3 ways to be your own hero today (I’m using #1 in this post)

How to be your own hero

There is a woman who has been living under immense burden. Her entire life she felt like a lonely outsider – someone who is different and will just never fit in.

No one likes or wants her and all she wants is to be someone else. She has talents, but life just never aligns itself so that she can showcase them in a way that will let her stand out. She speaks a language that somehow only lets her be misunderstood, and her good intentions never seem to matter.

No matter how hard she tries, at the end of the day overwhelm still comes over her along with the feeling that she just doesn’t have what it takes. Maybe she’s just reaching too far.

Not too far from her there is a woman who went through big experiences that taught her important lessons, because she was strong enough to learn them and brave enough to allow herself to burn to ashes and rise up on the other side.

This woman allows her sensitivity to be her guiding force that tells her where her energy and help is needed, and spends each day like a wonderful adventure, learning more and more about herself and the world, how they are alike and how they are different. She has the privilege of being imperfectly human and using her many imperfections to show others that they are not alone and to teach them how to embrace and make the most out of the parts of themselves they see as disadvantages.

She knows that her life experience and the wisdom she has gained from it is the biggest blessing she could have, and looks to every new challenge as an old friend who is returning to help her learn a new lesson – never with malice, only with love.

These two women know each other very, very well. And yet, they coexist, never changing each other, only changing from one to the other.

Yes, both of these women are me. Sometimes in the same day. Sometimes in the same hour.

I have been participating in Anna Kunnecke’s Queen Sweep and one of the very first tasks she gave was to write your own victim/hero story. The hero in me wanted to write it right away, but the victim won out for a week, until the hero’s motivation to share it with you became too strong and finally allowed it to succeed.

The difference between good and amazing

I have recently been following and studying people who inspire me through their very energy – people who create and give without limits, without fear, without holding back, from a fully authentic place. Some examples that I’ve recently been fascinated by are Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income (one of the few passive income sites that is decidedly unscammy and unsleazy and just refreshingly honest) and Jonathan Fields (who rivals Seth Godin in his originality IMHO, only with more personal sharing – always a plus in my book).

These people have a remarkable ability to be honest and authentic without fear or apology (yet in a way that is completely not in-your-face), and are always helping, always generously creating content that gives instead of asking, that’s made to help instead of get (follows, shares, sign-ups).

After studying them for a while, I have reached the conclusion that they are letting their inner hero out much more than most people do – which gives them this unique energy, productivity, and creativity.

They are an open book because they don’t allow their inner victim to feed them fear stories, they create because their motivation for giving and serving is always top-of-mind as a powerful driver, and they treat every obstacle like an opportunity, which makes progress much more energy-efficient (thus increasing productivity).

The two people inside of you

If you have heard the old story about the good and the bad wolf inside of you, you’ll know the one who survives is the one you feed. Growing up in Romania, I saw everyone around me feeding their inner victim. Later, I learned that communism has a way of doing that. I suppose it comes with giving your power away (and responsibility, which is the way we own our power).

Your inner victim is the part of you that wants – it wants more attention, it wants more love, it wants more money. It never has enough. So it constantly looks outside of itself to get more. It’s like a leech, only without the healing properties.

Your inner hero is your soul’s answer to that. It’s the part of you that is aware of its abundance, claims power through responsibility, and overflows through generosity and love. It’s like a ray of warm sunlight, or a spring of fresh, clean mountain water – there’s always plenty more love where that comes from.

The problem is that these two parts of yourself can’t coexist at the same time. You are either the one or the other, and the victim usually fights harder to come out (it’s also easier to maintain).

Unfortunately, the victim inside of you doesn’t just leech from the outside, it also leeches from the inside. It’s your inner victim that is telling you “this isn’t good enough” when you should be creating something that can really help others. It’s also your inner victim that drives you to the fridge to stuff your face full of food when what you really need is to journal and work through your feelings on an issue that’s bothering you.

