The single worst mentality you can get into is that of a victim. Nothing is more crippling and self-limiting to your existence than having a victim mentality. By deciding to be a victim for the temporary satisfaction of self-pity, you are essentially giving up all your power, control, and capabilities in life.
How often do you blame other people and outside circumstances for your problems? How often do you attribute things to luck and claim that other people are just luckier than you are? How often do you claim that the world just isn’t fair and that there is not much you can do about it? Answers to these questions will give you an idea of just how entrenched your victim mentality is. Simply recognizing and acknowledging this fact is the first step towards escaping this cycle of helplessness.
Victim mentality is destructive in that you are shifting your responsibility from yourself to something outside of your control. People do this because unloading responsibility frees them from the pain of feeling inadequate and worthless. In a way, it is a self-defence mechanism to protect one’s pride. But what people who do this don’t realize is that when they unload responsibility, they are also unloading their personal power along with it. And we all know that by giving up the power to change your circumstances, the only thing left to do is to mope and complain about your situation like a helpless child.
Let’s face it, it’s addictive to be a victim. Some people enjoy it more than others. To feel sorry for yourself is an act of stroking your ego because it revolves around the idea that you are the centre of the world and that you are entitled to help and care from everyone else. And what about the amount of attention you get as a victim? Doesn’t it feel great to have people pay attention to your problems? After all, it’s far easier than making any efforts to change. It’s also romantic to think that you are some unsung hero who’s struggling in a cruel and ugly world. Doesn’t that make you a better person than someone who is just ‘lucky’ to live a life of abundance and happiness?
The answer is a firm ‘no’.
If you’ve been living your life playing the victim, this is the time to stop. There is not a single benefit to being a victim. The only way out is to take complete responsibility for everything. Automatically assume that all your problems are your fault. Never play the blaming game, never complain, and never pity yourself. If the situation is not to your liking, it is your responsibility to change it. Did someone make you angry? No. You have complete control over how you feel and how you respond to situations. No one can make you feel any way. Your job sucks? Your relationship sucks? Your life sucks? They suck for you. They’re your problems and it is you who has to resolve them. The world as a whole doesn’t care about you or your problems and even if they do, you shouldn’t expect people to come save you from your plight. Playing the victim is never going to solve anything. And don’t ever tell yourself that you can’t change, because you always have the ability to steer your own destiny. That being said, don’t ever expect things to change if you wake up the next day and do the same things as you have always done before. You must do something different that will get you outside of your comfort zone. You can’t expect to change unless your actions induce fear.
There is one simple technique to bring more control into your life: It is to question what instead of why for all your problems.
Why is a question of helplessness. You normally ask why for grounded facts that cannot be changed. Therefore, asking why for a problem you’re facing is a display of surrender and resignation. To get an idea, observe these following why questions: Why aren’t things working out the way it should? Why can’t I get what I want? Why can’t everyone else just be decent and do what I want them to do? Why do I have to struggle and suffer when others don’t? Why does this always happen to me? Why, why, why? And don’t fool yourself into thinking that anger can hide your powerlessness. Temper tantrum in adults is the exact same as those in children. Most people won’t be fooled and won’t care if you lose your cool or complain bitterly in an intellectual manner—they’re all just different ways of displaying your helplessness.
Asking what, on the other hand, will leave you with number of possibilities. Asking what keeps you in perspective and opens your mind to solutions. What do I feel? What do I want? What are the options? What can I do? What am I willing to sacrifice for my goal? These are the questions that will propel you towards taking a decisive action.
In our modern age of narcissism and entitlement where people are used to getting what they want just by complaining, taking responsibility for yourself has become more important than ever before. Never voluntarily give up your power by blaming, making excuses, and feeling sorry for yourself. You only have yourself to blame and it’s up to you to make the change.