215: How to Take Ownership of Your Choices | Tanya Dalton Skip to the content
Tanya Dalton productivity quote
March 9, 2021   |   Episode #:

215: How to Take Ownership of Your Choices

In This Episode:

What are the signs of victim mentality, and how does it relate to your business’s success? Discover what a victim mentality is and learn tips on how to shake it off so the business success you want is easier to achieve. You’ll gain advice on how to stop making excuses for setbacks and failures you experience in your business, plus tips on how to take ownership and start seeing mistakes for what they are: opportunities for you to grow your business toward the successful, lucrative life you deserve.

Show Transcript:

The Big Idea

You are never stuck.

Questions I Answer

  • Why does it feel like the world is against me?
  • How can I feel more in charge of my life?
  • What do I do if I feel stuck?
  • How can I grow from a failure?

Actions to Take

  • Focus on becoming aware of Victim Mentality at play in your business and personal life. Consider the language you use and your reactions/behaviors when things do not go as planned. (Are you holding yourself back from true happiness and success?)
  • Join other entrepreneurs, business owners, and action-takers, just like you and me, in the free 5-Day Challenge I’m hosting!

Key Topics in the Show

  • What is a victim mentality?

  • Signs of victim mentality

  • Victim mentality in business

  • How to deal with business setbacks

  • How to use failure as a springboard to success

Show Transcript

This is the Intentional advantage podcast with your host, Tanya Dalton, entrepreneur,
bestselling author, nationally recognized productivity expert and mom of two. In this
season, Tanya is continuing to open up more conscious conversations to help you
awaken to who you are and become the best version of yourself. Welcome to season
17: Awakening. Are you ready? Here’s your host, Tanya Dalton.
Hello, hello, everyone. Welcome to The Intentional Advantage podcast. I’m your host,
Tanya Dalton. This is Episode 215. We are having an amazing season on awakening.
And last week we talked about the difference between having an abundance
mindset in business and having a scarcity mindset in business. But guess what,
there’s another piece of the puzzle. I want to explore with you today.
And the reason for it is because I’ve been seeing so many elements of this cropping
up in a thousand different ways with so many women entrepreneurs and business
owners that I coach each and every day. And I, can’t ‘not’ mention it to you all tuning
in today. And that element I’m talking about is kind of like the ugly cousin of Scarcity
You know, who comes to town every summer sucks, all the fun out of every single
thing you do? Yeah. That ugly cousin is Victim Mentality. And I’m going to bet you are
super familiar with it already because chances are, you’ve either had a friend with a
victim mentality or maybe you’ve experienced it yourself. Or you’ve worked with
someone who has, or you’ve run into someone in line at the grocery store who has it
or at the bank, or just about anywhere.
Case in point: it’s out there, a lot. And it seems like I’m seeing it all the time lately. So
if we were going to slap a definition on this, but what we mean by victim mentality, I
would say a simple way to describe it is like this: A person who suffers from victim
mentality is typically one who feels that a lot of their life is beyond their control.
It’s, ‘Oh, the universe hates me. I’m so unlucky. Nothing ever goes my way.’ Maybe it’s
their job and how they’re paid, or maybe it’s their relationship where they feel like
they’re stuck or they’ve invested so much into that relationship, right. Where they
can’t back away or they didn’t get the deal they were hoping for. Or they drive a car
that’s a piece of crap and they’re unhappy with it.

