By Edward Biagiotti
Life is a great adventure. When the road gets rough, it is easy to pretend that we have it all under control. Truth be told, while we do have control over some things, much of life is going on outside of our sphere of influence.
When we are experiencing challenges it is valuable to slow down and be honest about the way we feel. By doing so, we can apply care to the people who need it most, ourselves.
I worked with a student who had all sorts of issues with the people in his life. In his mind, he could never catch a break and everyone was out to get him. He took a certain level of pride in being the victim. He was quick to dole out blame.
All the while, he was suffering and not making much progress in the direction of feeling happy and successful.
As a recovering blame-aholic, I could certainly relate. Unfortunately, spending time blaming others for our failures inadvertently gives them more power over us. The ones we blame for our circumstances become our captors. The path to freedom is choosing to drop the victim story.
By acknowledging responsibility for our success, and our seeming failures, we open the way to recognize our highest potential.
In the case of my student, it took years for him to see the light. The path of self-responsibility seems lonely at first. We can no longer lean on the shoulders of all those people who we used to share our indignations with. For many of us, personal empowerment is the stuff of fairy tales and movies. These beliefs are the reason why it takes consistent effort and a strong desire in order to regain a sense of our true power.
With time, the truth dawned on my student’s mind. He grew tired of feeling stepped on.
As a result, he became willing to try something new. He started out slowly, at first simply considering that there might be another way to think about things. Then he was willing to take time to focus on the positives in his life, rather than harping on the ways in which he was getting the short end of the stick.
As he started to see new results and avoided some of his past squabbles, he gained momentum. Eventually, he marveled at how powerless he once felt.
If you are feeling powerless in some area of your life, take heart. Challenging relationships and circumstances can be viewed as an invitation to discover that you are more powerful than you previously believed. Within all of us, there are gifts and talents that await our discovery. We know we are on the right track when we find success and enjoy the journey at the same time.
Most of all, have fun discovering that you are more amazing than you ever imagined.
Edward Biagiotti is the Inclusion Specialist for Culver City Unified School District. Share your success stories, questions, comments, and ideas for future columns, by sending an email to: EdwardBiagiotti@ccusd.org