The Truth About Victim Mentality

Don't be a victim

by Annette Young

We probably all know people who play the victim so well. Yet, these individuals may be unaware that they are doing so. 

Consider this – it  may even be you.

So how does victim mentality actually start. Many of our behaviours are learned organically from our parents, our peers or, from other authority figures, but this is not necessarily the source unless you have witnessed someone close to you playing the blame game. Often, individuals begin to regard themselves as victims of life due to the behaviours of those around them even if there is no evidence to support this. Of course, sometimes, we all suffer as a result of another person’s negative behaviour but that doesn’t automatically create victim mentality where habitual thought processes become the norm.

Many blame their misfortune on others. They didn’t get the job, they didn’t have a pay rise, they lost out in love etc. These are all everyday scenarios but the victim is likely to blame these losses on the successful individual being luckier than them. They won’t necessarily consider that in order to achieve they should try harder or work smarter. After all, every day, there is the potential to achieve success or to fail in life.

Sometimes we lose out due to the misdeeds of others and this is known as victimism.  

You may notice those close to you playing this role. Perhaps they exude a sense of cuteness or, it’s a practiced role that they perform well. At the core of this behaviour,  there is intent – whether a conscious decision or a subconscious behaviour.

There are lots of signs to look out for:

  • Displaying heightened attention levels when with others
  • Believing that others are always luckier, happier or more successful
  • Attaching negative intentions in relation to others
  • Unwilling to take responsibility for their own actions
  • Gaining pleasure through feeling sorry for themselves
  • Gaining sympathy through relaying somewhat exaggerated stories about their situation or the misdeeds of others.

Playing the victim leads anywhere but to success. If you find yourself slipping into victim mode, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person, it’s a coping mechanism in the main. It enables you to accept failings before they even occur. Change is important – so, determine to monitor your thoughts, feelings and behaviours. No-one needs to stand behind the actions of others, it’s far more important to take ownership of your own actions than to blame those around you, even if on some occasions, it’s true.

Wouldn’t you rather be master of your own destiny rather than leaving the fate of your successes in the hands of others? Of course. Playing the victim and never taking the control of any real situation is a negative behaviour but one that can be changed. Self-help in respect of victim mentality works, it’s a case of changing negative thoughts so that you have a more positive outlook. It’s about accepting failures through your own doings rather than blaming others. It’s about taking ownership of your life and forging your own way in life, standing by your choices. Victim mentality is self-defeating, if you struggle to escape the clutches of this behaviour, seek out a professional counsellor or, try CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy).

Awareness is a wonderful starting point.

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The Mind, The Key and You

Awareness

Awarenessby Annette Young

I had an interesting conversation the other day. I was flying back after a busy 4-day visit to the UK where I had been teaching for the weekend and was on my way back home to Spain. Although the journey is only a little over 2 hours, I always find myself people-watching and talking to others wherever possible – call it the writer in me but I’m fascinated by how others think, feel and act and find myself gleefully absorbing the subtleties of characteristics. This time, I was sitting next to a couple who were far from early morning risers and who seemed intent only on waking up with a can of lager. Our conversation was interesting in that it reminded me how the power of thought can make such a huge difference. Here’s why.

The couple were going on holiday and looking forward to the warmth of the Spanish sun for a week and my companion in the next seat asked me where I was going on holiday. He was greatly surprised when I said that I lived in Spain now and had spent the last four years travelling through France before embarking on an intended year’s stay in Spain. His initial comment was how lucky I was as if I was one of a favoured few who had been handed the ‘get out of mundane life’ card. But although there was no resentment or malice from him, just resigned dissatisfaction at our parallel lives, it made me realise that this is the general view of those who are firmly caught up in the stresses and strains of daily life and who see no way out.

But therein lies the problem for people.

I seriously (hand on heart) believe that we make our own luck in life and we shape our futures. Life is a constant act of surging forward pushing through or overcoming difficulties in life and it’s how you approach it, and how much you want to take control that makes a difference as to how you live and achieve. I have done my best to help writers realise their dreams for many years encouraging them to think like professionals so that they embrace and wrap themselves in the role, wearing this creative cloak which enables them to achieve their dreams. The secret is not earth-shattering, it is all about their mind-set and how much they want to write for a living and to be able to live a lifestyle that offers freedom and creativity every day.

