Advertising
Advertising

Do You Feel Like A Victim and How Should You Deal With It?

Do You Feel Like A Victim and How Should You Deal With It?

I have to confess that I used to feel like a victim. Even though I help people become fit, healthy, and happy as a personal trainer today, I used to be the polar opposite of all of those things. I used to be so weak that helping people move furniture (and other heavy things) made me feel so worthless that I wished I could become invisible. I was very overweight and out-of-shape, which made me hate my body and my life.

My Story

My victim mentality caused me to point-the-finger at anything but myself for many years. As a teenager, I blamed my weight on “bad genes” (even though I shoveled sweets and sugar down my throat at lunch every single day). In college, I blamed it on my “busy schedule” (even though I could always find two hours for Facebook or watching TV without fail). I even had a brief phase in adulthood where I blamed my parents for not taking enough interest in my health as a child, but even that fails in the face of logic. My mom worked long hours so we could live comfortably, so I rode the bus to my grandparents’ house, where I chose to spend hours playing video games and watching Total Request Live (this was kind of a big deal at that time). I could have easily spent at least an hour exercising or playing outside a few days per week, which would have been more than enough to help me achieve a healthy weight, but I chose to dodge personal responsibility, embrace my victim mentality, and wallow in misery instead.

I did suffer bullying as a child–nothing so bad that it involved physical violence–but nonetheless, I think this could have influenced my belief that I was a victim with no control over my situation. A victim mentality is not something that you are born with; it is something that is produced by negative influences such as abusive parents, bullying from peers, threats of harm from a romantic partner, and other extraordinary (and unpleasant) events.

Advertising

The good news? Since the feeling of being a victim isn’t something you’re doomed to have due to hereditary factors, this means that the behavior can be unlearned. On the day of my college graduation, it dawned on me that I had no one to blame but myself. I was looking at myself in the mirror, looking snazzy in a graduation robe and classy suit, and this thought occurred to me:

“I have full control over my life. If I was able to graduate from college with an excellent GPA despite a massive workload, a part-time job, and all of my hobbies and interests, then I can easily drop this weight that is holding me back.”

Right there, I made a promise to myself that I would become the fit and healthy person I desired to be, and I would no longer play the victim card to dodge personal responsibility. It took a lot of patience and hard work, but I’m happy to say I achieved my goal and built a better body that filled me with self-esteem and confidence unlike anything I had ever felt before.

Advertising

Do You Feel Like a Victim?

I chose to tackle this subject from the topic of health and fitness, because in my experience as a personal trainer and coach, I’m fully aware that a lot of folks feel like a victim (and this is why they have such a difficult time motivating themselves to begin or stick with a fitness plan). That said, the victim mentality can come in other forms. Tell me if any of the following sounds familiar:

  • “I just can’t get ahead.”
  • “It’s always something.”
  • “I have the worst luck.”
  • “Why should I bother?”
  • “I couldn’t help it.”
  • “Life just sucks.”

If you say any of these things, it is possible you’re playing the victim card to dodge personal responsibility in your life. Please realize that I understand you might not be doing this on purpose, and in fact, it’s likely that you’re not. Your subconscious could be paralyzing your ability to take action because your fear of change is resisting self-improvement with all of its might. If you feel like a victim, you don’t have to be brave enough to make positive changes that would help you transform your life.

How Should You Deal With It?

What can be done about this? Here are 5 steps to help you take responsibility for yourself:

Advertising

1. Commit to a new, better, healthier mindset.

It isn’t possible to re-model a behavior that has been built by years of repetition overnight, so be ready for the long-game. Remember: consistent hustle always wins.

2. Accept that your life is what you make of it.

You are a champion. You are unstoppable. You can do anything!

3. Use words that give you the power to succeed.

Say, “I can get fit,” and “I will work out!” If you tell yourself you “can’t” or “won’t” do something, these phrases will stop you dead in your tracks, so stay positive.

Advertising

4. Seek support if you need it.

Your friends love you and care about you. Tell a dear friend about whatever self-empowering goal you hope to achieve and ask them if they will be your accountability buddy. Or, if you’re feeling shy, there are support communities on the internet that are a simple Google search away.

5. Take small steps in the direction of your goal.

If you take a single step in the direction of where you want to be every day, you will reach your destination (I promise).

Talk to Me.

Do you feel like a victim? What is stopping you from taking responsibility for your life? I want to help you however I can, so please don’t hesitate to talk to me in the comments. I’m not shy and don’t bite (hard).

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

Less Thinking, More Doing: Develop the Action Habit Today Why Instant Gratification is the Villain of Success How To Be Happy Alone and Enjoy Life Why You Procrastinate: 7 Possible Reasons You Can’t Get Anything Done 9 Things to Remember When You’re Having a Bad Day

Trending in Communication

1 What Is Life About? 9 Ways to Find Your Meaning in Life 2 7 Things To Remember When You Feel Broken Inside 3 Focus On Yourself, Because Most Of The Time No One Really Cares 4 10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life 5 10 Powerful Ways to Be More Confident

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on August 10, 2020

10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

10 Principles for Success to Live Your Dream Life

Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

If you’re ready to do what you want in life, then the 10 principles of success are what you need to follow.

You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

Advertising

2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

  • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
  • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
  • Answer a few Superpower Questions

Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

Advertising

5. Embrace Your Inner Self

Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

  • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
  • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
  • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward. Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

Here’s How to Listen to Your Inner Voice for Greater Fulfillment.

6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

Advertising

What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

“You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

Advertising

You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

Final Thoughts

Eleanor Roosevelt said,

“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

More About Success in Life

Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next