How to make the switch

There are as many ways of switching from a victim to a hero mindset as there are people. Get creative and turn it into a game! The only set rule I can give you is that it gets easier the more time you spend in your hero mindset. But initially it’s very, very hard, and you have to fight to stay aware of what state you’re in. It’s all worth it though.

I want you to get creative and find your own ways to channel your inner hero, but I won’t leave you hanging. Here are some tips that worked for me:

1. Write your victim and hero story

This is going to take a long time… to get yourself to do. It actually only takes 5-10 minutes to write once you’ve actually sat down and started doing it. If you’re procrastinating (like I did), take it as a sign of resistance, and follow Steven Pressfield‘s advice:

Don’t prepare. Begin.

Do the work by Steven Pressfield

Don’t think about it. Don’t try to outline it ahead of time. Don’t twiddle your thumbs. Just sit down and start writing, and let the words flow, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel. As you go through the resistance it fades away and what emerges at the other end is pure honesty.

2. See challenges as an opportunity

Your hero doesn’t see the mountain in front of him as a terrible obstacle that will never allow him to pass through (boo-hoo). He sees it as a worthy opponent that he will bravely scale. He sees it as a friend who will teach him lessons he needs to learn in order to succeed in the future.

Choose your labels wisely – how you look at the challenges that come across your way is your choice, and your responsibility.

Tip: Watch your language. Instead of saying “I have to” say “I get to”.

3. Stay connected to your WHY

Every hero has a reason for doing what he’s doing. In fairy tales it’s a damsel in distress. In my world, it’s making a difference through my gifts and helping creative grasshopper use their many gifts instead of trying to “focus” and work in a way that doesn’t serve them.

Make it a point to always remind yourself of why you’re doing what you’re doing. Use experiences as “hooks” for this habit. For example, when you get writer’s block, focus on your why before giving up. You might just discover it’s the key that unlocks the room where all of your creativity and energy were hiding 😉

Above all, remember – both of these people are always a part of you, and attaching “good” and “bad” labels to the victim and hero mentality can sometimes propel you even more in the direction of blaming yourself for being “bad” and being a victim. Imperfection is a gift, and embracing both sides of yourself is equally important as working hard to be your own hero is. Sometimes we all need to let the inner victim out a little bit – the key is to always know where it is and what it’s doing, so it can’t stomp all over your dreams.

I know how hard it is to just get started so I’m going to make it easy for you and ask you to take 5 minutes right now and write your victim and hero story. You can share it in the comments or just do it for yourself, but I’d love to know what you have learned from it.

Much love,

xo Laura

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Comments

  1. I really enjoyed reading this post. Thanks so much for sharing. Can you share some guidelines for how to write the victim and hero story?

    • Makeda – there are many different ways to write it. I think the most important thing is to do it from the heart – don’t worry about what it should look like or how long it is. But as a general guideline I would say the victim story encompasses all of the negative messages you send yourself. What your inner critic tells you, how you feel and think in situations when you don’t rise up to own a situation… that energy. The hero story basically includes pure gratitude, all of the different ways in which you can see abundance in your life (which your inner victim is often blind to). The best way to do it is not even think about it too much – just start writing from the victim/hero heartspace and you will see it all coming together 🙂 Please check back and let me know how it went!

  2. Seeing challenges as opportunities can’t be said enough. Too often we think of challenges as the message we should stop, but looking at them as opportunities really helps us get over the hump. Thanks for sharing this!

    • Thank you, Melissa! Definitely, one of the most important lessons I’ve learned is that resistance is a guide we need to follow. It’s our attitude towards obstacles that makes all of the difference! Thank you for joining in the conversation 🙂

  3. Laura, I LOVE this post. I’ll definitely be sitting down to write my hero and victim stories and sharing this post with my Hush community. I also wanted you to know how much I loved your free success training- it was so well thought out and immensely valuable. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Rebecca! Both for offering to share and for the comment on my free training. It means a lot to me! I would love to hear your impressions after you do the exercise.

