Definition of a victim: a person to whom life happens. – Peter McWilliams
I was once a victim and I played it very well. I allowed myself to be a victim any chance I could. I always asked, “Why did this have to happen to me?”. By definition, a victim is a person who is deceived or cheated, as by his or her own emotions or ignorance, by the dishonesty of others, or by some impersonal agency. The key word in that definition is the word “is”. A victim IS a person who IS deceived or cheated. Not was. I was the victim of a wrongdoing by someone else, but that doesn’t mean that I am a victim anymore. For if I continually rehash my past, I am only victimizing myself, I am giving away control over my reality.
Being in a victim mindset means that my perception of the problems in my life is not my doing. All of my problems were solely caused by or inflicted by other forces. Yes, I have been harmed by another human being, but that does not mean I am to remain harmed by them for the rest of my day, year or life. This does not mean that I deserve sympathy for the wrong. It surely doesn’t mean that I am entitled to any special treatment. As a victim, I believed that life just happened to me. I was powerless to change. This is my lot in life, I have to accept it.
Something had changed along with my journey. Perhaps it was the confidence instilled in me by others or it was just me discovering me! But somewhere along the line, my perception of the world changed. Instead of letting my life happen, I decided to take control of it. Instead of accepting my lot in life, I rejected it. Breaking free from the victim mindset wasn’t easy. It started by simply filtering everything I posted on Facebook, I stopped and asked myself “Does what I am about to post help anyone? Does it benefit anyone else’s lives? Or am I just trying to seek sympathy?”. Once I was able to master that filter, I translated that over to my everyday life. If what I am doing is simply a call for sympathy, then I have to stop doing it. A simple quote reinforces my mindset every day “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”. Whenever I am in trying times, I chant that quote in my head many times and my mindset immediately changes. I take back control of my situation, and I react appropriately. I will never be a victim of anything or anyone in my life again.
If you catch yourself saying “I can’t…” or “I have no choice…” or even simply “I don’t know..” a lot, you are playing the victim. Even just stating “I am too old..”, is a sign that you are resolved to accept your age. Saying that you can’t do something or that you have no choice but to do something else, means you are resolved to the fact that you won’t do it or you won’t even try. You have given your control over to your victimhood, whatever it is that you cannot do has won and you have lost. You are the victim to it. Playing the victim is purely a habit. A practice that defeats you. Your life doesn’t have to happen, start small by saying in your mind that “I will…”, “I am going to change…” and “I am never too old…”.
Remember: “Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”