The six stages of the VICTIM CYCLE

By Jernavis Draughn

You’re either a victor or a VICTIM. You can only choose one of these paths to travel down in LIFE. The option of being a victim is effortlessly traveled. You can choose to blame others for your life choices, circumstances, beliefs, personal growth or accomplishments. Or you can take the second path of becoming a VICTOR. Where you take full responsibility for everything that happens in your life that you can control. Of course, genetics plays a part on rather we will receive certain diseases that are hereditary, or if a tragic event happens to a loved one or friend that you have no control over. Life is always happening for us not too us. We are plagued with adversity and failures in life to help us grow on all levels. If you cannot fail, you cannot SUCCEED!

Winston Churchill once said, “The price of greatness is RESPONSIBILITY!” You are the beholder of your results, successes, and failures that you endure. Being the CEO of a company that’s currently providing services in 30 states, I could easy blame our teammates for any failure we encounter. I made the decision to take full ACCOUNTABILITY for anything that goes wrong in our company. I believe self-reflection creates self-growth. This mindset keeps me constantly learning and improving in leadership, our systems, customer service, programs, hiring and sales processes. This requires me to SHOW UP every day, committed, motivated to solving any challenge that’s negatively hurting our company.

You must be personally accountable for how you think and act. Most people only change, if they learned enough that they want to, or they hurt enough that they have to. I believe you should change before your forced to change. A person with a victim mentality, never takes accountability of their actions and how they played a role in the outcome. In the book “The Wisdom of Oz, Roger Connors and Tom Smith discuss the six stages of the victim cycle.

  1. Ignore/Deny. Don’t ignore the red flags when you see them. Change before your forced to change.
  2. It’s not my job. Take complete ownership. The people that succeed at a rapid speed in the marketplace are the ones that do more than their job description requires.
  3. Finger Pointing. Playing the blame game never brings better results. Start with the person in the mirror first.
  4. Confusion/Tell me what to do. Confusion at times is a camouflage of not wanting to do something. Ask for clarity and communicate where you don’t have understanding.
  5. Cover your tail. The easiest way to cover your tail is by using effective communication and total transparency.
  6. Wait and See. Taking action is the only way of learning from failure and Growing from success.

You get what you repeat. If you continue to be a victim in life, you will continue to reap the same results that you have received. Greater accountability is a choice. Change starts with a decision. Make the decision today to become a victor in life. We all deserve to live a life of abundance and freedom.

Quote of the Day: “Habits are the fingerprints of your character.”

Why Arguments only lead to 3 things…

By Jernavis Draughn

Communication is the key to the heart. We can hurt or help someone through the words we choose to use in conversations. Words are the light to the mind. Wars, relationships, ideas, companies, careers, love, understanding, purpose, vision, emotions and growth start from the utterance of a single word. The bible says we speak life and death through our tongue. Are you aware of the power of the words you use in daily conversations with others or YOURSELF? In arguments, we tend to speak before thinking when our emotions are in the driver seat. We become blinded by our state of anger or fear and we lash out to protect ourselves. Then we blame our emotions for the reason behind our hurtful words. I’ve learned that hurt people hurt PEOPLE.

We all have been in toxic relationships that tested our character to remain calm or forgive that person. Ambrose Bierce once said, “speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.” Walking away is the hardest thing to do in the state of feeling disrespected. No one is bullet proof. Words leave lasting wounds when they are not healed by the shooter. When your caught up in the rapture of love, our feelings tell us a story that the person who has consistently hurt us by their words will change. People only change for two reasons; either they learned enough that they want to change or either they hurt enough that they have too. Arguments never choose a winner; they often leave both parties feeling lost.

In the book Crucial Conversations by Kerry Patters and Joseph Grenny, explain how arguments lead to three things:

1.Win– Our goal is to win the point of view or argument. Our focus is to win the argument in any manor, even if that demands you lying to be right.

2. Punish– Our goal is to harm the other person. Our focus is to verbally assault the persons character and intentionally hurt them.

3. Keeping the Peace– Our goal is to avoid the possibility of an uncomfortable conversation. Our focus is to brush the issue under the rug to not be seen or heard. We feel uncomfortable with confrontation and hold our feelings inside.