  4. Hi Laura, it’s taken me a long time to get there, but I finally realized that I am not a victim (of circumstances) and that I can be my own hero. Life changing, I tell you! Great topic.

    • Thank you, Beth! I can resonate so much with what you said, because I’ve lived a long time thinking I am a victim of circumstances: of what happened to me, of how my parents raised me, of the environment that I’m in and what is permitted (or not permitted) to me… but I’ve repeatedly seen the biggest changes in my life when I finally owned up to the fact that it’s not true and taken responsibility for my own happiness and future. It really is life changing!

  5. Super great article. I started reading it before and got sidetracked by children so I had to come back and finish! So glad I did! Great tidbits for writing a great story!

  6. Thanks, Laura, for writing this article. in a different way I have been thinking along these lines. I immediately wrote me victim-hero story after reading, which made me realize I had entered victim mode some time ago. This awareness strengthens my hero within to once again take control and remind me that only I can be the hero I need to be happy.

    • Martin, thank you for commenting! We live in victim mode more than we think. It’s often our default way of being, which means it’s very important for us to constantly remind ourselves to switch back to hero mode. I’m glad this was of help!

  7. Thank you Laura, I really enjoyed reading this post. It is written so beautifully and sums up what every person on the consciousness journey needs to hear.

  8. Great post, Laura. Has me thinking. We’ve all got stories and fears, what that does to or for us is all about how we frame them. 🙂

    • What an honor! Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day to comment on my post. It means a lot to me. And you are absolutely right! How we see our experiences and emotions is what determines their impact on us. Thank you!

  9. Hi Laura

    Thanks for your sharing your personal journey.

    Great exercise to write our own hero/victim stories. It reminds me of the expression “our perception is our reality” – that it’s up to each of us to (re-)write our own stories…and to be kinder to ourselves, and accept that both sides are an integral part of who we are.

    {This post made me revisit my own “manifesto”, and the one statement right in the centre is “I am the hero of my own story”. Too bad I can’t post pics, but here is the link http://socialmediamarketingkelowna.com/how-to-create-your-own-manifesto/ – your peeps might appreciate it too.}

    Cheers,
    Angelique

    • Oooh you know what Angelique, I have been thinking of writing a manifesto for creative grasshoppers for a while now but my lack of design skills has stopped me. Taking a dose of my own medicine (and having your wonderful guide to help) I’m getting started on it tonight, just writing down a draft of the ideas and messages. I like to work on things like this over an extended period of time to let the ideas simmer and ripen – can’t wait to have it ready! Thank you for commenting and sharing your link! And I agree 100%, how we perceive our reality is our responsibility!

  10. Laura, such a powerful and beautiful written piece. I can so relate to idea of having two people inside of me, and I definitely relate to the inner argument over creating something that might really help someone. Really helpful advice on how to channel the hero mindset. Thanks for sharing your insight and advice!

  11. Love this Laura! So often it is easy to fall into the victim trap. I have learnt changing my language is SO important to becoming the hero. For a long time I experienced really bad anxiety symptoms. I used to refer to it as ‘my anxiety’ – like it was some cross that I as the victim had to bare. A key in overcoming this was to stop using victim language – and start becoming the hero. The anxiety wasn’t a part of me. It was a manifestation of the thoughts I was producing and I can choose what I think. And so I changed my thoughts and stopped being the victim 🙂

    • Thank you Ollie! I have fallen into that trap so many times. I hate watching horror movies or anything with gory scenes. I used to see it as a weakness and say I’m too sensitive for that, I can’t handle it. But now I see it as something that’s a choice, and I say I choose not to pollute my mind with that. The truth is, as an empath I just identify too much with what’s going on and I can feel the pain of the person being hurt, so it’s really not good for me. But instead of seeing myself as a victim of this “sensitivity” I just see it as something that makes me unique and something that I choose to protect and honor. Thank you for sharing your story!