1 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

Whatever it is, it doesn’t matter; it doesn’t matter if it’s one thing or another, or a
combination of things. But it’s this whole idea that we don’t have a choice that the
world is conspiring against us. And that is absolutely not true. And we all have these
moments where we slide into a little victim mentality where we feel like the world is
working against us.
But having the true victim mentality is when we start holding on time and time and
time again, to these false ideas and these concepts of being stuck or being unlucky,
or just nothing ever goes our way. And we can’t seem to get out of it because there’s
no way around it. And like I said, we’ve all experienced this at different points in our
When we’ve been worried about a situation or we felt a little bit hopeless that is
absolutely normal or unsure of how to move forward, you know, especially right in
the thick of things. But the difference between rising above those setbacks, that we
all experience or curling in a ball wallowing on the floor, praying that someone will
come along and save us.
It all comes down to the choice that we make, the choice we make after the smoke
of whatever it is we just experienced has cleared. And it is absolutely a choice. It’s the
choice to learn how we can do better next time and move on successfully, or the
choice to throw our arms up in the air and look for any excuse to validate how
wronged we’ve been; that things are beyond our control.
But here’s the thing, you know, I’m pulling this cruise ship hard to the left. So the real
question that we are tapping into today is, What exactly does victim mentality do to
us in our businesses? How does this affect us as leaders and how does it affect our
teams? And to me, it starts with language, which is what plants the seeds of the
attitude that we carry with us; when it comes to the decisions that we’re making and
the reactions that we’re having,
when things simply don’t work out, which I mean, let’s be honest, that is part of life in
general; nothing is perfect. Nobody has this amazing scorecard where everything
goes right every single time. There are times where it feels like that’s life. That’s why
it’s so important that we understand our word choice, why it’s important. We
understand what we are choosing to think after all of this happens, because the
words that we use, not only to describe ourselves but the words we use to describe
our thoughts and our feelings when things don’t go well in business or in life or in
any place in our world, it really does matter.
And I cannot stress this enough. I’m going to say it again because I think this is so
important for you to take hold of: Your words matter, no matter the context. And I
know this because it wasn’t until I started peeling back some of my own language,
2 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

particularly when things didn’t pan out the way that I thought they would; or let me
rephrase that, the way I thought they should in my business. That’s when I started to
notice, this is a problem for me.
This was really underscoring a lot of the emotions I was experiencing, the way that I
was viewing my world, especially when it came to failures and disappointments,
where I was playing into that idea. And we’ve talked about this on the show before
this whole concept and this lie that I would tell myself that I have to fight for
everything in order to get anything; in order to gain success or to do well, I have to
fight for it.
And that was absolutely not true. And a lot of that did come back to that idea of
language. You know, not that long ago, I had a launch that didn’t go well, all right,
you know what? Let’s just own this. It stunk. It was a fail, an absolute fail. And when
the launch window closed up, I was mad. I was frustrated. I looked around, I blamed
anything and everything in my path, I blamed the algorithms. I cussed out the
Facebook ads. I wanted to curl up in a ball and cry. And I wanted to believe the world
was against me because that was so much easier to blame anyone and everyone,
instead of really looking at myself.
it’s so easy to do. It’s easy to blame the universe or Facebook or the competitor down
the road, who you look at and you think, Gosh, she’s doing so much better than I am.
Yeah. It’s so easy to want to blame anything and everything. But for me, when the
dust settled and it was really like, let’s go ahead, let’s take this launch, let’s take it
apart. I like to call it the autopsy. When you’re taking everything apart, you’re really
diving into all the different bits and the pieces and trying to figure out what
happened. And I do this for good launches. I do it for excellent launches. I do it for
terrible launches. It really does help.
But when I do this, when I take a good look, not a Rose-colored glasses kind of look
or an ‘I’m, the victim’ kind of look; but when I step outside of myself and I look
judgment-free at what happened, I realized that a lot of the blame needed to sit
really firmly on my own shoulders. Yeah. The Facebook ads were shut down for a
couple of days.
Okay. That’s why should we diversify my channels? Yeah, we got screwed by
infusionsoft. The email tagging didn’t work probably; should have spent some more
time on the front end, testing that out better. There are lots of things that we can
blame, but really when we dive into it and we go back and we start digging into
these stories, we can see, ‘Oh, here’s where I took the wrong turn. Oh, here’s where I
chose to do this. Or here’s where I didn’t give myself enough space or enough time.’
So because of this, and let’s be honest here, that’s not my, you know, my only failure,
my only failed launch we’ve had many just like anybody else, but because of this and
3 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

