Finding Your Way: Real Life Coaching for Real People; Victim or Victor
You Can Choose Your Outcome
Change Your Mindset
Recognize You Have a Choice
You Control Yourself
Own Your Choices
Identify Your Rewards
Are You a Victor or a Victim?
The Victim Mentality
Life can be hard. Sometimes, the things you experience make you feel victimized. Someone steals from you, or a friend is inexplicably mean, someone gives you a nasty glare at the supermarket. Or, more seriously, you are abused by someone you trust, or a friend is injured in an accident.
There are many different situations that can make you feel like a victim. In any of these types of circumstances, it can be easy to adopt the victim mentality. You feel like you have no control. You feel like there is nothing you can do about a situation. You feel like the world is out to get you, and you feel like a victim.
How can you reframe your experience from a victim mentality to becoming a victor? From being an observer to a creator? This article will help you make that transition.
You Only Control Yourself
You Can Only Control Yourself
Let's start with a basic assumption: You have no control over anyone but yourself.
You Can Only Control Yourself.
Sure, if you're a parent, you might think you have control over your child. And to a certain extent, that's true. Kind of. You set the rules, your child follows the rules. But children have minds of their own. They are learning cause and effect, and as a parent, you are teaching decisions and consequences.
Your child might follow your rules, or they might choose not to. Then, you have a choice, to teach them the consequences of their actions. All of life offers choices.
Whether you are a parent, a spouse, a boss or an employee, you have choices.
You are not the victim of your boss, your employees, your parents, your partner or your children. You are in control of yourself. If someone does something you dislike or that hurts or offends you, you get to choose your response. Thus, teaching in life cause and effect.
You are not a Victim
You are not a victim of your life. You control yourself. When you label yourself a victim of another person's actions, then you take away your own power.
Terrible things happen every single day. People are abused, attacked, even murdered at the hands of others. But calling yourself a victim is the ultimate disempowerment.
Even if unspeakable acts are done to you, you still have a choice. What are you going to do in this moment? You cannot change or control what another person does, but you do have complete control over what you do.
This is the decision that frees you or entraps you. You have a choice.
Living a Victorious Life
The first step in living a victorious life is to recognize that you always have a choice. In any situation with any person, you have choices. Who are you in response or relation to that person or that event?
Decide how you want to show up. If you decide to be a victim or a martyr, then you are actively creating that role for yourself. There is nothing wrong with that. Own it. Play it up.
In every choice you make, there are rewards. If you choose the victim or martyr role, examine your own motives. What do you get out of it? Maybe you like people to feel sorry for you. Maybe you like attention. Maybe you want people to feel bad. Whatever the reward is, own it. Take responsibility for your decision.
Don't Blame Anyone Else
The second step to living as the creator of your own life is to accept responsibility for your choices. You have no control over anyone else's decisions and you are not responsible for their outcome. You have control over your choices, and you are entirely responsible for your own life.
Let go of your need to control anyone else's experience. Take responsibility for your own actions. Even if you determine your decision was a mistake, you can own up to the mistake.
Taking responsibility, even for bad decisions, empowers you. You also demonstrate to others how to take responsibility for their own decisions. Own it. If you don't like the outcome of your choice, then you can always choose again.
Every moment offers a chance to choose again. It only takes a moment of awareness. Does this event, or your response to the event accurately reflect who you are? Does this decision fit with who you wish to be?
Take a deep breath and ask yourself those questions. If the answer is no, then begin again. Make a different choice that accurately reflects who you really are. If the answer is yes, this is who I am, then keep moving forward.
You Have the Power
Real Life Victor, Real Life Victim: You Decide
This might all seem like theoretical mumbo jumbo. But in real life, you do have a choice.
I was in an abusive marriage for nearly twenty years. My reward (in hindsight) was that people felt sorry for me. I played the victim card every chance I could, and people always felt bad for my kids and me. Sometimes they helped us by giving us money, groceries, stuff, and even just their attention and sympathy. That, in hindsight, was my reward for being a victim.
Finally, one day, a close friend said she couldn't hear about it any more. She told me I was exactly where I wanted to be, and until I was ready to change things, she couldn't emotionally listen to my stories of abuse. No more reward. And I had to make a choice. Stay and suffer, or do a new thing.
It took several months and was the hardest, scariest thing I have ever done. But I finally realized that I had a choice. I made a different decision. I took my kids and I left. I stopped being a victim and chose to take control of my own circumstances.
In that moment, I became a victor. No, it wasn't easy. It was hard. It was scary. But I gained my life, when I chose to stop being a victim.
I have a friend who is the victim of her adult children. Every time we talk, one of the three of her kids has another calamity - health crisis, drug arrest, car accident. The list goes on. It's always a new disaster.
This friend lives on a fixed income and constantly uses her money to bail her kids out of trouble.
"I have to," she says and she believes it. While she struggles every month to pay her bills, her kids suck her dry.
The truth is, she doesn't have to. She chooses to. Her reward is attention from her kids, and sympathy from her friends. She feels important and her kids are dependent on her help.
In both of these examples, someone is suffering because of another person's actions. In both examples, the victim has a choice.
You have a choice today. For this week, look at all the times you say to yourself or to others, "I have to..."
Before you say that, pause. Remind yourself that you have a choice. Instead of saying, "I have to..." try saying "I choose to..." or "I want to..." or "I've decided to..."
Take back your own power. Examine your decisions and choices. Do they reflect who you are and who you wish to be?
You are always in the process of creating your life. This week, choose the life you wish to create. Embrace the beauty of your life and release the victim role completely. You get to choose. You have the power to decide.
The first step is to recognize you have choices. Then, take responsibility for your decisions. If you don't like the outcome, feel free to choose again.
In this way you shed the victim mentality for a victorious life.
Victim or Victor? Real Life Coaching for Real Life
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Deborah Demander Reno