Attitude is everything. Mental attitude, no matter what the end goal is, either helps you get there or impedes your progress and one of the most damaging attitudes anyone can adopt is victim-mentality.
What is victim-mentality?
Victim mentality is a negative mindset. It places blame on other people and circumstances for any unhappiness felt within.” It is the proverbial “point the finger out” scenario.
Those engaged in victim-mentality, view life through a narrow lens of pessimistic perceptions, believing whatever occurs in life is the result of outside causes. Inner reflection is never considered. Being a victim means absolving themselves of blame. Nothing is their fault – ever! Those engaged in victim mentality most often enjoy the attention, sympathy and validation they get from playing this “poor me” role.
When trapped in victim-hood, the focus becomes how vulnerable we are, rather than on how powerful we are.
While, no one is born with victim mentality, no one is exempt from playing the victim role either. Sweet elder grandparents, loving, well-intentioned mothers and fathers, teenagers and even those considered “spiritually awakened” can all be found to dwell in this defeatist realm.
In fact, every person alive has played the victim role more than once in their lives.
Victims want to be mentally prepared for the worst and sadly, for those dwelling in victim-hood, this self-sabotaging behavior becomes more powerful when things seem to be going their way as they are sure “disaster is waiting around the next corner.”
So, how does one break free from this self-defeating, “poor me,” pessimistic type programming, most of which was developed and adopted as a child?
It all begins at home with your perceptions/how your view yourself. Do you perceive yourself as a survivor or a victim?
Survivors embrace life and flow with it. They live in the present and take control over their lives. They are fully aware that they alone are responsible for what occurs. They know that taking responsibility for their lives, they are empowered to change their lives.
Victims, on the other hand, wallow in self-pity and argue with and push back at life. They dwell in the past, believing they are helpless to change circumstances – their key to avoiding responsibility. They live defensively and stay frozen in time, without making progress because their perceptions tell them they are powerless.
The cost of victim mentality is high. It negatively affects every area of life – professional and personal. Those who see themselves as a failure, are dwelling in victim-hood because failure only comes to those who give up.
If we really want to shift out of victim mentality, we must first own it. We can’t change what we don’t own. We must shift our attitude and know that “change begins with me.” We must embrace survival and take actions steps… no matter how small or insignificant they may seem now, towards some goal we are looking to attain.
Most importantly, we must continually empower ourselves with “I can” and “I will” statements and put a stop to degrading “I can’t” or “I won’t” statements and beliefs.
And, we must embrace gratitude – the greatest of attitudes. Daily, we need to take time to reflect on all the things that make us happy, on all the things that are going well in our life. Keeping our mind/energy focused on positive situations helps to counteract victim mentality.
In the end, we must honor ourselves with the same degree of respect and love that we try to give others. Only then will our minds and actions shift out of victim-hood to survival mode.