How a simple piece of advice can free yourself from a feeling of victimization and get you unstuck.
A friend of mine recently said to me: “You are on your own”. It was a powerful little statement that made me feel a brief exhilarating moment of freedom.
Similar to the advice that Seth Godin gave Bryan Elliott when he told him: “Bryan, there is no Prince Charming in this story. There is no rescue boat. No one’s coming. Stop waiting.”
Between the education that teaches us to stay in line and society constantly selling us the idea of happiness through material acquisition and social status, it’s easy to end up living a life of conformity based on other people’ beliefs and desires which can create a feeling of victimization.
It seems to me that one reason that causes this feeling of powerlessness comes from our attachments to things and to others.
In a recent New York Times articles, Elizabeth Grace Saunders describes “The 4 ‘Attachment Styles, and How They Sabotage Your Work-Life Balance”. I highly recommend this 3 minutes read as you might find some personal relevance.
Getting rid of our attachments to become more productive or to feel freer is a long journey and I’m not going to attempt to create a 3 step-process, at least not today.
However, there is one thing that I can share with you to alleviate this feeling of victimization and provide a renewed sense of power: it’s through the simple word of Desire.
“Desire” A Powerful Word Both Overused and Misunderstood
I often hear people share their desires to start something new, join a gym, change job, or start a company but months later you find them exactly where you left them.
In our society and in our culture of instant gratifications, Desire is a word misused and more importantly, widely misunderstood.
Desire comes from the Latin and its original sense means "await what the stars will bring," from Sidus "heavenly body, star, constellation" and De, “Down from”.
We often think that if we want something, it means that we desire it. It couldn’t be further away from the truth. You can’t will a desire and you definitely cannot control it. It’s either there or it’s not. The strongest desires are the ones for which you CAN’T find a reason. You don’t know why you want to do it, but you can feel how much you want to do it.
In fact, often when we think we desire something and we are not getting any closer to obtaining it, there is a high chance that we don’t truly want it for a number of reasons, such as conflicting desires or fear of the unknown.
A true desire comes from within and is not pushed by your environment to please others or to feed the self-concerned story we have in our mind about who we think we are.
I invite you to write down what you think you desire and then ask yourself: why do I desire it? Is it to please others or is it coming from a deep and true part of my creativity and uniqueness? That distinction is very important as we often set-up goals with the wrong desires and that leads to failure.
So free yourself from others’ desires and focus on the ones that truly improve your life and, by extension, the lives of other living beings and most importantly, don’t wait for any permissions because you’re on your own!