Do you sometimes or often feel like a victim in your life? Well, you if you do, you are certainly not alone.
Feeling like a victim is all to do with our state of mind – our mentality. We think of ourselves as victims, and our thoughts become our feelings and our actions.
When you have a victim mentality you feel as though you cannot succeed no matter how hard you try and that everything and everyone is against you. Feeling like this can be very frustrating as it keeps you stuck.
You feel trapped and helpless and believe you have no control over your life. Your thinking patterns are likely to be negative and very pessimistic. There is also a strong chance that self-pity and sadness are familiar features of your life.
The “benefits” of having a victim mindset
Believe it or not, having a victim mindset is attractive to some people because they believe it holds several benefits, such as:
- not taking any risks in life and therefore not failing at anything
- generating pity and attention from other people
- not having to work hard in order to take responsibility for their lives
- feeling safe, simply because a victim mindset has become a habit and “normal”
In order to stop feeling like a victim in your life you have to realise the pay-offs for retaining that frame of mind and also know that it is a woefully poor substitute for a full and successful life. This is a very important first step to change.
How to change your mindset
It is also important to be consciously aware of your thinking patterns and replace your negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Our thoughts create our feelings, so it is vital that you start to retrain your thoughts so that they are beneficial to your self-esteem and are encouraging and motivating.
The next step is to begin to take responsibility for your life. This means letting go of blaming others for our present situation. It means being accountable for your life and not handing control over to someone else. Taking responsibility helps to build a sense of inner strength and you cease to search for your validation from other people. They will no longer have such a strong influence on your thoughts and feelings.
Another way to eliminate your victim mentality is to take a moment to put your problems and fears into perspective. Comparing your predicament with people whose lives are much harder and less fortunate than your own is an excellent wake up call for your victim mentality. Gaining a sense of gratitude for the many blessings in your life is essential for appreciating the many gifts you have.
An attitude of gratitude
Gratitude may seem like a hard task in view of our past hurts, especially if we have been treated badly by people we loved and trusted. However, allowing ourselves to focus on betrayals and cruelty only serves to keep us stuck in a victim mentality.
In order to break free from this we need to learn to forgive. Remember that forgiveness does not necessarily mean we condone others’ actions against us. We forgive primarily for ourselves, not for others. Forgiveness releases us and unburdens our soul and it severs the link we hold with the person who treated us badly. Their power over us is broken. Forgiveness is vital if we wish to eliminate our victim mentality and move forward in our lives.
Victims very often turn their attention inward, narrowing down the focus of their life to the point of self-fixation. It is far better to start to turn your attention to the world around you and ask yourself what you can do to make it a better place and what you can contribute.
Help others and you help yourself
There are many charities and good causes that are crying out for help. Helping other people is a fantastic way to not only do something worthwhile but it’s also a great way to feel wonderful about ourselves.
When we help people in need we receive far more in return than we give. How you behave and act towards other people has a strong effect on how you treat yourself. If you treat others with kindness you are likely to treat yourself with the same thoughtfulness.
Changing your victim mentality also requires that you are kind to yourself. Congratulate yourself for each day you take control over your life. There will still be days when you feel like a victim, but as these lessen you will see how much fuller and satisfying your life is and you will realise also that you have so much to offer to the world.