4 Ways to Check Yourself for a Victimist Mentality
Victimist Body Art?
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.
In a previous post I shared why Victimist thinking is a toxic habit that will diminish your life.
The “Universe” Is Against Me
How do you react when you underachieve or fail at something? Do your thoughts go to the reasons you didn’t have a fair shot? You didn’t get enough information or cooperation from others? Were you sabotaged by those who want you to fail?
Or instead, are your first thoughts of some miscalculation you made, your lack of due diligence at some point, or the things you learned from the experience that could help you succeed next time? Be honest with yourself; do you name and blame, or do you learn and plan?
“It Must Be Nice…”
When you are confronted with someone else’s success in something at which you want to excel, does your self-talk center around the advantages the other person had which you lacked, such as access to finances, education, and insider connections? Have you ever caught yourself saying something like, “If my Daddy had set me up in the business, I’d be doing that well, too.”
Or do you seek even more information in order to analyze the wise decisions, work, priorities, and planning that allowed them to succeed so that you, too, might follow the same path? Tell yourself the truth and don’t hold back; do you rue and rationalize, or do you study and strategize?
Never Had A Chance
Without regard to accuracy or validity, what are your first thoughts when you are criticized or receive a poor performance review? Are they of the critic or reviewer and all the possible personal and prejudicing factors that invalidate the appraisal (“She dumped on me because my daughter beat her daughter at the dance contest last year.”)?
Or do you think first about your performance and consider that the criticism might truly indicate an area where you need improvement? Do you defend and deflect, or do you amend and correct?
In reaction to loss or disaster — perhaps the destruction of property or a demotion or loss of your job — what happens in your head? Are your thoughts of resignation? Do you say, “Oh well. It was good while it lasted. I’ll just have to adjust to this lesser life somehow”?
Or do you begin making plans to restore, replace, or otherwise recover what was lost or destroyed? Do you whine and resign, or do you regroup and recoup?
Most of the time victims fail because they choose to, and usually don’t have a clue about that. The good news is you don’t have to be a victim unless you choose to.
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