The Most Powerful Mind Shift You Can Make

Experiences and events are just things – things that happen in our life.

As difficult, challenging or even painful as these experiences can be at the time, it is our response to those things, the shift in our thinking, that determines what the outcome will be (and the direction that our life will take).


If you are distressed by anything external, the pain is not due to the thing itself
but to your own estimate of it; and this you have the power to revoke at any moment.”
~ Marcus Aurelius

A business decision may not lead to the result one might have desired.

A piece of art or writing, created through hours of hard, dedicated work, may not be accepted by the public.

A performance, based on relentless practice, falls short of the desired reception of the audience.

All of these experiences have one thing in common: the opportunity to frame them either through the eyes of an Owner or a Victim. As my mentor and friend Steve Chandler said in his recent workshop,

“There are only two kinds of people in any given situation – Victims and Owners.”

Through years of coaching hundreds of people, I have discovered that the most powerful shift in thinking that can EVER be made is whether you will see life and the experiences it gives you through the eyes of an Owner or a Victim.

Owners create while Victims react.

The good news is that the choice of whether to create or react is not something we are born with or is driven by whatever situation you find yourself in. The choice of whether one is an Owner or Victim is based on what you think, not what the event is.

“We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong.
The amount of work is the same.”
~ Carlos Castaneda

Owners take responsibility, accountability and ownership for their success, saying,

“I am the owner of everything which is under my control while
creating my response to whatever is out of my control.”

As an Owner/Creator you can:

  • Take full responsibility for your own happiness
  • Decide to thrive in life
  • Say “I can” “I will” “I choose to”
  • Use life (“How can I use my life today?”)
  • Learn from life (“What can I gain from this experience or event?”)

Victims blame circumstances or other people for their lack of success, using negative self-talk and excuses while looking for the fault that they believe lies with the people they are surrounded by or their personal circumstances.

As a Victim/Reactor you will:

  • Say “I can’t” “I’ll try” “It’s not my fault” “Why don’t things work out for me?”
  • Try to just get through life (“Survive” instead of Thrive) “If only I can just get through this.”
  • Say, “What would people think?”
  • Believe that you need something outside of yourself to be happy (“Someday my Prince will come …”)
  • Think that power is in other circumstances (“If only this were different …”)

Through what set of ‘eyes’ are you responding to life with?

“You can set yourself free by how you talk to yourself about your capabilities,”
~ Steve Chandler

It is possible to start today to shift your thinking from that of a victim to that of an owner, to shift from a reactor to a creator. To shift your mind.



Take charge.

Own your life … Today.

Question: In what ways has living as a ‘victim’ created obstacles to success in your business, art or life? What would you would need to do today to take back ownership of your life?
Click on the comments box – I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • Angie McLane Crossin

    .Thank you for a wonderful piece. I shared it with my Valparaiso University Business Ethics students tonight when discussing personal accountability. They loved it — trying to teach them “Owner” power

    • nlazaris

      Angie, Thanks for the kind words! I like your description of “Owner” power!

  • I appreciate what you’ve written and see I am living too much of my life as a victim still. Thanks for your post.

    • nlazaris

      That kind of awareness is the foundation for change!