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Move From Victim To An Abundant Life Today

Do you rely on others to care for you and provide an abundant life?

Like a character in Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility, or Pride and Prejudice, do you anticipate that your emotional and physical needs will be met through relationship? Even when it is substandard, do you rely on parents or spouse for emotional, physical, and financial support?

Often, after the breakup of a marriage, women settle for second best in life because that is what is left to them. Financial support may be minimal, but we make do. We can become expert at accepting lemons we shouldn’t have accepted in the first place, and then working really, really hard to make them into lemonade. This is the definition of being a victim.

The victim mentality is easy to put on. There are generous perks to being a victim. We wouldn’t adopt the victim mentality if there weren’t benefits. Being a victim is not something someone else does to you as much as something you do to yourself.

Ouch.

99-Yard Dash

Do you have an excuse and a story for everything? The victim mentality is characterized by explanations and justifications. The conversation of a perpetual victim is focused on how bad things are, how someone else has done them wrong, and the unending list of reasons why they can’t do something. They sound like a bad country western song.

The victim mentality allows you to be self-centered, focused on all the hard things that happened in your life. You get to recite your ever-lengthening list of wrongs that have been perpetrated on you to gain sympathy from others subjected to your tale of woe. Occasionally, a codependent type will respond in some way and you feel validated.

Being a victim means you don’t have to succeed or achieve your full potential. Carve out a mediocre comfort level similar to the dip in an old mattress and stay there. There is always justification for

  • sabotaging your dreams
  • dropping out of programs and projects
  • not quite becoming a professional
  • not succeeding

You can run a lot of 99-yard dashes instead of finishing the 100-yard race.

Best of all, being a victim means you place responsibility for yourself on someone else. Expect others to take care of you and then whine about how your needs have not been met. It becomes a perpetuating cycle of being a victim, so you are victimized so you am a victim, so you are victimized. The victim mentality is tough to remove because it’s self-inflicted. It’s the single greatest contributor to staying stuck and living below the abundant life.

The Single Most Important Step Toward Positive Change

To stop being a victim

  • stop blaming others
  • genuinely face yourself
  • acknowledge the ways you participated in the situation

Certainly some situations clearly have one party who violated major agreements in a relationship. But how you contributed, denied, enabled, ignored, and responded are entirely yours to own. If you complain that you had no voice in a particular arena, also acknowledge that you allowed that to occur.

Larry Burkett said men abuse because they can. The message here is that people — male and female — will do what others allow them to do.

The only one who can change the victim mentality in you is you. What have you denied about yourself? Put on surgical gloves, dig deep, and make repairs.

The terrifying aspect of this step is accepting responsibility for the results. Accepting that success is up to you. You also own your failures. Not anyone else.

  • Chose to no longer accept lemons from others
  • Chose to no longer accept lemons from yourself

Moving from victim to personally responsible means, like the sign President Truman posted on his desk, “The buck stops here.”

The World is Transformed

But it’s more than worth the effort to move from victim to personally responsible. It’s worth it to face your fears about taking ownership and plunge into abundant life. Even if you’ve never done it before, you can become a mature adult responsible for your own desires, needs, and potential.

It’s not terribly difficult. The change in attitude can be implemented in moments. Make the decision and shift. There is freedom in becoming personally responsible for your emotional, financial, mental, physical, sexual, and spiritual wellbeing. Suddenly the world is transformed from a series of all the things you can’t have or can’t do to a vast universe overflowing with possibilities.

You can

  • make choices
  • find solutions
  • make mistakes and learn from them
  • suffer legitimate victimization without remaining a victim

No longer a ball and chain, the past becomes a stepping stone to a promising future

Make A Choice

Your abilities grow when you stop relying on another human being, or the church, or the government to take care of your needs. No other person will ever be our savior. When you embrace responsibility for your own happiness, health, future, and provision, your conversation is positive, centered on others, ideas, and possibilities. People enjoy your company and appreciate partnering with you because you bring optimism and steadfastness to relationships and projects. You attract friends who make a lasting impact on the world.

Your happiness and situation in life are, in large part, determined by your own choices. There are benefits and prices to every action you choose. It is vital to weigh the cost and the perk of each decision and then take action. When you find yourself making poor choices, what benefit is coming from this decision that presently outweighs making a different option?

Come Apart

A personal retreat is a vehicle for getting in sync with yourself. If we don’t regularly come apart, we will come a part.

Get alone away from the phone, the never-ending household responsibilities, and the noise of the radio, television, and computer. Remove yourself from the daily drama to pray, read, journal, and listen. Mostly listen. Set a goal and move toward it.

Gently and honestly take stock of yourself. Give up comparing to others and live full blast, full out. The first and most important step to an abundant life is to take personal responsibility for yourself.

“I do not try to dance better than anyone else.

I only try to dance better than myself.”

Mikhail Baryshnikov

Looking Glass

You reflect personal responsibility when you take responsibility for your emotions. No one makes you feel a certain way any more than you can control how another feels and reacts. You choose your emotions and behavior. Are you being responsible for your emotions? For your behavior? Or do you allow your emotions and behavior to control you?

“All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on.” Henry Ellis

Look Back

What is it like to live with you?

Do your habits and characteristics benefit you? What habits and characteristics don’t benefit you?

Move Ahead

This week, refuse to blame anyone, including yourself. Each time you are tempted to criticize, condemn, or complain, consider instead what you have to be thankful for. One friend gave up the three C’s from her vocabulary by paying a dollar each time she criticized, condemned, or complained. She put the money toward a charity. It was a win for her and the group she supported.

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words;
it is expressed in the choices one makes.
In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

For You

The victim mentality is characterized by excuses, explanations, justifications, and how bad things are. Use this free list of prompts to easily shift to healthy conversations.

Resources

Be A Better Friend and Experience Less Rejection With These Two Steps

How To Embrace Healthy Friendships and Maintain a Distance From Toxic Ones

Rediscovering Your Happily Ever After: Moving from Hopeless to Hopeful for the Newly Divorced Mom

Heart Werk by Janet Lynch

PeggySue Wells is the bestselling author of The Ten Best Decisions A Single Mom Can Make.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Meet PeggySue

We’ve heard of soccer moms and stage mothers. I’m a writer who trailers my kids and horses across the nation. My Apple computer, fondly christened MacBeth, is the essential I bring along.