Breaking out of the Victim Mindset

I think the hardest thing to do in life is not schooling, or working, or even finding love.  I truly believe its taking control of our own minds.  We are all capable of so much and have so much potential.  However, many times, whether it be societal influences, our family, or just our own past experiences we bring ourselves down which keeps us from achieving our greatest self.  

One of the main things I notice that we do is we victimize ourselves.  I know, everyone is tired of hearing that you need to be optimistic, but this goes beyond being optimistic.  When we blame others for things that are happening to us, we lack ownership, responsibility, and a clear mindset to be able to get out of the rut that we have put ourselves in.  That's the honest truth, we have put ourselves in whatever situation we are in. 

The first step to getting out of this vicitim mind set is to accept that we have gotten ourselves into this mess all on our own.  You can say, if I did not take so and so's advice or  if i didn't do A and B then this problem wouldn't have happened.  Fact is, it already happened.   You can not change the past.  All you can do now is figure out what the next step to take will be.  You can not mold the past into what things could have been.  Your only canvas to work with is your future.  How can you resolve the issue at hand?  What steps can you take in the future to prevent this from happening again?  There is always a solution.  The plan is to find the solution. 

I'm not free from taking the victim mindset from time to time, however if you dwell on the problem or event that caused pain, then you will fall into a deeper depression and it will be harder to get out of the negative hole you are digging.  As in Rabbi Shmuley Boteach's book, "Face your fear: Living with courage in an age of caution", he emphasizes the need to take action when you are feeling fear.  When one has a victim mindset, they usually fear that something bad is going to happen to them or has happened to them through the fault of others.  If you can try really hard to focus on what actions can be taken to fix the problem in the future, all these victim-like ideas floating around in your head will disappear.

Take Action! If you feel you are not confident enough because of your upbringing or possibly humiliating experience from the past, seek either professional couseling or self help books that relate to building your confidence and extinguishing your fears.  If you feel your significant other may be straying, find ways to show more love.  If you feel your overweight, try to find ways to diet and different exercises that will work for you.  If a family member is having addiction problems, school issues, etc, search the internet, go to the library, talk to friends who may have had similar experiences and can help with possible solutions.  Point is, there is an action to take for every victim-like thought that will help you get out of your rut and into a positive path.  

So first, accept what has happened and realize that it can not be changed. The past is what it is.  Next, focus on what you can do to resolve the problem.  Find resources on the internet, library, friends, family, or professional help.  Then take a positive action to resolve the situation.  Be determined to find a resolution and I know its cliche, but still holds true, that with time things will work out.  Always focus on the future, because the future is the only thing that can be transformed into what you would like to see happen.  So instead of negative "what if's" focus on "what can I do next" to improve or fix the situation.


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