Make a choice: “Action Hero” or Victim

Here’s one of the first responses I received to my offer to respond to specific questions:
Sandy,

My parents made me feel I wouldn’t amount to much.


I believe I have been “living down” to their image. I start to pursue my dreams and then just feel like quitting. Or I don’t follow through on things, so I don’t end up getting what I was hoping for. I’m probably afraid of failing, but I believe it’s just wanting to take the easy path instead of putting forth the effort to succeed. So, I achieve a certain level and then seem to back down. Can you help me?-Sheila


Some people are content right where they are. They could do more, have more, give more and bemore, but they truly don’t want to put in the effort involved.

But you talk about having dreams and seem unhappy about not pursuing or reaching them. If you feel like quitting on them, it probably is, as you suspect, about being afraid. So you blame your upbringing and low expectations and you quit or self-sabotage whenever you have a chance to shine. “Living in your parents’ image” makes a great excuse.

You may also get a payoff from backing away from your dreams–attention, sympathy, or something else. You might be more afraid of succeeding, than of failing. Succeeding means no more excuses; no more payoffs for failing or quitting.

Maybe it will help to understand that every day you wake up with a choice. You can write today’s chapter in the story of your life as if you’re writing an “action hero” story, or you can write the same chapter in the story of one of life’s “victims.” So far, you’ve been choosing to write the victim story. If you have grandchildren some day, and they ask you to tell the story of your life, is that the story you want to be telling?

Make a real commitment to start writing your story as an “action hero” story. Read The High Diving Board, or take a bigger step and commit to getting coaching. You can start on this path immediately by downloading and starting to work on the Dream Journal at www.brassringcoaching.com/resources.html. In the meantime, keep REACHING…