I was watching Dancing with the Stars last night (first time) and there was a young woman on the show by the name of Brylynn who is legally blind at the age of 17 due to a condition called Nystagmus. This beautiful girl was an extraordinary dancer even though she could not see well enough to watch her ballet moves through a mirror. In fact, she just learned how to cross the street at the age of 17, nevermind ever being able to drive a car.
My topic tonight was already set in my mind about how we can easily move into victim mode in our lives and it was a powerful reminder to me that there are people who are challenged each and every day in their lives with circumstances totally beyond their control and they stay positive and persevere. Brylynn is the epitome of how NOT to be a victim…
My boss gave me book a few weeks ago called the Oz Principle by Roger Connors, Tom Smith and Craig Hickman. This book has been out for a few years (since 2004) but I had never read it – probably because I have a long-standing and deep phobia around the Wizard of Oz… I know… it sounds weird but it is true. I have watched the film several times as a kid and something occurred somewhere that must have freaked me out royally because I cannot watch the movie and if anyone ever speaks like a Munchkin, I will literally run out of the room as fast as I can (with a high-pitched scream erupting from the very depths within me).
Brave girl that I am, I decided that I should probably at least try to read the book to see if I could find something of interest and perhaps calm my irrational fear of those darn Munchkins… so I began to read earnestly in hopes of finding a cure to my mental state.
The book actually begins by talking about the characters from the Wizard of Oz. We have Dorothy, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man, and the Scarecrow… all off to see the Wizard. Their journey is to find the Wizard to ask for the things they feel they are missing in their lives… a heart, a brain, courage, the ability to go home. All looking for someone else to give them these things versus taking it upon themselves to take action and find the strengths within themselves… to not be victims of their circumstances…
The authors talk about going below the line… being a victim … “it’s not me”… “it’s someone else’s fault”…, “I have no control over the situation…”, and how important it is to get above line and hold ourselves accountable… to take action and move things in a positive way… to take control.
They also speak to the fact that we will go below the line at times within out lives. It is inevitable for us to go into the victim mode once in a while… we are human for goodness sake and I don’t care who we are, it is pretty difficult to always stay above the line and not fall victim to circumstances that surround us in our lives. I know that I have had plenty of times in my life where I have felt victimized … where I haven’t felt in control over something and then there are those times that I just feel the need to fall into a full-blown little Pity-Party and put all my energy into the “poor me” syndrome – playing the blame game and not looking within my self for responsibility or answers.
So what are my key takeaways so far from this book?
- Don’t beat ourselves up when we go below the line because it will happen… we are human.
- Work to move above the line as quickly as possible. When we stay in victim mode, we will not create positive, forward movement. We will stay stuck and we won’t realize the strengths within ourselves to create solutions to whatever is holding us down.
- Do not look to others to bestow upon you the strengths you are seeking. You are the Wizard within your own Oz…
Are you below the line anywhere in your life? If so, how might you move yourself above the line?
“You can do anything you want to do – you just have to work differently at it.”
(Brylynn – Dancing With The Stars, episode 4-9-13)