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Be a Victor, not a Victim

In my workshops I always share the three truths of stress. The first truth is that “stress always starts in your mind with how you think about a situation.” The moment you perceive there to be a negative in your life or something is not to your liking, it flips your bodies internal stress switch (fight or flight response). This process is the root of all the stress you generate in your body. If we stop and think for a minute... there is something really empowering about this statement. If stress starts with how YOU think about a situation...who controls how YOU think? That’s right... you do. That means you are in control of the stress you generate and feel in your body. Too often we play the victim when we perceive a negative in our life, we fret and dwell on the negatives and forgo our ability to choose a better way. You can generate far less stress in your life by simply learning to catch your negative reactions and “shifting your thoughts” to a better way of thinking, which in turn leads to a better way of acting. One of the most inspiring examples of “shifting your thoughts” in times of great stress is the story of Victor Frankel. Victor Frankel was a psychologist who not only survived four Nazi prisoner of war camps, including the infamous Auschwitz, but actually emerged with a new perspective on life to share with the world. While in the camps, Victor endured inhumane treatment, hideous living conditions and minimal rations. However, rather than dwelling on all the injustice in his situation, he chose to “shift his thoughts” to find a different way to look at what he was enduring. For example, when he was given a bowl of lukewarm water with a fish head floating in it for his meal, rather than turning away in disgust as many did, he chose to focus on the fact that this was something....something he could use to nourish his weakened body. He found a way to see something good in the bowl before him. When he was enduring terrible treatment, rather than dwelling on the suffering, he would “shift his thoughts” to the lesson in humanity he would tell the world about when he was released. He focused on the meaning and the purpose of what he was enduring and his role in ensuring this never happened again. Victor Frankle survived the camps....his father, mother, wife and brother did not. True to his vision, he went on to write the inspirational best seller “Man’s Search for Meaning” and traveled the world teaching about humanity and the power we have to choose how we are effected by our circumstances. If Victor Frankle can exercise his choice to “shift his thinking” while enduring one of the greatest inhumanities the world has seen, isn’t that same choice available to us everyday? When you encounter the stressors of your day will you be the victim or the Victor? The choice is yours! De-stress Tip: In my workshops I share a number of tips to help you “shift your thinking” during stressful moments. One of my favorites is to simply ask yourself two “Key Questions”. 1. What’s a better way to think about this? And 2. What can I do about this? When you ask yourself a question, it begs a response. As Victor Frankle has shown, there is a better response to every stressful event or thought you encounter. Quote to Ponder: The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James De-stress a friend: Forward this email to a friend who could use a boost. It’s easy for them to sign-up and absolutely free. All they have to do is send an email to with “subscribe” in the subject line. Note: e-mail addresses are shared with no one. Contact Info: Darren Lang is a Professional Speaker and Trainer who specializes in helping clients reduce stress and stress leave. If you know someone who could benefit from Darren’s message at their next conference, quarterly staff meeting or customer appreciation night please ask them to give Darren a call. Ph: (306) 569-2433 E-mail: Website: Regina © (copyright) Darren Lang’s “De-Stress” newsletter is sent out periodically. Parts of this publication may be reproduced by attaching the following footnote (Darren Lang copyright, 2009, If at any time you no longer want to receive these inspirational e-mails simply email us at with “Unsubscribe” in the subject line. De-stress and feel your best!

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