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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.

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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.

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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:

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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.

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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).

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Daniel Wallen

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

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

How to Motivate People Around You and Inspire Them

If I was a super hero I’d want my super power to be the ability to motivate everyone around me. Think of how many problems you could solve just by being able to motivate people towards their goals. You wouldn’t be frustrated by lazy co-workers. You wouldn’t be mad at your partner for wasting the weekend in front of the TV. Also, the more people around you are motivated toward their dreams, the more you can capitalize off their successes.

Being able to motivate people is key to your success at work, at home, and in the future because no one can achieve anything alone. We all need the help of others.

So, how to motivate people? Here are 7 ways to motivate others even you can do.

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1. Listen

Most people start out trying to motivate someone by giving them a lengthy speech, but this rarely works because motivation has to start inside others. The best way to motivate others is to start by listening to what they want to do. Find out what the person’s goals and dreams are. If it’s something you want to encourage, then continue through these steps.

2. Ask Open-Ended Questions

Open-ended questions are the best way to figure out what someone’s dreams are. If you can’t think of anything to ask, start with, “What have you always wanted to do?”

“Why do you want to do that?”

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“What makes you so excited about it?”

“How long has that been your dream?”

You need this information the help you with the following steps.

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3. Encourage

This is the most important step, because starting a dream is scary. People are so scared they will fail or look stupid, many never try to reach their goals, so this is where you come in. You must encourage them. Say things like, “I think you will be great at that.” Better yet, say, “I think your skills in X will help you succeed.” For example if you have a friend who wants to own a pet store, say, “You are so great with animals, I think you will be excellent at running a pet store.”

4. Ask About What the First Step Will Be

After you’ve encouraged them, find how they will start. If they don’t know, you can make suggestions, but it’s better to let the person figure out the first step themselves so they can be committed to the process.

5. Dream

This is the most fun step, because you can dream about success. Say things like, “Wouldn’t it be cool if your business took off, and you didn’t have to work at that job you hate?” By allowing others to dream, you solidify the motivation in place and connect their dreams to a future reality.

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6. Ask How You Can Help

Most of the time, others won’t need anything from you, but it’s always good to offer. Just letting the person know you’re there will help motivate them to start. And, who knows, maybe your skills can help.

7. Follow Up

Periodically, over the course of the next year, ask them how their goal is going. This way you can find out what progress has been made. You may need to do the seven steps again, or they may need motivation in another area of their life.

Final Thoughts

By following these seven steps, you’ll be able to encourage the people around you to achieve their dreams and goals. In return, you’ll be more passionate about getting to your goals, you’ll be surrounded by successful people, and others will want to help you reach your dreams …

Oh, and you’ll become a motivational super hero. Time to get a cape!

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Featured photo credit: Thought Catalog via unsplash.com

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