A different kind of blog post, but one I think is a must read for everyone as we are all guilty of the below in one way or another.
They say that Defence is the first act of war.
I was listening to a podcast the other day about blaming others for how you’re feeling when in truth you are the creator of your own thoughts and it really got me thinking. They labelled it the Victim Mentality. In short, it is looking at other people or external circumstances and giving them all the power for how you feel.
Let’s put a scenario around it.. Someone doesn’t invite you to a party for example, and when you find out, you may immediately start thinking ‘They did that to me. They excluded me on purpose’. Or someone says something mean in a passing comment, and you immediately go to a place where you feel hurt and project hate and frustration and anger onto that person. Then you go and complain about it to anyone that will listen, and you end up feeling sorry for yourself and blaming someone else for these feelings.
But we can even be victims to our own thoughts too. Take for instance, you want to lose weight or you keep failing at actually making it to the gym. You believe that there is something wrong with you or that it’s your fault, or that your metabolism is too slow, you in turn develop a negative attitude towards yourself and start blaming your circumstances. That is the victim mentality.
If you have the victim mentality, you will find yourself complaining a lot. You will probably be negative. I know that for me, when I was in that space of being in the victim mentality, and sometimes still am, I complain ‘Poor Me’. I blame other people or my circumstances. It’s a habitual thought process that spins into self-pity and feeling super sorry for me and feeling trapped.
Someone who is in the victim mentality is ALWAYS the victim of their own story. In the victim mentality, you can’t help but make it all about you.
But ‘Every victim needs a villain’. And when you are in the victim mentality, you are looking for someone else or something to blame. And the problem with being the victim is that you have now given all the power to the perpetrator or that thing. You create feelings of helplessness and disempowerment and anger and fear, and oftentimes, the person who you’ve identified as the perpetrator doesn’t even know that that’s what you are doing. And you’ve now created this relationship where they are now in charge of how you feel or as already stated, sometimes we can play the victim and the perpetrator, and the villain of our own lives.
Becoming the victim happens to us all almost daily. Someone says something; you allow it to hurt your feelings, and you start feeling sorry for yourself. You have made yourself the victim. Or someone gets something or does something that you wish you could do or had, and you start to loathe them and start to feel depressed or sad. You have made yourself the victim, giving the perpetrator or the situation total control of your feelings.
So how can we ensure we do not immediately become the victim, and take control of our actions? Last week on my Instagram story, I touched slightly on the following slogan ‘Your thoughts create your emotions, which drive your actions, which generate your results’.
When someone says something nasty or does something to you, immediately you could go to that place of really feeling hurt and projecting hate and frustration and anger onto this person; then you go and complain about it to whoever will listen, and start feeling sorry for yourself and blame everyone and everything else.
However, next time, why not adapt this approach. Why not just acknowledge what is said or done and think to yourself: Yes, that is their opinion or that is the circumstance I find myself in. Maybe it is true. Maybe a lot of people will agree with what was said or done, but remember this… it has nothing to do with you. You must not allow it to control your emotions. You get to decide in that moment how you want to feel about that comment or action and about that person or circumstance.
In those situations, you must choose not to be the victim because you must chose not to give any power away. Being angry and upset usually won’t actually help the situation anyway.
We must take responsibility for how we feel in life, for how we feel in every moment and recognize that it is our responsibility to determine how we feel, because our feelings are caused by our thinking which in turn generate our actions and results. When you realise you are the creator of your own thoughts and emotions, and practise handling situations positively, you stay in your integrity, you stay in your emotional happiness, and they appear to themselves and to everyone else as the negative emotion that they are. And typically people say things like that when they aren’t being aware, when they aren’t paying attention, when they themselves aren’t in a positive place.
So let me recap in short, and point out. In that moment, when something is said or done, it does not mean that you do not experience some form of a negative emotion or that you can pretend to yourself that either. No, what I am saying is that, in that moment when something is said or done or a circumstance upsets you, YOU have the power to determine what you think about what was said or done. You need to realise that if you feel shame or sadness in that moment, you have created that thought, which in turn has created the emotion, not them. The thought you are thinking believes the thing that they are saying or doing or the thing that happened.
So, the most important thing for you to do here is not get defensive, but take a moment to have a think and analyse the situation. Take a deep breath, and see why what was said or done bothers you. Understand what is going on with you. What is said could be true, accept that. You need to be willing to accept that parts of you aren’t perfect. And from there you must maintain your power. You must maintain your ability to not become the victim, because nothing can be used against you if you can admit to yourself that it’s all true.
And indeed, if you notice that you are blaming yourself in certain circumstances, playing both the villain and the victim, you must identify why you are thinking like that. You need to be vulnerable to your thoughts and realise that you are enough, that you are perfect just the way you are. Now, in that, it may not mean perfect by societal standards, it means perfect in how you were created.
You need to realise that no matter what emotion comes up, you know that it doesn’t mean that there’s something wrong with you. It just means that you’re having an emotion.
And the moment you do not let it affect you, the moment you shy away from becoming defensive and instead accept it, that is the moment when you can finally realise, you own the control. If you can release that desire to fight, release that desire to defend yourself, know that there’s nothing that needs to be defended, that other people can have whatever opinion they want of you, and that you don’t have to argue with it to prove your own self-worth because you know your worth.. that is the magical moment. When you know and accept that some things they say may be true, and some of them may not, but that you don’t need to defend yourself to anyone, that is the game changer.
Feel the emotion, when you feel the emotion, there is nothing that’s too scary to do. If you are willing to feel fear, willing to hear feedback, willing to experience pain, willing to experience any emotion, that is your power play. That is your STRENGTH.