recognizing and realizing these conversations that I was having, not just inside my
head, but out loud with other people, it made me want to stop.
And so I have made a conscious effort to stop saying I’m frustrated or I’m
disappointed because frustrated, disappointed–they don’t show any ownership.
Being frustrated means I’m helpless. And I am not helpless. I am absolutely not
being disappointed. That’s a choice, not one that I want to choose.
But when we use words, like I just described words like frustrated, disappointed,
angry, and so on and so forth. All this does is throw gasoline onto the fire of our
victim mentality and that victim mentality. And, ooh, it likes to burn; it likes to keep
burning. It does nothing to shine a light on why we are frustrated, which quite
frankly is the first question we need to ask to get to a solution.
Because when we get to a solution, we prevent failure from happening again, which
is the entire point. We have to stop blaming and we have to start looking and diving
in and becoming our own little Nancy Drew, becoming a detective for, Why did this
happen? When we continue to view our failures as business owners, as leaders, when
we start to look at those things as being beyond our control, for whatever reason, we
turn a blind eye to the fact that we are responsible for ourselves.
We are responsible for our own decisions. We are responsible for our own behaviors.
Yeah. We can blame a bad launch on Facebook for screwing us with those ads that
we created. We had this beautiful, brilliant thing we were hoping to bring to the
world, but truly was that the problem was the Facebook ads? Really?
The big question here is, Does that actually help if I just want to blame Facebook?
The short answer here: No, it really doesn’t. I mean, being irritated, feeling that way,
when something doesn’t go our way, that’s absolutely fine. I think it’s normal. Let’s
just go ahead and say that we should be acknowledging our feelings when things
don’t work out.
We all need a minute or two or ten or twenty to cry a bit or to punch something.
Hopefully not your husband, but you know, a pillow or something, but we need to
have that outlet. We don’t need a bottle that up and pretend like it doesn’t exist. But
saying that we’re frustrated. And then blaming that frustration on something
outside of ourselves is not at all helpful.
And it only further cements this idea that we are powerless, that we are incapable of
achieving success on our own terms. And that is a lie. A little bit of tough love for
you? If experienced a setback or if you’ve gone through a terrible launch in your
business: Congratulations; good for you. You have uncovered one of the hard truths
about being an entrepreneur.

4 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

It is not rainbows and sunshine and lollipops because truly you need failure to be a
success. You need failure to be successful in your business. If you aren’t failing, you’re
not testing your boundaries. You’re playing it safe in your comfort zone, which means
you’re not stretching yourself or giving yourself room to grow. You need failure. You
want failure. If your success card is always fully punched, it means you’re not really
testing how big you can be.
And that means good news. You can be a lot bigger. You can be a lot more
successful because we need failure in there. Here’s another hard truth to
acknowledge. You probably played a heavy hand in that failure, whether you want to
recognize it immediately when it occurs or not, it doesn’t matter.
It’s the truth. No matter how you spin it, we have ownership over what happens in
our world. And that’s exactly what I had to do. I had to tell my team after our failed
launch, that this was my fault. This was something that we, as a team need to take
ownership over. And especially as an entrepreneur and a business owner, you gotta
roll with the punches.
Yeah. Let the dust settle just a little bit, but then start looking for the tiny little gyms,
little scraps of metal that you can dust off and polish up and start fresh. Because you
know what? even when it is a big bomb of a launch or whatever it is that’s happened
to you, there are these little tiny nuggets of goodness, of knowledge, of experience
that you’re going to take with you to that next level.
And that’s what I think is really important. So let’s talk about how we can keep the
victim mentality at bay; how we can take ownership over our choices and how we
can choose to see ourselves as being more in control over our lives and our
businesses. Let’s do that in just a second because I want to take a quick mid-episode
break. I’ve got something really big coming up, something that I haven’t done
before, at least not like this. So let’s take our quick break right now.
Today’s podcast episode has been brought to you by The Intentional CEO, my
12-month mentorship program where I work hand in hand with female
entrepreneurs and business owners, helping them scale and grow their businesses
while scaling and growing their personal lives at the same time.
The doors to The Intentional CEO program are opening up very soon. And I wanted
to do something really special and unique, something I have not done before. So
consider this your exclusive invite to my free live five-day challenge, all about cloning
yourself. Yeah. Cloning yourself because here’s the thing: You probably feel like you
have to be everywhere. You have to be on your website on Instagram, on Facebook,
on Twitter, on Clubhouse; in ads, maybe on a podcast, the list goes on and on and on,
but you are one person.

