Something that has become apparent to me and has helped my perception with my own story of late is that EVERYONE has THEIR own story. Regardless to how big or small, who are any of us to judge the significance of that story. No matter how old we are, what hurts, challenges and transforms us does not have any barrier to it.
It may be the loss of a love one or the waiting for the imminent to happen; your first broken heart or any heartache; losing a job or at times excruciatingly waiting for that next opportunity; a sufferer of abuse either it be from someone or to yourself. The mix of emotion no matter the action or feeling can be suffocating and there can sometimes be no words, no hug or embrace, no circumstance to help that sensation.
Besides from learning patience, another of my life’s lessons I feel has been understanding perspective (mind you the list of lessons is a mile long). I think it is very easy for someone who is struggling, has endured a ‘hard life’ or even just a challenging moment to be in the mindset of a victim. It is easy to find blame or excuses or be inclined to use the term “why me”.
An article from Forbes brilliantly helps us to distinguish between a classic victim mindset versus a victor mindset by using a coin as a metaphor. One side of the coin is old and dull and represents the classic victim mindset. The other side is clean and bright representing the victor mindset.
If you’re in the victim mindset, you will be focusing on the toss of the coin to determine your outcomes and plans. The possibility is that it could land on the bright side and only we have the power to not put our perspective and life goals in the hands of flipping a coin in hope it lands on the right side.
Another article that articulates well the steps to take to gain perspective and get out of that feeling that life is spiralling away from us – the ‘victim mindset’ is from A Conscious Rethink. How we choose to deal with hardship and calamities can be broken down to five steps:
- Owning our mistakes – sometimes we are the bane of unwanted outcomes, however, that is ok because we are human. Own it and acknowledge that sometimes outcomes are beyond our control
- Freeing yourself from the need of an emotional high of sympathy – Do not rely on a constant source of sympathy from those around you. Own your life and emotions and believe there is worth in all you do.
- Free yourself of self-pity – Self-pity does not serve a purpose to anyone. When given to others it’s a case of “thank goodness its not me” or on the flip side “why me” and “poor me”. Turn this pattern around to offer compassion, admiration and tolerance to yourself and others.
- The realisation you are not being judged – this is one of the hardest things to overcome. We need to accept and acknowledge what we are doing or have done. No matter how big the stuff up noticed or not, we can get out of the victimhood mentality and just be in the now and let things flow.
- Review your life – look at all areas no matter how big or small, how significant or insignificant it is and start making notes. Mark down what turns you on and off, what career you want, the kind of people you like to hang around, what makes you smile and cry, what infuriates you and excites you, what you like to eat and drink and environments that you feel safe in or not. Assess the positives and negatives in your life, either it be in a physical or emotional form and start to align yourself with what is RIGHT for you. Don’t think about it or ponder too long, make the change and start now.
I was speaking with my twin the other day and we were talking about the ‘victims’ we’ve had in our lives and how influential they have been on ourselves and those around them. We understand it can be easy (or perhaps easier) to fall into that mindset and not take responsibility of what, why, when and how. We both realised areas in our lives or moments when we were both in the victimhood yet have acknowledged that mindset and have over time gained perspective.
We have assessed our lives and ourselves and continue to do so. We both want to be the best version of ourselves and hold on to that perspective that we all have a story. How we chose to read it and play it out is up to us. By doing this, we are providing a much healthier, happier, consistent, loving, spiritual and harmonious life for our children.
“This world has chased saints and angels away. What you and I will not allow it to do is convince us we have no power over its ills. We are not victims of some amorphous, grinning Chance: we are gods of our own making.” ~ A Conscious ReThink