4) Missed Opportunity
The result of this victim mentality is a tragic loss of opportunity. Sometimes you’ll see a soccer player flop around and act hurt when they could have continued the play and maybe scored a goal. They are putting their trust in the referee rather than their own ability.
We sell ourselves short way too often. We miss opportunities because we are not looking for where our choices might help us reach our goals. Instead, we are depending on the choices of others.
If we were to take ownership of our lives, our choices, and our abilities, we might reach our goals with more efficiency and more satisfaction. Sometimes the best soccer players in the world are neutralized by their own preoccupation with the ref’s decisions. Some of the greatest opportunities for humans are neutralized by their preoccupation with government policy and pop culture norms.
Taking control of what we can control, owning the responsibility of our journey, is an essential step toward vibrant living.
5) Blurred Perspective
For the first time ever, this world cup is using instant replay. I watched a game recently where a player took a dive in the penalty area and got awarded with a free kick. This is the gold mine of soccer victim mentality. The player had a clear shot on goal when he fell and so it looked like it must have been a foul. When the play went to video review, it was seen that the player flopped and the penalty shot was rescinded.
The thing that stuck out to me is how angry the flopping player got. He threw a tantrum any toddler would envy. Which is a bizarre reaction when you consider the refs went and watched the tape, in slow-mo, from many angles. The truth was pretty clear but the player was vehemently sure he had been the one wronged.
Just like in life, the perspective of players and fans cannot be trusted. They are too biased, too self-serving. We are not pursuing truth, we are pursuing our own agenda. And we create a narrative that must fit that agenda, blaming others for our lack of success when they do not see things our way.
A blurred perspective is a plague on modern living. Every sport is seeing it too. Baseball players sure they are safe. Basketball players through tantrums almost every play because they truly believe they were fouled. And sport is just a reflection of life.
We plant ourselves in our imperfect perspective, we know we are biased, we know deep down we can’t be right about everything, but we refuse to budge. Refuse to give an inch. Refuse to see truth, even when they tape it.
In all these ways, and more, soccer shows us a little about who we are. Some of it great, some of it sad, and some of it terrible. But all of it, in the end, beautiful.