5 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

So how is that even possible? Well, that’s what I’m going to be sharing with you in
this free five-day challenge coming up at the end of the month. I have created an
incredible system that has allowed me to reach my soulmate clients everywhere and
to reach a lot of them. It’s allowed me to clone myself.
And now I want to share my secrets with you. I want to share that system with how I
do that. All you have to do to join my free challenge is go to
Tanyadalton.com/challenge. We’re going to have a lot of fun, but here’s the thing by
the end of the challenge, you’re going to see how easy it is to be everywhere to reach
your soulmate clients and increase your revenue because of it.
So pause the podcast right now, like this very second, and go straight to
Tanyadalton.com/challenge. And then meet me back here for the other half of this
All right, so let’s get to the second half of the show where we’re talking about victim
mentality, because here’s the secret that I want to share with you right now, when
we’re talking about getting rid of victim mentality for good. Here’s what we’re talking
about: We’re actually talking about taking ownership–real ownership–of our
Ownership over the roles that we play in our businesses. And in my experience, these
are two very powerful mindsets that we have when it comes to the way that we
approach business. So the first one is all about the victim mentality, which we’ve
been exploring today.
And the other one is all about ownership. When it comes to being an entrepreneur,
and most definitely in the ways that we’re talking about wanting to grow and scale
our businesses to meet that success that we really want to achieve, our ability to
adopt an owner mentality is essential. Unlike those people who walk through life,
viewing themselves as a victim of their circumstances, owners make it happen. And
that’s the truth.
Victims shy away from change. They shy away from risks and instead they choose I’ll
just wait and see what happens. Not owners; owners choose to take the lead. They
choose to make things happen. Victims make excuses for their failures. Owners
choose to sunshine their failures, to shine a light on them, pick them apart, see them
for what they are: gifts; evidence that we dare to get up off of our asses and try
something new in the first place.
And most of all, while victims like to throw their hands up in the air and say, ‘Well, I
tried,’ and use that as some sort of validation or a permission slip to fall back into

6 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

their old habits or throw in the towel altogether, owners, grit, their teeth. Owners
commit. Owners continue to show up.
And that’s what I’m really looking to drive home today. The fact that even though
we’ve all experienced a little bit of victim mentality here and there in our lives is
absolutely normal. God knows the journey of an entrepreneur is not all smooth and
steady all the time. Anyone who thinks it is isn’t an entrepreneur.
We do have the power to choose to no longer see ourselves as the victim of our own
story. You own the power of choice. We have the power to choose, to take complete
ownership of our own story and our journey. That is what lucrative entrepreneurs
and business leaders, that’s what they do. That sounds pretty damn satisfying.
Doesn’t it? That’s what I want for you.
I want you to stop feeling like things don’t work out for you because they just don’t
work out for you or that you are somehow marked for failure, or you have to fight for
everything. You know, that’s the story. That’s the story that held me back for years,
they had to fight and I had to fight on my own by myself without anybody next to
me. And that was a lie.
So let’s choose to own our story. Let’s choose to see ourselves as owners. And I want
you to keep that in mind as you continue along with the week ahead, because you’re
going to have bouts where victim mentality tries to creep in, you know, like the little
cracks and crevices. It pops in from time to time. We need to be aware of it.
So let’s have some momentum builders to keep us going ahead forward in the right
direction. All right. Momentum builder number one: I want you to pay close attention
to your language as you navigate through the rest of your week. Not your curse
words; God knows I use plenty of those. I want you to think about the words you are
choosing whenever something bad happens.
Let’s say you’re experiencing an off day, or maybe you’re just not feeling it at work.
We all have those days. Whatever the reason is, I want you to think about what kind
of words or phrases come up the most for you. What is the story that’s cycling
through your head? Or what is it you say out loud when you’re feeling frustrated or
exhausted or overwhelmed?
For example, something doesn’t go well, What’s your immediate reaction? Do you
feel frustrated? Do you feel disappointed? Do you feel angry? I want to encourage
you to step outside of yourself. This is that idea and concept we’ve talked about
several times about being the observer in your own life; stepping outside of who you
are, judgment free, and really taking a look at what are the thoughts and feelings
that are coming up for you.

