If you've taken my Money Mindset Course, you're already well versed in what happens when we fall prey to victim thinking in our lives. Since the identifying and overcoming victim thought patterns and behaviors is essential to the work I do with myself and my clients, I wanted to take a second to dedicate a blog post about it.
Victims aim to stay small. Victims are afraid. The victimhood that dominates your thoughts is designed to keep you right in your comfort zone so that you never have to try anything new and risk looking stupid. Victim thinking tells us that we're not good enough to try. Victim thinking is literally the number one thing I see stopping people from being their best selves. It's the number one thing I see that stops people from asking for a raise, starting a business, finding a partner, making new friends, dominating at work, or getting out debt. It is absolutely critical to stop being a victim if you want to live the life you've imagined.
Small people have small problems. Do you scoff and have a huge reaction because some rude lady doesn't thank you when you hold the door for her? That's a small problem. People who are living their best lives don't think twice about stuff like that in their lives because they have bigger things to think about -- bigger "problems" to overcome. If you're still bogged down in the minutia of your life, you're acting like a victim. Plain and simple. There's a good chance that if you choose to be a victim over nonsense, you're definitely choosing to be a victim about things that actually matter too
Victim thinking can crop up in a lot of small ways through the day, too. When it does, it can seem irrelevant and insignificant, but the small choices we make throughout the day determine the life we lead. "I should get up off the couch to go to bed, but it's way cozier to just lay here and watch reruns." Victims choose stay on the couch because it's comfortable in the short term. Heroes drag themselves off the couch, brush their teeth, wash their face, and get the fuck in bed because it's the right next action to take for a successful long term payoff.
Long story short, you were not put on this planet to be a victim of your circumstances.You were put on this planet to recognize your circumstances and use that awareness and the action it spurs to exceed your wildest dreams.
Letting yourself identify as a victim is the surest way to stay broke, in debt, overweight, miserable, tired, stressed, angry, and lonely f-o-r-e-v-e-r. People living their best lives are never victims. Remember, choosing whether or not to be a victim or a hero, like all things, is ultimately YOUR choice.
We all jump to play victim in a number of situations. Each of us has our own areas of life where we choose to become a victim more frequently instead of facing something internal or external that's holding us back. Some people might behave like a victim in their relationships, and they let someone walk all over them and their needs. Then they never try to improve their relationship or find someone more compatible. Someone might behave like a victim about money, and they think they'll never make enough money to cover their bills and some things they want. Then they never try to make more money.
This thinking can run deep in your mind, extend to all areas of your life, and you might not even realize that it's happening.
How do you tell if you're slipping into victim mode? In my book, victimhood takes hold at any point excuses start to enter the picture. Here are a few more hard and fast tells:
- Justifying: "Well, money just isn't that important to me. I care more about love." WTF are you talking about? That's like saying: " Well, money isn't all that important to me, I care more about pancakes." Again, WTF are you talking about? This is such a false comparison. Love and money are not mutually exclusive. Having more money in your life does not decrease the amount of love in your life. Try paying your Internet bill with pancakes or love - no Netflix for you this month. Victims try to justify why they're in their current position rather than fixing their current situation.
- Blame: Whose fault is it this week? Your parents? The economy? The government? Sharon from HR (ugh, Sharon 🤦♀️)? Your partner? The weather? Victims are never accountable for their own problems, they look for the closest thing to project their discomfort onto.
- Complaining: What you focus on expands in your life. If you focus on nothing but complaining, you'll get more things to complain about. It's really that easy. Complaining is an addictive behavior, and it has a boatload of momentum. Victims avoiding finding and implementing solutions to the problems they face, and consistently fail to find reasons to be grateful.
I've developed an easy to implement way to identify and counter this thinking in my own life. All you need is a bracelet, hair tie, or rubber band. Some token that can move comfortably from wrist to wrist. You can see mine here.
Wearing this bracelet is a reminder to choose thoughts that are empowering to me and that take me out of victim mode. When I wear the bracelet, my job is to notice when I start to slip into victim mode. Then, when I catch myself doing one of the above victim behaviors, I move the token from one wrist to the other. Then immediately find something about what I'm being a victim about to be truly grateful for and I feel the gratitude. This helps me track my thinking and feelings and ultimately make choices that are better aligned with not fucking around.