One of the best methods to having a healthy disagreement is to practice effective communication. Where you listen first, with the intent to understand where the person is coming from. You should seek to understand then to be understood. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care about them. To take flight or flight in an argument, are both motivated by fear. When you embody fear in an argument, you tend not to express how you truly feel to that person. The fear of expressing yourself stems from the feeling of being rejected or judged. People become defensive in arguments, when they no longer feel safe. In any argument the goal is to make the person feel safe to express themselves. Practice honest and open communication in all relationships. People will respect you more and know where you always stand on any topic. Lastly, treat people how you want to be treated through your words and actions. That’s the only way we can truly value someone is by how we treat them.

Quote of the Day: “If you don’t want to be in an argument with someone, it is probably best to try to solve the problem, rather than lying around hoping the other person will do it for you.”-E. Lockhart

The Root Causes of Negative Emotions

By Jernavis Draughn

All behaviors are belief driven. Where do our behaviors and emotions stem from? We are a direct reflection of our home foundation and the environment we were raised in. Our peer groups, mentors, teachers, instructors, and coaches have left an imprint on our intrinsic personal landscape. We become who we hang out with most of the time. We pick up behaviors, habits and mindsets of the people closet to us. Angela Oswalt, who is a licensed clinical social worker explains during early childhood, children start to develop a “self-concept,” the attributes, abilities, attitudes and values that they believe define them. By age 3, (between 18 and 30 months), children have developed their Categorical Self, which is concrete way of viewing themselves in “this or that” labels. For example, young children label themselves in terms of age “child or adult”, gender “boy or girl”, physical characteristics “short or tall”, and value, “good or bad.” The labels are used to explain children’s self-concept in very concrete, observable terms.

Our self-concept, the preview of our identity is formed by 3 years old. With that being the case, the root causes of where our negative emotions are birthed, start from the time we are born. Over the course of our life, we pick up more baggage and beliefs that don’t serve us. In the book Get Smart, by Brian Tracy, he breaks down the 4 root causes of negative emotions.

  1. Rationalization. Negative emotions are created when we attempt to explain away a situation or behavior in our lives that is unpleasant for us. We rationalize things with excuses.
  1.  Justification. We justify our negative behaviors by explaining them away in some fashion, we tell ourselves we are entitled to experience this negative emotion, because of something that someone else has done to us or to someone else.
  1. Judgementalism. Some of our negative emotions come from our tendency to judge other people. We tend to judge others instead of self-reflecting within ourselves.
  1. Hypersensitivity. We are hypersensitive to the thoughts, feelings and behaviors of others. We see criticisms and problems where they don’t exist.

I’ve learned the key to limiting negative emotions, while improving your self-esteem, confidence, reliance, respect is to take full responsibility for everything you are and all you will become in life. Remember, “Life is always happening for you, not to you.” Accountability is the foundation of all emotional, spiritual, mental, physical and financial success. Forgive yourself first and then forgive everyone else you feel has hurt you in anyway. Life begins with FORGIVENESS. Negative emotions will always be there to make your day eventful. How you respond and react to those emotions, will determine how happy your life will be. 

Quote of the Day: “Don’t ever stop believing in your own transformation. It is still happening even on days you may not realize it or feel like it.” -Lalah Delia

Is social media hijacking our BRAIN?

By Jernavis Draughn

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The average user touches their cell phone 2,617 times per day. The extreme users touch their phone 5,400 times per day. According to Common Sense Media, teens spend an average of nine hours a day online (paywall), compared to about six hours for those aged eight to 12 and 50 minutes for kids between 0 and eight. American adults spend more than 11 hours per day watching, reading, listening to or simply interacting with media, according to a new study by market-research group Nielsen. That’s up from nine hours, 32 minutes just four years ago. These statistics state we are not only addicted to our phones, but all platforms of social media. Dr. Nicholas Kardares once said, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”

The growth of technology has helped us reconnect, build, network, sale, influence and inspire people worldwide. The benefits of how social media platforms push our lives forward have been remarkable. We now are able to directly email or call job opportunities. We can connect with lost family members and friends that we haven’t communicated in years with. We have access to a plethora of information from, how to fix, learn, lose weight, and so much more. Is social media hurting us more than helping us? These statics show that our phones, ipad, and technology in general has become a digital drug.