7 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

Write them down, just start making a list, just start paying attention to what things
are sparking that victim mentality that we talked about. We’ve been talking about
this idea for quite some time about how our thoughts become the driving force
behind our behaviors and ultimately the choices that we make. It’s not until we
come to grips with some of our negative behaviors and our patterns of thinking–and
we all have patterns of thought that happen again and again and again; when we
take a good look at those and we see what’s attached and anchored to them, that’s
when we can choose to let go of some of those things that are holding us back and
we can choose to latch on to the things that are driving us forward. That’s your first
momentum builder, just becoming aware.
All right, momentum builder number two: let’s keep talking about this. Let’s keep
talking about how we can do things together in our businesses. Mindset work, really
diving deep into these different business topics and these strategies that we discuss
here on the podcast, that makes up a piece of what I explore with my clients and
women that I work with in my programs; women, just like you.
But here’s the thing I think–no, actually I know; I know that we women operate at
our very best when we’re able to come together to link, arms and share our ideas and
different strategies for scaling and growing our businesses for being the leaders that
we want in this world. So if you haven’t signed up for that free challenge that I talked
about during our mid episode break, I want you to do that right now. Because not
only am I going to be giving you strategies and tools, I’m going to be giving you
We’re going to be meeting together. We’re going to have some recorded trainings.
We’re going to have some live trainings. We’re going to be getting together on zoom.
We’re going to be getting together on Facebook lives. We are going to be gathering
together. And when we come together and we link arms, we become stronger and
our choices become so much more obvious. So if you haven’t joined that challenge
and you’re a businesswoman who is ready to really scale and grow your business, go
to Tanyadalton.com/challenge.
That challenge is absolutely free. And it’s five days. We’re going to have a great time.
We’re going to learn a lot, but most importantly, we’re going to come together and
we’re going to support each other. So that’s your second momentum builder
reminding yourself that you don’t have to do it alone.
And that brings me to momentum builder number three. So we talk about this idea
of women, empowering women, and that is really where the magic happens. So
momentum builder number three is simple: I love working with action takers. I love
working with women who want to be leaders. I like working with women who are
8 of 9

© The Intentional Advantage

excited to talk about their businesses. I love talking to women and helping them
grow their businesses and define the strategies to really make life work for you.
So if this is you, if you’re in business and you’re looking for ways to truly challenge
yourself and grow your business to its highest potential, I want to see your name on
the first access list for my program. The Intentional CEO, that program, as I
mentioned earlier, is going to be opening up soon. And I like to fill my programs with
incredible women who are there to support and encourage each other.
So head to Tanyadalton.com/coaching for more information on getting that first
access, you’re going to be the first one to find out when the doors open. A lot of
times I do lots of extras and little things for you guys who are waiting for the doors to
open. So make sure you do that.
Here’s the truth. I want you to walk away from today’s episode, remembering you are
not a victim, no matter what has happened to you in life, in business, in any aspect,
any way, shape, or form. No matter if you have had things that have happened that
have been out of your control, you do not need to be a victim anymore. And I’m
speaking to you as a victim telling you that you can choose to rise up.
You can choose to see yourself stronger, better, faster, bigger; however it is you want
to see yourself. Let’s choose that and let’s choose it together because when you take
ownership over your mindset. When you choose to start seeing yourself as the
incredible, amazing, capable woman that you truly are, that is when you have the
intentional advantage.