  12. Great stuff Laura, thank so much for sharing.
    We do all have our own story. It took me a while to figure mine out enough to write it down but I finally have and like you said, it’s amazing when you finally do. Thanks again…. Cheers!
    MY STORY: I have’t been given many chances throughout my life. From grade school through college and into my adult years, everything from jobs and relationships, to business ideas and friendships. I’m on a personal mission to help people, including myself, give themselves a chance at freedom, fulfillment, and happiness by feeling their best, looking their best, and living their best; not waiting for permission or someone else to give them a chance.

    • What a beautiful story, Mike! You’re absolutely right, it is so amazing and freeing to finally have your story done. Now be sure to keep it with yourself and re-read it frequently so that you continue to live out your hero story. Thank you for sharing!

  13. Hi Laura !
    This is my first time on your blog and I have just one simple thing to say. WoW ! I just loved your blog .
    Now, this post is great ! I loved the concept of ‘See challenges as an opportunity’ and ‘Stay connected to your WHY’ . No more problems , just opportunities 🙂

    Thanks . Keep writing 🙂 I’ll be around 🙂

    • Thanks, Sourav! Absolutely, it’s tough to change your thinking on situations like that but this is why simple mindset shifts work – they completely change how you relate to something! Isn’t having an opportunity so much more empowering? It totally takes you out of victim mode. Thanks for commenting, I’m looking forward to seeing you around!

  14. I love the way the Universe works! I was brought here via your comments in Marie Forleo’s post yesterday, but only sat down to read it this morning. I am completely enthralled with the idea of rewriting your own story in this context. Although I have been working on my own growth for the past four years, I have really made headway in the last six months and have created some very significant changes in my life so far.

    One of the things I have caught myself saying is that I am tired of my old story, but I now realize that instead of casting it away, I have to be grateful for it, for despite it’s dark and lonely spaces, it is what has led me to here.

    I am also grateful for the insight you shared with regards to your Romanian Heritage. I am part Romanian and my Grandmother cherished the traditions of the Old Country, despite spending her formative years in Canada. Although she didn’t wallow in the idea of being a victim when I knew her, there were moments of sadness where she perhaps held on to past regrets a little too deeply. I do notice the victim story continues to prevail in some of my extended family, however. (Perhaps my great grandparents held tightly-too tightly- to their old ways and beliefs as a sense of security?)

    My statements aren’t meant to generalize, by any means. It simply makes me wonder if my experience/relationship with my victim side was passed down unknowingly because of her traditional and the legitimate hardships she had in her life. Having said that, she is still one of the strongest and most inspiring women I have ever met and I miss her daily.

    My journey to change my life continues and I am certain I will be referring to this piece and exploring more of your worn in the coming weeks. Thank you!

    • Thank you so much Dana 🙂 I am honored by your comment. I definitely picked up the tendency to feel like a victim from the people I grew up with, and it starts showing up in various areas of my life. I’ve started just recognizing when it happens and telling myself that it’s just a borrowed behavior, which makes it easier to let go of feeling bad for myself. I wish you the best of luck!

  15. Thank you for this insightful post. I found you from your comment on socialtriggers.com! You’ve helped nudge me a little further towards the importance of authenticity and perhaps not trying to “be” anybody or anything and just shooting straight from the hip to believe (my inner hero) does have something to offer and add value to others without requiring a big production with bells & whistles. Here’s to my inner hero coming out on top! I look forward to following you further.

  16. What a brilliant insight! And I agree with Steven Pressfield’s quote — I continually try to adopt the Google mantra, “launch early and often.” Otherwise, we stagnate in procrastination. Thanks for this post!

Trackbacks

  1. […] My last post about being your own hero has been my most successful one so far. My biggest honor was the fact that Jonathan Fields took time out of his busy day to comment on my post. That meant a lot. (I bet JF is going to get a million karma points just from my gratitude alone!) […]

  2. […] that yield results – this is a brilliant post and I followed several of the tips in my popular victim vs. hero post! They […]

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