We’ve all had things happen in life that were unexpected and may have caused us to react in a way that was out of character for us.
It is during such occasions that we allow external circumstances to control us and make us victims of our circumstances.
Here’s what a victim is in this context. A victim is someone who has allowed themselves to be affected by something or someone, which causes them to feel:
- Stuck or unmotivated.
- Frustrated or angry.
- Unhappy or even depressed.
- A sense of resignation.
The signs that indicate someone is in victim mode includes:
- Constant complaining.
- Making up excuses.
- Blaming others or external circumstances.
- Justifying bad behaviour or poor performance.
- Waiting or hoping their life will get better by itself.
Being a victim is rarely helpful nor does it support us in creating the results or the life we want.
The truth is we’ve allowed ourselves to be a victim at some point in our lives. I remember when I had completed my university studies, there was a gap of around four months before I graduated. One of the fears I had was not having a job when I went for my graduation because I felt it would be embarrassing to catch-up with my university friends and have to tell them that I didn’t have a job.
We tend to create what we give our energy and focus to. I really struggled to find a job. My mindset was not positive and I even considered not attending my graduation. I was willing to deny my parents, who had invested so much into my education, the opportunity to celebrate a major life milestone with me. I had totally allowed myself to become a victim of my circumstances.
Somehow I managed to get myself to attend my graduation, and once I started talking to my fellow graduates, there was a tremendous relief because the majority of graduates were also still looking for roles aligned to what they had studied. The experience was not what I had been fearing. Thankfully, I allowed myself to enjoy my graduation and found a job not too long after graduating.
That experience really highlighted to me how powerless we become when we allow ourselves to be in victim mode. We don’t demonstrate our best self when we’re a victim.
The good news is we can stop being a victim any time we want and start taking control of our thoughts, emotions, actions and results. Here are five things we can do to become more intentional about the results we want to create, which means we will be the creator of our lives instead of being a victim.
- Face the truth. There is no point in pretending things are fine or okay when we know they are not. We have to acknowledge what’s not working and start taking ownership of our part in creating that reality. The most important thing we can do to take control of our lives is to accept full responsibility for the things that are not the way we want them to be in our lives.
- Change your mindset. Before anything can improve externally, we must make a shift internally. Changing our mindset will allow us to expand our perspective and look at our situation from different points of view. There are three things we can do to improve our mindset — add or learn something new, improve or upgrade an existing belief, and release or let go of a belief that is no longer serving us.
- Decide what you want. Whenever we’re in victim mode, we are usually focusing on what we don’t want or on how bad things are. To take control of our lives, we have to give more energy and focus to the things we want. This is why knowing what is truly important to us is a vital step in designing the life we want.
- Take new action. If we keep doing the same things, we will continue to get the same type of results. We have to do things differently. This may include asking for help, making a difficult decision, or starting something new. The key is to start moving forward towards what we want.
- Hold yourself accountable. Being in victim mode is often an unconscious behaviour, so we need some type of accountability to ensure we stick to the changes we intend to make. Having someone else like a mentor or a coach, is often the best way to be held accountable.
Once we start taking control of our lives, we will open up new possibilities and create new opportunities. We will be more confident and feel more powerful, which will help us deal with situations in our lives a lot better. If we continue being a victim, we will not allow ourselves to step up and claim our personal power.
Question: What is another thing we can do to stop being a victim and take control of our lives?
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