I think most of us usually want to feel like we are in charge of our lives. I say most of us and usually, because, there is little doubt that playing victim can have it's "benefits." Victim is a word most of us loathe, yet, quite frankly I think that almost all of us play victim now and again.

Personally, I play victim every single time I have a flat tire. On many occasions, I have either called AMA or accepted help from a passing motorist. Not once have I ever considered dealing with a flat tire all by my lonesome, or even bothered to learn the steps involved. But,I know how powerful self-perception is and not seeing myself as a tire changer may some day bite me in the butt. A flat tire may seem like a silly example of playing victim. But each time I allowed myself to feel helpless, I felt a little out of sync with my commitment to being the CEO of my life.

Usually, learning an interesting new skill provides me with boost in confidence. I "see" myself as a curious learner. Had I paid attention, on even one of the many flat tire incidents, offered to help turn a few nuts, asked to be shown how to lift the car up in order to pull the tire off etc I probably would know everything I need to know by now. I'd be a tire changing superstar helping others who drove over nails and curbs. At the very least I would feel confident the next time I am on a deserted road and AMA is forecasting two hour wait times. 

Looking back at my tire blow outs/slow deflates, I wish that I had stepped up and behaved as the CEO of my life.

I often speak about "becoming the confident CEO of our lives."  We become the CEO of our lives when we begin taking charge of our thoughts, feelings and behaviors. Our ways of being are consistent with the image we hold of ourselves. My self-image thus far, had never included me on the ground changing my own tire, but it does include me being a "curious learner."

This is fortuitous because we will never outperform our self-image.

How we “see” ourselves will always impact our goals and results. How we see ourselves determines what we are willing to do. As a curious learner I can plan to become an active student of tire changing. The next time a motorist stops to help me or AMA shows up I am going to be in there like a dirty shirt, asking questions, rolling tires, cranking wrenches and pumping the car lifter. I have yet to change a tire, but because I intend to at some point, and have reconnected with the curious learner in me, I feel more in sync with being the confident CEO of my life.

You may want to consider the following questions in relation to self-perception:

1. What three words would you use to describe how you see yourself?

2. What three words would significant others use to describe you?

3. What three words describe how you would like to realistically see yourself in three months?

4. What three words describe how you would like significant others to realistically see you in three months?

Terri Lee Cooper MSc RSW