Know Better – Do Better – Get Better

Tips & Tactics for Personal Development

Tag Archives: Victim thoughts

Stop playing the victim!

In my experience most people don’t realize that they are playing the victim in their life. They see their life and circumstances as predetermined, and often blame past events or their circumstances for their problems. As long as they have this attitude, they are not open to change.

How do we know when we are playing victim?

Listen to the ongoing conversations you have with yourself. Are you regularly making excuses as to why you can’t do something? Are you blaming others for making your life difficult? Are you setting limits on what you will try to do in life? Are you constantly whining about how hard your life is?

Anytime we allow something other than ourselves to control our mental life and choices, we are giving away our power to change. The essence of playing victim is giving up the power to choose for ourselves what kind of life we will live.

The first step in choosing not to be a victim is to accept that you are in charge of your life. This doesn’t mean that you can instantly change your life for the better. It does mean that you can control your actions and your attitude, regardless of how things turn out for you, and that you can succeed despite the obstacles in your way. As one author put it, “The person who will not be defeated cannot be defeated.”

Making this choice may sound easy. But I can tell you from experience that it is not. It’s a choice you have to make over and over again until it becomes a habit. It requires both persistence and patience.

So here’s an exercise to see where you are playing victim in your life: Over the next week pause once or twice per day and scan your thinking for any thoughts where you are consistently making excuses, whining and blaming others. Don’t try to change these thoughts or argue against them, simply notice that they are occurring. If you do this consistently you will see patterns in your thinking where you repeatedly play victim. Once you see these patterns, you can develop tactics to counteract them.

The key here is to get these unhealthy thoughts out in the open where you can examine them and decide if they are helping you live the life you want or standing in your way. Once you see the thoughts that are hindering you, it can be easier to address them and become more aware of how they are undermining your attempts to become a better person.

Suggested reading: Unbeatable by Jack Schropp. His chapter on being a volunteer rather than a victim is outstanding.

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