Sob Stories and Self Pity

This musing may come across as harsh and probably some reading (if anyone does) will disagree with the message. I would start be qualifying what I’m about to write by saying its applicability is to the minority not the majority

I’ve been reading a few pieces on here views from different people around the world and their experiences and what I’ve found is an echo of something I find a lot in real life in which there is a lot of self pity and sob stories. I’ve read extracts from people’s life’s in which they are the perpetual victim whilst glossing over their own behaviour. Ive seen this many times throughout my career having managed several teams across multiple organisation and nothing brings out self pity more than the “put down discriminated against employee”.

The truth of the matter is throughout my career Ive seen the most discrimination against people done by themselves, it’s them who have put these barriers up, attributing the fact they haven’t got a raise to their age, their sex, their race without seemingly questioning whether they actually deserved it. This is not to say discrimination doesn’t exists and I’m sure there are many truly awful tales people can retort to this but again without sounding harsh there isn’t a situation in your life you can’t change in some way so if something is so horrific then change it, move on.

There have been times in which I haven’t received jobs and promotions I have felt Ive deserved but I’ve never used it as an excuse not to keep trying. Yes there are idiot bosses out there, but I can tell you for every “idiot” boss there is a crap employee who thinks he/she is a lot better than they are.

I once advertised a promotion within a team and 2 people went for it. 1 was an employee who had been at the organisation for a while the other was fairly new and younger. However there was a massive difference in their attitude one was consistently trying to better things the other did their job. I gave the job to the newer younger member of staff because they were the best – the other member of staff launched a great self pity campaign about how they were always overlooked because their face didn’t fit yada yada, but never looked at themselves as said “could I have been better”

Sob stories get you likes on Facebook but little else, successful people don’t have them – they have challenges they’ve overcome but have never let the situation define them. Look at Steve Jobs Sacked from his own company – but 10 years ago he wasn’t sat in a bar drunkenly updating his Facebook status telling everyone how he used to own the most successful tech firm until he was pushed out sob sob. He changed the situation

What I’m saying is people today feel too aggrieved about everything and there is a sense of entitlement that is beyond words in some cases. If you don’t like your situation change it – simple, if you say it isn’t then you’re being held back by walls you’ve created for yourself. History is littered with people who have overcome much greater odds and chances are you are a lot stronger as a person than you give yourself credit for.

A friend once told me something that will stay will me forever and has always helped me not get dragged into being a sob story;

“Think of all the problems you have, the issues, the stresses that are causing you unhappiness.

Write them down

Anything that you can’t change throw away

Anything that you have the ability to change, write a plan of how you are going to do it and do it”

Don’t be a sob story – be an inspiration

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