I read a quote today from one of my favorite writers, (I know, I have a lot of favorite writers) Donald Miller, that said, “Almost every time I complain I’m choosing a victim mindset as an excuse not to do something that would easily get me out of the situation.”
WOW. Just wow. How true is that? How often do we play victim and complain about things or people in our lives that we know are bad for us and yet we continue to allow them there?
I think we do it quite often and most of the time it’s because we’re afraid of the result and change that taking action can bring. We settle with relationships that make us unhappy. We allow people to constantly take advantage of us. We hate our jobs and yet we’re too afraid to look for a new one. We have so many problems, and yet we don’t want to do anything to solve them. We create our own misery, and whether you believe it or not, it’s true. Sure, there are some circumstances where unfortunate things do happen to us for absolutely no reason, but we are still left with the choice of how we will react towards these circumstances. We can choose to complain and sit in misery or we can choose to rise above and create something better.
I remember when I was going through my mental breakdown. At first, I totally played victim. I kept questioning why it was happening, and why won’t it just go away or why couldn’t I just be normal? I wanted everyone else to make my life easier and yet I didn’t want to do any of the work to make it better myself. I complained day and night about what could have caused this. I blamed people. I blamed my job. I blamed my problems. And yet it wasn’t until a few months in when I was finally able to come to the realization that in the end, I was the key to solving my own problem.
I had to come out of my victim mentality and start taking action. I had to WORK to get better. I couldn’t just expect things to start healing, I had to begin the work towards healing myself. Sure, it was a hard journey, but it was the only way I was able to grow stronger mentally and emotionally once more. But why was I so hesitant to acknowledge this fact earlier? Well, because I was afraid. I was afraid to get better. I was afraid of the work that it required. I was afraid of all the obstacles that I knew I had to overcome. I was afraid of having to accept that it was my own fault for not taking any action towards getting better.
Fear is the number one cause of any hesitancy and the reason why we hold ourselves in this prison of misery. And yet we turn around and complain, playing victim that if things were different, or if other variables would change, then we would feel better, when in reality, we are in control of it all. We are in control of making our lives better.
I was listening to a group of women speak the other day on my lunch hour and one of the women was complaining about how her relationship is so disappointing and how her boyfriend never does anything special for her anymore. She said that all they did was argue and miscommunicate and she felt that he was all wrong for her. And yet when the women urged her to dump him and find someone else, she hesitated. She kept saying how afraid she was of being alone and what if she couldn’t find anyone else? The women then chimed in and said, well you’re just going to always be unhappy then if you don’t take action. She sighed and agreed but again said she was just so afraid that she couldn’t do it so she would rather just keep things the way they were.
I felt so sorry for that woman. Because I, myself, have taken that same path so many times and in so many different situations. I just settled because I was afraid. I let things keep happening because I was too afraid to speak up or take action. And then I was the one who was left in misery complaining to my girlfriends how I wish things would just change. WELL HELLO! THEY CAN! And if anyone thinks they can’t, then you’re still playing victim. Things only change when you take action for them to change. They rarely ever change when we are just sitting back and playing victim. The only time we can ever get out of victim mode is to accept that we are playing victim and start taking back control.
A victim mentality is not a form of self love, in fact, it’s total opposite because we are purposefully choosing to allow ourselves to stay in a toxic situation. Instead, we must change our mindsets into an action mentality. To take action despite being afraid, because this is the only way that we can show ourselves enough respect and that we are deserving of good things in our lives. Having a victim mentality reassures us that we are weak individuals, that we are not deserving of good things, and that noting good will ever happen to us. How negative and un-true is that? This is why it is so important to leave the victim mentality behind.
Taking action is simple. It doesn’t have to be done all at once or in giant leaps. It could even be as small as just deciding today to change your mindset from victim to VICTOR. We can overcome our issues and obstacles. We can create a better life for ourselves. And we are deserving of that better life. Remember that next time you want to complain. Remember that you can do something to change what is creating suffering in your life.
The Self Love Daily Challenge:
Switch your mindset from victim to VICTOR and take action towards creating a better life.