Don’t stand up when they’re shooting over your head


“Don’t stand up when they’re shooting over your head.”

An old saying, no doubt, but one I’ve only recently noticed.  Why? Because I’ve finally learned not to stand up… when they’re shooting over my head.

I’m not alone in this, having recently witnessed someone asking for an experience she was especially meant to fail miserably in.

I weep silently for her.

There was a time – a time when I had no inkling of what I did to create the situation – when I’d ask: “Do I have a sign on my forehead that says ‘aim here’?” The answer is “No”; there is no sign. People don’t search me out and then when they find me, aim and fire.  What really happens is, while there may be people out there looking for a scapegoat, I oblige them by detecting that search, and then doing something that directs their focus at me.

Finally, I got it. Finally, I no longer do that. Finally, I’m no longer a potential scapegoat.

If you find yourself doing what I’ve done for so long, it may be time to find a new way of being tough, or being strong, or being the one who takes it on the chin for everyone else.



If you like this blog, you’ll also like my newsletters for an sample. It’s written only for my insiders who sign up, and provides weekly insights, not only from me, but from others I admire.

To sign up  for my insider newsletter, click here.  If you find it doesn’t work for you, all you have to do to unsubscribe is click on the link at the bottom of the newsletter.

Looking forward to welcoming you to my growing list of insiders!



Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist.  To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at .


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *