is the way it is- let’s get to work”
“Why doesn’t someone do something?” “What can I do?”
“I did my part – it’s not my fault” “What are my options?”
“It’s not my job” “I will find a solution”
“Why can’t I get a break?” “What do I need to do differently ?”
“If it were meant to be it would happen” “Let’s try a different way (again)”
The LADDER Goes Both Ways – YOU CHOOSE!
- Fights Reality / Stays In Denial Acknowledges & Values Truth & Clarity
- Blames Others/Flighty Without Focus Owns It and Has ENERGY & FOCUS
- Personal Excuses/Deflection Finds Solutions/Possibilities
- Stuck in WAIT & HOPE Gets Into Action
- Resignation/Status Quo Change
Like the boiling frog – things get worse as we go DOWN the ladder.
The faster you can start upward the easier!