How to stop playing the Victim
It’s all too easy to play the victim, and all too easy to react to situations in life as a victim. We’ve all done it. There’s no shame in it, but the longer you remain in the place of victim, the more disempowered you become.
When you react to a situation wearing the hat of a victim, you create feelings of fear, anger, hurt, inadequacy, shame, rejection and much more.
Left to fester, these emotional states will go on to create havoc.
Identifying that you have played the role of victim does take a courage and accountability, because the ego doesn’t want you to think of yourself as a victim! The ego wants to believe it is right to blame the rest of the world!
I know exactly when the victim part of me has popped up, because all my toys get thrown out the pram!
Have you ever believed you are powerless? That’s the victim part of you rearing its head asking to be rescued.
Have you ever gone against your gut instinct and then blamed someone else for how a situation turned out? Victim again.
Have you every felt angry or resentful about your circumstances in life, but have done nothing or very little proactively to resolve the situation? Yes you’ve got it – victim.
How many times have you played the ‘yes but’ game? For example, someone offers a helpful suggestion to a problem you have, and you immediately turn the suggestion on its head with a response like; ‘yes, but that won’t work because….’. I think you get the picture now!
Through my years of being a therapist I have observed a strong link between acting a victim and shame.
As Brene Brown highlights in her enlightening research (highly recommend you watch her TED Talk on shame), shame is not a feeling many of us wish to come face to face with, and more often than not, will do anything to avoid experiencing. Feelings of shame often lead to drinking too much, eating too much, gambling or out of control spending.
The ego also plays a big part in keeping you in the state of mind of being a victim because the ego never wants to admit it is wrong or that it has failed in any way.
However, when you take responsibility for your life, you start to take away power from the ego.
How to stop being a victim and start taking accountability for your life…
When you start to take responsibility and accountability for yourself, decisions you have made, past behaviours and so on, you stop playing the role of the victim, you stop running away from yourself and putting your head in the sand and instead become the creator of your life.
What you will also discover is a feeling of empowerment.
How to get started….
The following is a very powerful exercise to get you to look at your current thoughts and perceptions and take responsibility for them.
Start by completing the sentence “I should” noticing what feelings and thoughts comes up in every area of your life;
…I should have left my ex partner sooner
…I should have reached out and got help with how I was feeling sooner
…I should have got further in my career
…I should have been more proactive in building my business
…I should be feeling more satisfied and happy in my life
When you have completed the list, next for each statement answer the question “why?”
why you believe you should….
I should have reached out and got help sooner with how I was feeling because I suffered in silence for too long trying to ignore how I was feeling and now my health is seriously effected
I should have got further in my career by now because I am 41 and all my friends have been so much more successful
Now reframe each “I should” to “If I wanted to I could…….”
If I wanted to I could have got help in addressing how I was feeling sooner
If I wanted to progress in my career, I could have been more proactive in looking at alternative opportunities and spending my spare time reading more books to support my development
If I wanted to I could have been more proactive in growing my business, attended more networking events and creating more opportunities and leads
Now for each statement answer, “why haven’t you”
I haven’t got help sooner for the way I was feeling because I thought it was normal to feel stress and that I would get over it eventually
I haven’t been looking at ways to progress in my career because this ‘poor me’ part has got in the way and held me back and I haven’t done anything proactively to tackle that voice in my head
Now that you’ve reframed the statements, review them and reflect on where you could have acted sooner, taken charge, made a different decision etc and the reasons why you haven’t.
The reasons why you haven’t taken charge enables you to see where you have perhaps played the victim, or where there are limiting inner beliefs, thought patterns and perceptions which have been or still are, blocking you.
Well done in moving one step further to transforming your life!
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