We live in an insecure selfie taking by the second world. Why do we need to post thousands of pictures of ourselves online? Are we yearning for approval? Are we hurting inside? Are we scared to face the truth of who we truly are? Are we not happy with ourselves and we need others to affirm us? Eric Ries, says people are addicted to vanity metrics. “It’s an endless pursuit of vanity metrics that stroke the ego.” I totally agree with him, by how we strive to receive likes, repost, shares, messages, etc. These notifications provide dopamine shots that give us instant gratification and self-confidence. The interesting notion is, self-confidence cannot be loaned to you, it has to be discovered and worked on. Self-love equals self-confidence. Our society’s personal identity and attention is being created and consumed by this digital drug, called social media.

In the book Attention Pays, by Neen James, she discusses how social media and technology is affecting our society in some negative ways. Our time and attention has been stolen by social media platforms. We only have 24 hours in a day and if most people are on social media sites for 11 hours or more, how can we reach our full potential in life? How can we create strong relationships with people, if our attention is elsewhere? How can we thrive in our career field, if were not focus and making time to grow? Social media and most online platforms are created to steal your time. That’s how they create revenue by clicks, adds, gossip news, interviews, and games. How can you steal your time back? Value yourself more? Here’s five ways that I’ve implemented in my daily schedule to intentionally secure my time and reaching my full potential.

1. Turn off ALL notifications on ALL social media apps you have on your PHONE. You can’t buy more time, but you can spend it differently.

2. Create a morning routine, that doesn’t include using or looking at your PHONE for the first 60 minutes. Use your attention in a more productive way to start your day. This productivity habit will govern how your entire day will go. Ex: Read, listen to something educational, pray, workout, etc.)

3. Learn to check your email only 3-5 times a day. As an entrepreneur, I’m learning how to delegate any task that I feel someone else can do on the same level or better than myself.  Don’t live in reaction mode, where people are dictating where your attention is going.

4. Give yourself a daily time limit on how long you can use social media. What are you using social media for? That’s the question you need to answer? Is social media using you or are you using social media? Is social media helping rebuild, connect to a friend or family member? Is social media helping you grow at your job? Is social media helping you build your business or brand? Are you receiving new clients from your social media platforms? If you answered no to any of these questions, you should really think about why you’re using social media platforms.

5. Learn to LOVE yourself. Identity drives behavior. If you don’t know who you are or who you want to be, then your fall victim to looking and doing what every other social media model or star is doing to receive ATTENTION.

Quote of Day: “We don’t have choice on whether we DO social media, the question is how well we DO it.”-Erik Qualman

Self-DISCIPLINE equals Self-LOVE……

By: Jernavis Draughn

Success in anything starts with self-discipline. The ability to self-govern your mind and actions is essential in order to reach your full potential. Are you able to say “NO”?  It is probably one of the hardest words to say when your will power is being tested. Especially if the decision is connected to one of your six human needs that drives your life (Certainty, Uncertainty/Variety, Significance, Growth, Love/Connection or Contribution). We yearn for distraction and crave for personal acceptance by others. This type of behavior affects our will power to make the right decision. Jim Rohn once said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments”.

I struggle with sustaining long periods of discipline throughout my day. When my mind becomes cluttered and need a water break or just decides to sub itself out of the game, I tend to have a conversation with myself to refocus my mind back to my overall goals for the day. I constantly review my goals in order to provide clarity on where I am going and the actions I need to take to achieve them. The amount of self-discipline equals the amount of self-love you have for YOURSELF. We allow social media, television, video games, cell phones and PEOPLE to distract us from being productive, and thereby causes us to make regretful decisions. We also allow instant PLEASURES, to win over feeling lasting PAIN in the future that may be necessary for us to grow. We must all choose one of two pains: PAIN of discipline or the pain of REGRET!

I believe self-discipline starts first, with LOVING yourself and having standards that you live by. There is not a 5 step method that teaches you how to discover self-love. YOU must first get to know God. And in doing so, you will discover what you stand for, what you believe in, and a  clear understanding of your personal values and purpose.

Every moment is a memory. We are defined by our words and actions. I believe you should always think before you speak, ponder before you take action and live your TRUTH! The difference between WHO you are and WHO you want to be is WHAT YOU DO!

Quote of the Day: “Self-trust is the first secret of SUCCESS!”-Ralph Waldo Emerson