Creator or Victim?
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Creator or Victim?How to be the master of your experience.
Have you ever been in a stressful situation? Seen a powerful movie? Read a sad novel or an inspiring book?
I can guarantee that you haven’t, because each one of those qualities—stress, power, sadness, and inspiration—are actually inside you, not part of the event you’re attributing them to. You’re the one experiencing the stress, power, sadness, and inspiration; and in fact, biochemically speaking, you’re even the one creating them.
Why does this matter?
Because when you act as if your experience is created from the outside in, you will experience yourself as a victim. The minute you take responsibility for creating your experience from the inside out, you reclaim your position as the creator of your life.
Here’s an example from one of my clients, a property developer I’ll call Fred for the purposes of this illustration.
Fred was what I call a “successful victim.” He had all sorts of wonderful things in his life, but because he had no idea that he was creating his own experience, he lived in constant fear of everything being taken away from him. Although he made a lot of money by most people’s standards, he never felt that he had enough.
When I asked him to tell me some of his thoughts about money, he explained with great seriousness, “Making money is hard, managing money is stressful, and losing money would be terrifying.” His goal for our coaching was for me to help him make a lot more money so he wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.
I shared the inside-out distinction with him and asked him to rephrase his statements, this time taking responsibility for his experience of money.
Here’s what he came up with:
- “I find it hard to make money.”
- “I find it stressful to manage money.”
- “I find the thought of losing money terrifying.”
Just for fun, I asked him to take it a step further and to truly think of himself as the creator of his experience. In addition, I pointed out that just as our thoughts are always changing, our experience of things is rarely constant, although we often describe it as if it were.
Here was his third iteration:
- “I often create the experience of difficulty when I do what I do to make money.”
- “I often stress myself out when I think about managing my money.”
- “I often terrify myself by thinking about losing what I have and projecting into the future.”
This then gave us our new goals for him to work on in our coaching:
- To experience more ease and well-being in his work.
- To experience happiness and well-being while managing his money.
- To motivate himself to make smart financial decisions by inspiring himself instead of terrifying himself.
- To experience himself as the owner of his life and creator of his experience, capable of creating pleasure, satisfaction, and meaning in everything he did.
Not only was he able to transform his experience around money over the course of the first few months, but within a year he was making more, worrying less, and in his words, “creating a wonderful experience of being alive.”