How do you see yourself? As a hero or a victim? In any given life circumstance, you can see yourself either way.

I recently moved into my new home. As is often the case with a “new” home, that is to say new to me, although built in the mid 1960s, it has what is euphemistically referred to as a few “issues.” As in, I was scheduled to leave town for work first thing Friday morning, and Wednesday night, both toilets in my house ceased to function. This mattered greatly, as the puppy-sitter who was booked to take care of my beloved dogs in my absence could not be expected to stay over-night without a functioning toilet, and it being a Holiday weekend, I would not be able to find a place to board them last-minute.

Hero or victim? First thought, victim! Of all the times for the toilets to fail, and not one, but both toilets! After frantic calls to plumbers not returning my call (more “victim”), worrying myself sick over “Now, what?! This is a disaster!”(yet more “victim”) I took myself in hand, and gave myself a talking-to.

As in, “who would you like to be, Noelle?” A whiny victim, or a successful hero? Good question! Because, you see, I know from long experience, that a hero is simply someone who refuses to see a problem as unsolvable, and forges on until some kind of solution is unearthed. Sometimes that means being Captain Marvel and saving the world, sometimes it’s just me figuring out a toilet situation . . .

Once I shifted my perspective, it dawned on me to contact the repair person who’d fixed some odds and ends; maybe he’d know a willing plumber. To my surprise, he turned out to be the willing plumber. Plus, he was up for a crack-of-dawn visit to the local home improvement center, purchasing two new guaranteed fully-functioning toilets--at a reasonable price, no less-- and installing them, all before I had to leave Friday morning. Whew!

Had I stuck with my “Woe is me, life is so unfair” position, I would not have continued trying to come up with a solution. It was only when I told myself that somehow I’d get this handled that the idea came to me to contact the repair person.

Next time you are up against what could easily be defined as a victim situation, challenge yourself to find your inner hero. You’ll be surprised at just how innovative they (you) are!

Author's Bio: 

Noelle C. Nelson, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, consultant, popular speaker in the U.S. and abroad, and author of over a dozen best-selling books. Dr. Nelson focuses on how we can all enjoy happy, fulfilling lives while accomplishing great things in love, at home and at work, as we appreciate ourselves, our world and all others. She is the author of “Happy Healthy…Dead: Why What You Think You Know About Aging Is Wrong and How To Get It Right” (MindLab Publishing). You Matter. You Count. You Are Important. Visit,, #MeetTheAmazings, @drnoellenelson