3 Reasons a Victim’s Mentality will Diminish Your Life
For example: The job I go to, the spouse I have, the house I live in, the salary I make, and the attitudes I hold… are they the product of things that have happened to me? Or are they the result of the decisions I’ve made within me? Do the forces that shape my life come primarily from outside me, or are they mostly from what happens within my head on a daily basis? The vast majority of us will never think about this question, never analyze our own assumptions. These assumptions just exist as the background world-view that directs our thoughts and attitudes.
These questions are at the heart of every self-help book and form the agenda of every motivational speaker. Those who are generally dissatisfied with their lives and relationships, but never make an effort to change their circumstances, usually feel that their lives are formed by things outside of them…things they have no control over. They believe their circumstances and attitudes are the result of fate, chance, genetics, government policies, the color of their skin, their place of birth, the social status of their family, other power people’s decisions, etc., etc.
Born to Lose?
Victimist thinking is becoming commonplace, routine, and even expected. I was amazed the first time I saw a tattoo that read “Born to Lose.” I have observed lately that this belief has become all too common. I recently stopped in a fast food outlet and was served by a young lady who appeared to have the remnants of a black eye. I felt sympathy for her as I speculated about the possibility that she was the victim of some sort of domestic abuse. As I stepped back to wait for my order, I looked closer while she served the next person in line. It was not an injury. It was a tattoo of a black eye! Evidently, her self-concept as a victim was so deeply entrenched that she chose to verify it every time she passed a mirror by having it tattooed on her face.
Two things about this:
First, it’s a false belief. One need only point to the thousands upon thousands of human stories about people who have risen above every possible obstacle and disadvantage imaginable to demonstrate its falsehood.
Second, to believe this is to surrender to a view of your life in which you are a victim, and there is nothing you can do about it.
Victimism will never do anything but diminish your life. Here’s why.
This view of your life will self-fulfill around you. Victimists adopt a self-concept and worldview that assumes the course of their life is at the mercy of things they cannot control. Overcoming obstacles to achieve success would contradict their self-concept and upset their worldview. Victimism is a self-perpetuating guarantee of mediocrity.
Feel Sorry For Me?
A victimist attitude yields pity, sympathy, and guilt from others but never respect, trust, or true intimacy. Victimism, by its nature, relies on the ability to create pity, sympathy, or guilt to manipulate people. Close, intimate friendships cannot develop in the presence of these things.
My Own Glass Ceiling
A victimist attitude functions as a self-imposed cap on self-esteem. Victimists often sabotage themselves in order to maintain their self-concept as a victim. I once worked with a coaching client who had a deeply entrenched victimist attitude. He was competent and capable of success, but each time he was close to breaking out of his unhappy cycle, he simply failed to follow through with the final steps that he needed to make in order to progress.
The Real Heroes
There are some real heroes among us every day. They are the people around you whom the world has given them every opportunity to regard themselves as victims, but they have rejected it and become happy and successful. The choice, really, is ours as to whether we are victims of our circumstances, or if they are simply challenges to overcome on the path to true achievement.
Do you have a “Victimist Mentality?” My next post will provide some questions you can ask yourself to find out.
Click here for a complete catalog of my blog posts with a brief description of their content.