Fear, insecurity, stress - there are many factors that make us humans fall into the victim role and make sure that we are only on autopilot. In order to get back to the ability to act, back to the Area of Influence, it is important to take the mindfulness perspective and thus develop new solution options and look positively into the future.
Due to chronic stress humans develop measurable changes that are often noticeable in the change of mood. We are nervous and cannot relax, perhaps even tend to aggression, or we are sad, anxious, depressed. On a social level, we withdrawal, and possibly show compensatory behavior, such as increased alcohol consumption, or show an increased level of the use of electronic media. The loss of impulse control can lead to us being increasingly on autopilot, exhausted and tired. Organ-related problems, pain in the neck and lumbar or cervical spine, sleeping problems and gastrointestinal problems - these are the most common signs that occur when we are chronically overloaded.
All these effects contribute to the fact that we limit ourselves to a selective perception. We only see what is being asked of us, no longer right and left. We have very rigid, interpretative patterns, see only black and white, and we tend to be in the victim role. This means that we show distrust, see ourselves as victims of circumstances, blame others. And thus we find ourselves in the area of non-influence.
At this point it is essential to develop a mindful attitude. From new awareness we can recognize what is important to us and what we can do in small steps to meet our needs despite difficult conditions. We are in an active creative role. The psychologist Martin Seligmann names the following helpful factors that help us to change our perspective
- Control conviction: the view that people are not a plaything of fate, but can determine the course of events through their own actions. They can make an important contribution instead of seeing themselves as victims.
- Self-efficacy: the confidence to reach a certain goal or solve a problem by their own efforts. If we do not have self-confidence, mindfulness exercises help to rebuild it.
- Optimism: the tendency of people to expect good things and approach things with self-confidence.
- Dispositional hope: the deeply rooted trust of the human being that there are always enough possibilities open to us. If way a and b do not work, we still have options c and d. For this view we have to sharpen our perception.
- Favourable styles of explanation: the view that the cause of failures and our own misfortune is not always sought solely in ourselves, but that it is a kind of universal law of life that setbacks are temporary and that they are part of our lives.
The way out of the Area of Non-Influence, out of the seemingly unchangeable factors, is very much paved by good, cordial relationships. And it is mainly up to us to trust other people and give them the feeling to take them seriously, to appreciate them, to be empathetic and listen, to recognize things that our counterpart considers important, to understand them and to reflect this back. This is how this so important common ground is created, this security we need to be good with each other in difficult situations and circumstances. We always have to ask ourselves: What is my price if I behave like this, and what is my gain? And when I seriously ask myself this question, I often arrive at completely different, new perspectives and thus at the Area on Influence.
Start where you are.
Use what you have.
Do what you can.