There are moments in life when something happens to us, and we’re not responsible. Abuse, prejudice, racism, displacement due to war, conflict, or persecution are just a few. These are horrible, painful, and, in my opinion, unacceptable.
For most other situations, believing we’re a victim can be the very thing that keeps us from becoming the victor.
I’ll admit, I’ve been guilty of having a victim mentality; convincing myself that where I am in life is the result of someone else’s decisions, behaviors, and actions. Any guesses on how well that has worked for me?
Believing we’re a victim poses some limiting challenges.
First, where there’s a victim, there’s a villain. If we’re ‘the good guy,’ someone else is ‘the bad guy.’ That creates bitterness and unforgiveness in our hearts and leads us to believe we’re free from taking any responsibility for where we are.
When we blame, we stay the same.
As painful as it can be, owning where we are is the beginning of moving forward. If responsibility were a delicious blueberry pie, there’s almost always a slice – however big or small – that belongs to us.
Second, living with a victim mentality becomes an issue of identity. Whoever we believe we are, is what we think we deserve. The result can be strong confidence or self-sabotage; behaving in ways that contribute to the cycle repeating itself.
Finally, when someone recognizes a victim mentality in us, it’s difficult for them to point it out because we usually don’t see it. That’s because we’ve been telling ourselves the stories of what’s happened to us and why, over and over and over, convinced our narrative is true.
Is there a solution? Yes. 100%.
Do Something Simple.
It’s time to shed the victim mentality by telling ourselves the truth, take ownership of where we are, and adopt the attitude of the victor.
In spite of how we got ‘here,’ wherever that is, we call it what it is, without sugar-coating things. ‘My kids don’t like me, and I don’t blame them.’ ‘I lost my job, and I can see why.’ ‘My marriage is struggling, and I’m not helping.’ ‘I hate so-and-so, because…’ Again, it doesn’t matter how we got where we are. The goal is moving forward. Call it what it is.
No one influences what we believe more than ourselves because we talk to ourselves all the time.
Let’s change our self-talk from, ‘I’m a victim,’ to ‘I’m not a victim. Life is hard, but I’m a fighter. I will put in the work and figure this out. I’m not waiting for easy because it never comes. I’m not a victim. ‘So and so,’ is not a villain. I’m a victor and choose to behave like one.’
Then, own your next steps. Taking responsibility is the beginning of fulfilling our destiny. Refuse being held back any longer. Chart your course. Create an action plan. Identify the next step and take it. Then, do it again and again and again.
You have too much to contribute to this world to stay as is and where you are.
Refuse to be a victim. Release others from being villains. Take on the attitude of the victor.
Do this and better days are ahead.