How the Victim Mentality is Destructive and What You Can Do About It!
I can think of no other mentality that is more destructive than being stuck in a victim mentality.
A victim mentality is NOT to be confused with a victim. We’re all a victim at some point of our life, of theft, of violence, you name it. But a victim mentality is that which lingers on and defines us by the events which happen in our lives, rather than what is inside of us.
We have all had bad things happen to us in our personal and business life. They are devastating when they happen. That great employee just walks out on her job and never comes back, and you never know why. You get nailed with an unexpected expense that nearly breaks you. You fail. You’re the recipient of terrible online reviews.
These things happen, and they happen often. In business we have to be agile, and we also have to check ourselves for signs of self-destruction. One of these signs is in the victim mentality.
Nothing is more self-limiting and mentally crippling than holding on to a victim mentality. I cannot think of another state of mind which is more destructive to the self-esteem. And we all know in business, the leader is the heart and soul of that business. And when the heart of the business is sick, thus will the company and all who depend on it, suffer.
It destroys your sense of responsibility.
That’s right, when you are in a victim mentality, you are continually blaming the outside world for your professional problems. Taxes, loss of sales, loss of that great employee. These are all examples of circumstances which can bring on the death-spiral of the victim mentality.
When you allow yourself to be perpetually in a victim mentality, you will never escape from the trap that your mind has created. The way to improving your life and business is only from within and what you can immediately control in your surroundings.
You have to be the one to emancipate yourself from this mental prison. No one else can do it for you. You have it within you to do it.
It destroys your self-worth.
When you are in a perpetual victim mode of thinking, you lose sight of what you are – a marvelous human being. You are capable of so many great things that you’ll never realize if you continue to identify with being a victim.
You give away your power.
Whenever you allow something in the past to control your thinking and emotions, you are literally giving away your power. Whatever energy is devoted to being in a victim mode of thought takes energy away from other things in your life. If you do not love and support yourself, and you allow external and past events to dictate your thoughts, you have become a slave to the thoughts. You have become disempowered. And this disempowerment will effect every level of your life, including your business.
Life is suffering and everyone has bad things happen to them.
Here’s a few facts about suffering that we all have to admit to ourselves before moving beyond victim mentalities:
1. Life is HARD, it is full of pain and suffering and you will NEVER know the full extent of which circumstances through which other people suffer. The only difference between humans is what type of terrible thing they have to endure. It is a human condition. Suffering is suffering whether it is entirely mental or physical, or both.
2. There will never be escape from suffering. Life is a school, and a very tough one and it will roll over you if you’re not careful! What separates the winners from the losers is the attitude they bring to school with them.
3. Life can be very beautiful too, but we tend to focus on the negative things that happen to us which have been programed into our minds by culture/society. The remedy to this is to turn your focus inward and to realize you’re doing the very best you can.
The cure for the victim mentality.
You gotta be a little selfish and recognize that you are destroying yourself with a victim mentality. Everything you touch in life will be colored by this toxic attitude, and you alone are responsible for your life. No one else is.
1. Realize that being a victim is never a permanent condition. We all have within us the capability to foster control over our emotions and reactions to what has happened to us in the past. Sure, bad things happen. But we have to train ourselves to move on and learn from them.
2. As long as we identify with being a victim, it will torment us endlessly. Learn some new self-talk that doesn’t have a negative tone to it. In fact, just learn self talk like this.
3. Compassion. Start with yourself. Then you can practice with others. Always, always, always know that whatever face you look at, behind the eyes is suffering in some form. If someone is alive, they are suffering. Such is the way of this world.
Try breathing in time with this image!
Your breath connects you with your inner reality. Take time each day to breathe and meditate on the wonderful being that you are.
5. Realize that life is NOT a pass/fail scenario. It’s a series of events that help define YOU. You can think of it, in movie terms, as your script and you’re the one enjoying the drama that is unfolding. Sure, you get caught up in the story in places, but then you realize it’s just a story! And more so, it’s a story that needn’t define you!