Feel your dreams and visualise it happening

When I said this to the man next to me, he seemed surprised, as if he’d never once contemplated that he could get out of the rut that seemed to be his life, a drink that enabled him to face each day (his words) and then, to have his head down ploughing his way through his working day, willing the hours to go by so that he could enjoy his few hours of freedom before facing the same routine the next day. His one-week holiday abroad was a luxury where he made the most of the Spanish alcohol measures (his words) before going back to the rat race. When I asked him what he would really like to do in life, he shook his head, he had no idea, no vision and no aspirations. He didn’t realise that he could actually shape his future. I could see him toying with the idea and I hope that the idea takes shape. We all have the power of the mind and the key to unlocking a future that is appealing.

With realisation comes awareness and with awareness comes action – if you choose to do so. I shaped my life, what do you want to do with yours?

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Gag, Bind and Silence the Inner Critic

Awareness

Silence the inner critic

by Annette Young

The simplest actions in life are shaped by your thoughts. Your decisions or inability to decide on any of the multitude of options presented to you are determined by clarity of thought, the ability to analyse and weigh-up said options and, to come to a satisfactory conclusion. It is your thoughts – whether positive or negative that enable you to progress or to come grinding to a halt.

 

What opportunities have passed you by?

 

We all have equal chances in life. You may not think it but there’s a level playing field out there in terms of your ability to achieve success. While some opportunities may not come gift-wrapped or presented on a silver platter, if you are forward-thinking, positive and determined, the energy that you promote conjures up a route not formerly open and new possibilities start to emerge. Whether you take these options and use them, is up to you, it’s a conscious choice. But what happens if your negative thought processes are whirring away in the background and holding you captive on a sub-conscious level?

 

There’s a voice inside your mind telling you no.

 

Many people find themselves having an inner dialogue. This is not an indulgence or a sign of madness but the inner critic that often comes out to play when indecision hovers. Your inner critic taints your thought processes and renders them inadequate. The inner critic paralyses you leading you to inactivity so that your true potential passes you by. Think of any occasion when your inner voice may have gleefully informed you that you are lacking – you are not good enough, pretty enough or clever enough. Here’s an example: you meet the person of your dreams or apply for a dream job and then, without warning, the inner critic demoralises your self-esteem and confidence stripping it back to its crumbling foundations. When you understand that it’s the work of the inner critic, awareness can give you an added advantage.

 

There’s a battle going on right now

 

The good news is that the inner critic can be quietened and tamed to order. Awareness and resolve come into play here. You can mentally gag that nagging voice and push all thoughts of doubt away. Don’t let the strength of this inner voice fool you though, one victory is not enough, it’s strong, but you need to be stronger. Make no mistake, turn your attention for one second and it will be back like a gremlin on the shoulder of life. The more you practice positivity and tell yourself you can achieve anything, the greater the potential for doing so.

 

What’s your inner critic telling you today?

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Thoughts Are Energy

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If all thoughts are energy then the question is, do we have to breathe life into all of them? The answer is a resounding no! If we understand that a particular thought is negative then we should be aware of it, but instead, turn our thoughts to a positive.

Let us look at an example; Tom has an expanding business; his staff are struggling to keep up with the ever-increasing workloads. He has a choice, either he employs new staff or he stays where he is and does not expand the business further. Sounds an easy decision right? The problem is that Tom is worried that if he loses his main contract, he’ll have extra wages to find but have no work to cover the rising costs. If Tom gives into his negative thought processes, if he dwells too deeply on his doubts, he could give life to those thoughts by allowing them to suffocate his potential to expand.

By not stepping out of his comfort zone, his company will not progress and through this, he may still be at risk of the negativity he is trying to avoid. Alternatively, Tom could simply be aware of the negative implications but take the positive route through life, being consciously prepared of the risks but, doing all he can to look for new contracts. This would place his business and any employees in a far healthier position. By understanding there are two outcomes but concentrating on the positive, he gives life only to the positive and eliminates his fears or at least the control those fears would have over him. Fear is only born from the negative thought after all. The whole point is that we get a choice in life.

We are far better off if we understand the negative implications but do not allow them to fester and transform into something that stops our potential or in this case, the progression of the business. Awareness is vital but allows you to concentrate on the desired outcome. So all thought is energy and the universe is balanced with both positive and negative energies, and by being aware of all outcomes, we start to take control. Denial only gives life to negative thoughts.

Andy Beveridge

 

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