This is the 7th and the last lesson from this course. I hope you enjoyed the journey so far.
It is not my fault that I couldn’t lose weight the way I wanted because *insert any excuse here
I failed to lose the stubborn body fat/gain more muscle because of *insert any reason/person/excuse here
I’m positive you can remember at least one situation in which you said one of the above statements. They are not simple statements. They are powerful mindset realities that haunt every one of us at a certain moment in our life. The victim mentality is a dangerous personality trait that we all have at one point. I admit I had it in the past, and it haunts me every time I am not aware of it. It is hard to be aware of the victim mentality all the time because once you get emotionally involved in a situation in which you are the culprit, admitting your fault almost always becomes a hard feat.
People Don’t Blame Themselves
I’ve read a lot of books in my life. Some of them were good. Some of them were bad. I am not strictly referring to bodybuilding books about fat loss, muscle gaining, or strength training. Today I want to talk about a story I found in a self development book. It is tightly related to the subject of the victim mentality. The story was about a well known “cop killer” that had this same negative mentality. Let’s see the story:
Dutch Crowley was know as a “cop killer” who would “kill at the drop of a feather.” One day he was necking a girl in a car and a policeman walked up to the parked car and said, “Let me see your license.” Without saying a word, Crowley drew his gun and cut the policeman down with a shower of lead. Then he grabbed the officer’s gun and shot him again. Crowley later wrote, “Under my heart is a weary heart, but a kind one – one that would do nobody any harm.”
Crowley was sentenced to the electric chair. When he arrived at the death house in Sing Sing, did he say, “This is what I get for killing people?” No, he said, “This is what I get for defending myself.” Crowley didn’t blame himself for anything. Al Capone, America’s Public Enemy Number One, regarded himself as an unappreciated and misunderstood public benefactor.
Let’s think about this story for a minute. If a person that was clearly a cold blood criminal didn’t realized his fault, what about you or me?
We are not in the same basket but this story helps to make a point. When it comes to your own faulty actions, you have to realize when you are guilty of something. If you did something wrong diet or training wise, admit it. Admit it emphatically and without any kind of excuse. Admitting it will turn on another mechanism inside your brain. You will put your brain to work for you. You will start thinking about a solution. This is true only when you are capable of thinking objectively about a situation without involving your feelings towards it.
Making The Brain Work For You
Sadly, it is hard to do it. It requires focus. It requires a bit of work. But it is possible. Let me picture you another situation with which you might be familiar. You might remember about a situation in your life in which you had the victim mentality after you’ll read what’s coming next.
From my own observations, I believe that 80% of people that get accused of something, become defensive. It is just a basic human characteristic of survival. We don’t like to be accused. We tend to avoid the feeling of guilt even if we are responsible for it.
When you are telling someone they did wrong, the usual answer you can expect is a defensive one. The basic answer is mostly an excuse. Few are the people that can openly admit their faults, and try to do something about it. I am going to step on a mined field now just to make my point. Let me tell you a short story about a friend of mine that had the victim mentality:
I currently have a training partner. At the moment, he has 3 years of training under his belt. His results?
Close to none. His problem?
I know his background. He lives with his mother, father, and his grandmother. He’s 25 years old. The great thing about living with two women is that you always have prepared food into your fridge. You just have to put your hands on it and eat. I wanted to fix his problem. I wanted to make him conscious that he was wasting years in the gym without any visible results.
He told me that he can’t put on weight. I told him this is impossible. I knew he was doing something wrong. So one day, he invited me to his place to eat a meal. Alright, I went there right after a workout. We were both hungry and ready to eat. His grandmother welcomed us both with a table full of food. Here comes the interesting thing.
We had pork meat (lean) with mashed potatoes, and pickles. It was smelling so good that my taste buds went crazy. Right when I entered the apartment, my mouth was watering. So I started eating. My friend was looking at the food and called his grandmother. He said to her that he doesn’t like the meat because it has fat on it (I looked at the meat and I couldn’t see any fatty portion there). The first weird thing: my friend wasn’t eating meat if it had even a pinch of fat on it. That’s a bit weird, I know. I mean it is easier to just cut the fatty portion or eat just the meat.
So he just ate mashed potatoes with a bit of meat sauce.
When the desert came, I ate 2 servings of pizza. He ate one. And the interesting fact is that I was actually on a diet while he was “bulking”. I confronted him about his weird eating habits. I asked him why is he doing this. His response?
I don’t like this meat. I don’t usually eat meat just when my grandmother prepares lean chicken breast.
I asked him why he wasn’t preparing the meat if he didn’t liked the way his grandmother prepared it.
I don’t know how to cook. It is not my fault I am a man
I then asked him, why doesn’t he learn how to cook. His response?
I don’t like to read cooking books
I continued with the questions. I asked him why doesn’t he at least buy the food he likes, directly cooked. His response?
I tried to do that but I often don’t find lean chicken breasts cooked when I reach the store after work
Typical mentality of a victim. Everything you ask this person, is carefully transformed into an excuse. And if you try to blame this person for his lack of progress, it will more likely backfire. This person can get mad on you. Can tell you that you don’t understand his situation. Yada-yada. All the excuses in the world don’t matter when it comes to doing things the way you should do them.
We can find and use an excuse for almost anything we don’t like to do. You have to do something that takes time, patience, and hard work?
You can easily find an excuse you can use to not do anything. What separates you from more than 80% of the other people is that you are conscious about these negative mind traits. You can avoid them. You can make them work for you, not against you. That’s all for this lesson.
I want you to choose one or both of these situations and tell us the exact story (do this exercise with me and I can assure you it will help you immensely):
- Do you remember a story in which you told a friend of yours that he or she did wrong in a certain situation? What was his/her response?
- How about a story with your own response to someone that told you were wrong in a certain situation? What was your response?