When we go through traumatic experiences, it is easy to become a victim of tragedy. But we don’t have to stay there. The victim mentality is not how we end our story.
Though every story is unique to the individual, we all have been a victim to tragedy and traumatic situations. Some of us have had to endure loss of those closest to us. Other times we have had to face trials in the workplace or having disaster strike our homes. We all have had our unfair share of hurt and pain. However, that is not where our story ends.
I think one of the hardest things with victim mentality is that most of us don’t adamently pursue hardships. For the most parts, tragedy strikes us when we least expect it. Of course there are times to grieve and process through the harsh circumstances. But I think it is especially hard to look at our situations and realize that even though these things may have happened to us, we have the full control over how we use these situations for us.
This is especially true with our environment. When we are surrounded by people who focus on all of the bad things that have happened to them, it tends to rub off on how we view our circumstances. When we focus on the negative, we become the negative. When we focus on our traumatic experiences, we ultimately become them.
Tragedy is Not a Means for Competition
This week, we talked about how we can overcome the victim mentality, as well as why some of us choose to stick with this mindset. A lot of times, we don’t even realize that we constantly focus on our tragedy. Think about the conversations you have with people. Do you often find yourself only talking about the bad things that have happened? I wonder if we were able to playback all the conversations we have had this week, where our focus would lie?
Would we recognize that a lot of times we walk around carrying baggage that isn’t actually meant for us to carry in the first place?
I know that for me, there are times in my life where I feel like I’m competing in the conversation.
When people ask how I’ve been, my mind immediately wants to share all of the bad things that have happened to me during the week. Like, maybe someone will tell me that they failed an exam they had been studying so hard for. Sometimes I’m genuinely bummed out alongside them and want to make them feel better. Other times? Sometimes my immediate reaction is to say “oh yeah, that sucks. But guess what happened to me?”.
Tragedy, loss, trauma, hurt, regret, upset, pain. None of these things are competition. But when we focus on our victim mentality, our circumstances become grounds for competition. A competition that ultimately, nobody will ever win anyway.
A Victim Mentality Will Inhibit You from Living the Life that You Are Called to Live
Having a victim mentality loses sight of other people. We forget that other people exist. We forget that other people hurt too and that people have tragedy in their lives as well. Ultimately, living with a victim mentality isolates ourselves from the community we so desperately desire. Having a victim mentality kills off the ability to hope for more.
Living with a victim mentality is a silent but deadly killer for living the lives that we are called to live
Are there times for grieving and mourning? Yes. Are there times for reflection and meditation? Absolutely! Solitude is such an amazing thing when used efficiently. But when we sulk in our circumstances over an extended period of time, we lose hope.
The Power of a Victorious Mindset
The hardest thing about having a victim mentality is learning how to have a victorious mindset.
When we have a victorious mindset, we are able to focus on hope. A victorious mindset creates the space that we want to live in. There is so much power in being able to say that despite hard challenges, I am able to overcome. In order to overcome, though, we need to shift our focus. Instead of focusing on what happened, start focusing on how you are going to use what happened. How are you going to change the way you think about family after loss? Will you change the way you view the challenges at your workplace?
I want to caution you, though. Having a victorious mindset will not change your situation. No matter how hard you think positive, traumatic situations will still happen. But you know what? The way you perceive heartache and let down will change. The way you react to changing environments will change. When you shift from having a victim mentality to having a victorious mindset the hard times will not effect you like they once did.
What a Victorious Mindset Can Teach Us
I am not saying that you won’t ever be heartbroken. I don’t want to set you up for failure. You will most likely still have moments of tragedy and loss. There will be times where you need to escape from the turmoil. But when you come back, you will be able to utilize these situations as teachable moments. You will be able to use your story for others to tell their stories. By having a victorious mindset, you will be able to help other people write their own stories. You will be able to help other people learn how to shift into the victorious mentality.
A victorious mentality can teach us that no matter how bad things get, no matter how tragic our losses may be, there is still hope for a better future.
We all may have tragic moments in our lives but that is not where our story ends.