(blogging on this topic at a reader’s request)
The reason it can be tough to stop living in victim mode is that we find ourselves preoccupied by the circumstances that have or have not yet occurred. As I write this blog, I know there could be a lot of controversy caused by what I have to say. However, through my own experiences, and through being a witness to thousands of others’ experiences, I can confidently say that escaping victim mode is the ultimate freedom. Living in victim mode keeps you anchored to severe emotional pain. Regardless of the circumstances under which you feel victimized, that kind of perspective negates your potential happiness.
As long as you go through life with the same victimized mentality, you will approach every situation as you have before, and end up with the same outcomes. Believe me, I know there are very painful things that can happen to people throughout life. Some experiences can make us feel powerless. The things in life we can change, we do, and then we move on. However, there are other circumstances we must accept, so we learn to acclimate and press on. Life brings about all kinds of circumstances, that’s a fact. But, choosing to have a victim mentality is not contingent upon whether or not certain aspects of our lives can be altered or not. Lisa, there is a process you must go through to be freed from victim mode. I’ll preface my advice by telling you that I live free of victim mode in all areas of my life. I have learned the process for freedom, and have taught it as well. I am extremely privy to the crippling effects of living your life victimized by people or events.
To be clear with my readers, my life has not been devoid of very difficult and painful events. I’ll share, categorically, some of those events to which I had felt victimized. I am going to spare the details, but I will say that I have nothing to hide, and I share in much more detail throughout my courses and coaching.
In my early childhood, I was sexually molested by a neighbor. At 25 years old, I was raped by a co-worker. In my early working life, I was fired from two jobs for absolutely invalid reasons. Later on, I had marriages crumble, was out of work in the 80s, and had lost property due to foreclosure and a particularly messy divorce. I once tried to end my own life, because I felt like a victim. I could not escape the weight of feeling victimized by my inability to save a marriage I so desperately wanted to maintain.
Okay, enough of all that. Before long, you might start to feel sorry for me. I am no longer a vicim of anything, even though like everyone does, my memory can replay anything significant that has happened in my life. You asked “how?” in your email to me, and you capitalized “HOW?” Lisa, it was a process I had to go through; it was a process I had to commit to. Once you are free of the shackles, the curse, of living as a victim then you will be free of that mentality forever. Here is the path that I followed, and you will find true peace in the discoveries you make along the way.
Through my faith in God, and accepting that it was up to me to live my life differently, these steps freed me from myself.
Step 1 – I realized that I was the only common denominator in everything that ever occurred in my life.
Step 2 – I began to ask myself what my beliefs were about myself that were causing the re-occurring circumstances I noticed in my life, but didn’t notice in the lives of those around me.
Step 3 – I realized that I had lived my life as if things just “happened to me,” and I was simply “unfortunate” to have them in my life. When I realized how warped that perspective was, it was an epiphany. The question continued to haunt me though: “What makes these things happen to some people – the unfortunate – and not to everyone?” I couldn’t buy into “fate.” I began to see that logically, I had to have some role in my own life. But what was that role.
Step 4 – Then, I realized that life comes through me, not at me. Therefore, I had everything to do with how my life way playing out. Meaning, I could suddenly see that my perspective determined every aspect of my reality. Wow! What a huge moment that was for me. I could see that what I perceived in life became what I received in life.
Step 5 – I chose to notice the uplifting of so much weight when I accepted my responsibility in how my life shows up, rather than aimlessly searching for the cause for everything happening to me. I found myself at an entirely new precipice, and it was the most significant turning point in my life; this transformation of thought has lasted for over 28 years now.
It’s the notion of being 100% responsible, completely in control, that saved my life. I separate responsibility from cause or fault. I am accountable, and so are you, for every aspect of your life. Did I cause or was it my fault that these painful things happened to me? No. But if I fall victim to these painful things by letting them continue to hurt me in my present – that is my choice. If however, I choose to forgive myself and others, I can move forward and live freely. The best part of taking on this new perspective is that I can live ON my stories and situations, rather than IN them where I will be trapped. Living ON my stories gives me the power to share with others and help them move into emotional prosperity. Now, how great is that?
Step 6 – I enjoy every moment of freedom that I live in my heart and in my life by letting go of Victim Mode!
There are no winners when a person is trapped in victim mode.
Again, I send my sincere thanks for your request that I blog about my pathway to “Thriver” rather than Victim or Survivor!