I get a lot of friends who come to me to complain, and their story is always the same. It is quite frustration because they seem to caught in the same cycle year after year no matter the circumstance. They have problems with their career and not being able to get where they want to be. They tell me how much men or women suck and how frustrating dating is. They say they generally aren’t feeling well about themselves and their abilities, but nothing ever changes. They are addicted to complaining, but do you want to know the real culprit? The reason why they, and YOU are stuck in life is because you are viewing things from a victim mindset. You are stuck there in victim mentality mode and the worst part is, you don’t even know it.
What is the victim mentality?
The victim mentality is when you think you are stuck within certain perimeters due to your own limiting beliefs or external factors. When things don’t go they way you want, you fault others or your own inadequacies for not being able to get ahead.
People who are stuck in the victim mentality have a hard time thinking of their situation from the opposite perspective, thus creating a perpetuating trapped mindset. In psychology, they call this learned helplessness. If you are not blaming yourself, you may blame your race, gender, sexuality, culture background, socioeconomic status, disability, appearance, others abuse etc. on how others treat you or hold you back. Regardless the reason for others mistreating you, you use these factors for excuses to remain stuck. By doing so, you give all your power to external factors or internal doubt, versus taking your power back and managing your life as you see fit.
Do I have a victim mindset?
Let’s find out! Do any of these statements apply to you? If so, you may have a victim mindset.
- You complain, but don’t take action and give up easily
- You lack self confidence
- You give external factors more power than yourself
- You let negative self talk sabotage your choices
- You deplete yourself until you need support
- You make excuses for why you can’t make change
- You feel bitter or resentful towards those who “hold you down”
- You engage in self destructive coping behaviors
- You believe it’s always someone else’s fault
How do I release myself from the victim mentality?
The very first step to any change is awareness. Have awareness of the neutral truth about yourself. You must acknowledge that you play a role in your existence. Things do not just happen to you or by chance with out you playing a role in it. If you are living and breathing, you can either play an active or passive role in your life. Either of them are CHOICES that you make for how you handle situations in your life. Once you have awareness of what is going on in your life and what you feel needs changing, you can start to take an active role in your life.
What story are you telling yourself? These stories perpetuation back to you your reality. If you think “all guys suck”, you will never find someone who will exceed your expectations. You will be looking for things about the guy that support the belief “that all guys suck”. What you focus on, you get. (Now that is not to say, you don’t acknowledge when someone mistreats you and only look on the bright side. You see things objectively and give yourself the choice to take or leave it as they present themselves.
Take Power Back From Your Excuses
Realize that you give your power to other things when you use them as excuses. Sure, you will definitely have setbacks and hurdles, but you shouldn’t let them permanently set you back. By pointing out that a certain “thing” (race, gender, cultural background, socioeconomic status, appearance, your own mindset, etc.) is holding you back, you are 100% handing over all your personal power to it.
Take your power back from your excuses but understanding that those things will only CONTINUE to hold you down if you play victim to them. Rise above the victimhood by knowing your the true power of your mindset and internal strength.
Cyclical Complaining vs. Venting
There is nothing wrong with expressing how you feel about hardships with friends or loved ones, but it does become a problem when venting become cyclical complaining. It is good to vent in order to release our emotions and bounce ideas off of other people. They help us cope and can challenge us to see things from a new perspective.
Be weary that your venting does not turn into constant complaining. With awareness, catch how you think about things. When things go wrong, does your mind automatically go to the dark side.
Take Responsibility For The Life You Want
Sometimes it takes really hard moments when we are finally realize, no one is coming to save you. No one is coming to pick you up and tell you that everything is going to be alright and show you the way forward. What you need realize, regardless if you have that rock bottom moment is, no one is coming and you have to take responsibility for the life you want.
These means taking care of yourself in all regards. If you’re not physically well, go to your doctor. If you are not mentally well, talk to family or friends, and make an appointment to see a therapist. If you don’t have the skill set you need to get the job or gig you want, read books, learn online, take a class, get some practical work experience. Invest in yourself physically and mentally.
Understand that with the good days, come bad days, and you have to be prepared for how you manage life’s unexpected bumps. You can not plan for everything, but you can learn how to be resilient and resourceful.
Start Living Consciously
Overall, you just have to start living consciously. Be conscious of your thoughts, the way you spend your time, and the external information you consume.
When you are conscious of yourself and your surroundings, you start to be an active player in your life. Life should not be something you just react to. Living passively is a choice, but living a conscious life is what will begin to help you get unstuck from any situation in your life.
Like they say, when the student is ready, the teacher appears.
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This post is great and bang-on the point, ‘no one is coming to save you’! Playing a conscious role in my own existence began more as a challenge, I did start seeing things from a new perspective and a more positive mindset (I was moody, stressed, anxious blah blah blah). But since putting in some effort to change and being consistent (found this part hard) the results do come…
Exactly! I was coming from a similar mindset at the beginning too and I didn’t even realize that I was faulting other events in my life which kept me feeling “trapped”. It’s important to acknowledge the events that have happened in your life, how they influenced you, understanding where your mindset currently is and being more conscious about your own perspective!