“Self-pity is our worst enemy and if we yield to it, we can never do anything wise in this world.”
How do you react if something in your life doesn't go as you wish?
Well, at first you’ll probably feel pain of some sort.
But what happens after that? What do you do after the initial pain?
Do you think of yourself as a victim, as someone with little or no control or power?
Do you slip back into a familiar headspace where you feel sorry for yourself and where you feel like someone – or the whole world – is against you?
I used to get stuck in that destructive and self-esteem sucking way of thinking quite often. And I know that many people get stuck in it from time to time.
Or more often than that.
So this week I’d like to share 3 steps that helps me to move out of that headspace and replace it with something better.
Step 1: Recognize the benefits of the victim mentality.
The victim mentality can be pretty beneficial in the short term and for instant gratification. A few benefits are:
Attention and validation.
You can always get good feelings from other people as they are concerned about you and try to help you out.
But it may not last for that long as people get tired of it.
You don’t have to take risks.
When you feel like a victim you tend to not take action. And so you don’t have to risk, for instance, rejection or failure.
Don’t have to take the responsibility.
Taking responsibility for your own life can be hard work, you have to make difficult decisions and it is just tough from time to time.
In the short term it can feel like the easier choice to not take personal responsibility.
It makes you feel like you're right.
When you feel like the victim and like someone else is wrong and you are right then that can lead to pleasurable feelings.
In my experience, by just being aware of the benefits I can derive from victim thinking it becomes easier to say no to that whenever such thoughts start to creep up and to choose to take a different path.
Step 2: Ask yourself what the long-term consequences of this will be.
The benefits above can be quite addictive.
But what will the long-term consequences of getting stuck in victim thinking be?
- How will it hold you back from doing the things you deep down dream about in life?
- How will it affect your most important relationships?
- How does it affect your relationship with yourself?
Be honest with yourself and get motivation to change by seeing how destructively this will affect your life over the next 12 months and…