Are you ready to ditch that victim mentality?
How I went from Victim Mentality to Empowerment
In 5 Steps
“Above all, be the heroine of your life, not the victim” – Nora Ephron, Writer
Firstly, let me be up front and honest… how I went from victim mentality to empowerment in 5 steps didn’t happen overnight. I lived a large part of my life in a victim mentality. Yep! I’m just puttin’ it out there! And it wasn’t until I recognised this part of me, that I was able to make the conscious decision to change it.
And that my friend… is EMPOWERING! It takes grit though. I had to ‘want’ to change. I had to ‘own’ my stuff. And… I had to be ready to be accountable for my life. I could no longer blame others for my problems. Nuh uh!!
My turning point came in a self development workshop where the traits of the victim mentality were put right in front of me. There for me to own if I was up for the challenge. Choosing to look at my stuff was confronting, and seeing this dark part of me felt ugly to look at.
However, I was tired of living with this side of me and the determination to become a better version of myself was too strong. So I surrended and forged ahead.
What came out of it has been life changing and empowering, and I share it with you now.
Where did my victim mentality come from?
I didn’t enter this world with a victim mentality. As I learnt more about it, I could see it was an unconscious behaviour I’d adopted as a child. Hence, it had became an ‘acquired’ part of my personality that I’d created as a coping mechanism.
As a result I realised that if I’d set up my victim mentality this way, then surely I could give it the boot! I went on a mission to seek out people who had experience working with victim mentality and did the work that allowed me to step into my powerful self. I reclaimed responsibility for my happiness. Once I started seeing the results of going from victim mentality to empowered it just made me more determined to continue working on me.
I Had to See my Victim Mentality to Own it
While it wasn’t easy facing the behaviour that I had created, if I’m really honest, I fell into some of the behaviours below unknowingly. This enabled the ‘poor me’ scenario, because it was feeding something that was lacking in my life.
A lot of energy goes into living in a victim mentality as it can involve manipulation to gain sympathy and attention. It can also show up as being controlling. For this reason, it was a bitter pill to swallow! But… that’s a whole other blog!
The reward of playing victim mentality vs empowered was that I didn’t have to take responsibility for my behaviours. It was always “someone else’s fault” which seems so handy and for me was a ‘cop out’! I could just kick back and point fingers and shoot the blame out to everyone around me like arrows, and believe me, that’s a life half lived.
So it’s easy to see I could identify with some of the tell tale signs of victim mentality below.
Common Tell Tale Signs of Victim Mentality
- I saw things as happening ‘to me’, not ‘for me’. This was a biggy for me!
- “Life is against me” was a belief I sometimes had.
- The glass is often half empty. Meaning I saw things through a pessimistic/cynical filter. Not much fun to be around, that’s for sure 🙂
- Sometimes thinking I’m the only one going through a situation which means I was focused inward and not seeing what’s happening for others
- Focusing and living in the past rather than living in the present. How can you enjoy the moment if you aren’t in it!
- Seeing constructive feedback as personal criticism when feedback is so valuable to learn and improve
- Believing that everyone else is ‘better off than me’
- Attracting people with a like-minded energy which isn’t helpful
- Practicing self criticism rather than self love
- Creating reasons why change can’t happen
How I went from Victim to Empowered
1. Practice Gratitude
I’ve found flipping my filter a really powerful tool. Instead of looking at what I think is lacking in my life, I look for the wonderful things I have to be grateful for and create more of that. WooHoo!!! I find 5 things to be grateful for every day (I’m not perfect with this, but that’s ok too). They can be verbalised or written in a gratitude journal. It just helps me to invoke that feeling of gratitude.
2. Changing My Language
A big part of victim mentality vs empowered is often putting the blame on others. As soon as I changed my language and replaced “You” with “I” meant that my language changed from “you make me feel so upset” to “I feel so upset when I hear that”. I was able to communicate from a place of empowerment rather than victim mentality, with the result being that I was taking ownership and becoming accountable for my happiness.
3. Listening to My thought patterns
I found once I started becoming aware of my thoughts, as I went about my day, I was astounded how many mistaken beliefs I was telling myself that were a perception I created and that ‘just weren’t true’.
Now I’m aware of them and can identify whether it’s an untrue thought I have created or not.
By visualising and seeing myself as powerful, I was able to turn the whole thing on its axis, take accountability and break the addictive victim mentality.
It took time to become conscious of my thoughts and it was a bit clunky in the beginning. However, I got better at it and was able to start seeing myself as powerful and feeling better about life.
A big plus was that I then attracted positive, like-minded people for the right reasons. Much more fun 🙂
5. As Ellen says, “Be Kind to One Another”
I find so much joy in being of service to others. There is nothing better to take you off yourself than doing something kind for another. I check in with myself to ensure it feels right to do, and for the right reasons. Sharing the love and looking for opportunities to help others. It’s amazing!
Ask for Help
We don’t always have to ‘do it alone’ and it can sometimes be hard for us to see things clearly ourselves.
With an ever-growing directory of successful, passionate female mentors you can rest assured that you will find the help you need right here to find the best version of yourself and achieve your goals.
If you’re really serious about living a better life, like I was, make it happen. You’ll be glad you did 🙂
Author, Julie Gabrielson is Co-Founder of Ruffle Mentoring