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A victim is someone who feels powerless, and is therefore unable to take appropriate action to resolve situations adversely affecting their well-being. Being powerless is learned behavior originating from repeated childhood experiences where core needs were not met adequately. From birth and through early childhood children are unable to provide for themselves basic physiological needs, safety needs, the social needs of belonging, love and affection, and the self-esteem needs of personal worth, social recognition and having a satisfying sense of accomplishment.
The victim mentality can be understood as a repetitive way of negative thinking where the victim has come to believe that others, not them, are responsible for their experiences and fulfilling their needs. This can be taken further to mean that the victim mentality comes from a person getting stuck in a stage of development where they feel helpless lacking access to inner resources to take care of themselves. The victim mentality produces adults that feel entitled and demand being taking care off.
The victim mentality is characterized by an attitude of blaming and complaining. The secret agenda of blaming and complaining is to manipulate and control others to be responsible for you by rationalizations and excuses.
The victim mentality is maintained by unconscious negative self-images, which are the building blocks of your personality. Everyone constructs a personality that serves the function of an identity. Self-images are put together by the mind as memories of repeated interactions with authority figures: parents, older siblings, grandparents, teachers, religion etc. A self-image always represents an interaction with authority.
This memorized interactions captured what you were told about yourself and more important, how this interactions felt to you. These experiences become core beliefs that once accepted subconsciously function as instructions on how to behave in every situation.
Behavior is determined unconsciously by survival instincts. There are three main drives biologically wired into the human brain:
3-Attach to others and have others attach to you.
People identified with the victim mentality are unable to fulfill their core survival needs on their own. This precarious situation makes them dependent on others to feel safe, feel good and experience belonging and love. Like children, victims get very clever at manipulating others for their own gains. This way of being maintains low self-esteem due to the constant fears that the ones they depend on might reject them or abandoned them.
Releasing the victim identity
In order to think like a victim you must feel like a victim. Your identity at its most fundamental level represents how you feel about yourself. This is why uncovering your negative self-images is so important. The core negative self-image that maintains a loss of power is made up of a constellation of core beliefs that deny your value and cause you to feel unworthy. They can be summarized by the toxic core belief: “I’m not good enough”.
Once you feel powerless it is easy and automatic that you will fear failure and punishment. What you must understand is that you do this to yourself by giving your attention to negative thoughts that produce the familiar negative emotions inside your personality. You do this by unconsciously judging, criticizing and shaming yourself, and usually projecting this to others.
From victim to victor
The first step in transforming the victim mentality is to transform your identity from victim to victor, one who conquers and overcomes defeat. The victim mentality causes you to feel weak and therefore give up and giving in to external pressures. This attitude comes from within not without. As long as you perceive yourself as powerless, worthless, weak, and this makes you feel insecure, doubtful and hesitant, you will not effort to succeed in meeting life’s challenges.
When you think like and victim you feel weak because your fears and self-loading are strong. The victor is not afraid to fail, or feel uncomfortable by the effort required to work hard and succeed.
The victor holds nothing back; she does the best that she can. Therefore, to embody the mentality of the victor you must be discipline in taking action, and commit to a set of values that you know will counteract the habit of being irresponsible and dependent.
The values of the victim include among others: focusing on feeling comfortable, taking the easy way out, striving for safety by avoiding conflicts and confrontations, being deceitful, and most of all being irresponsible by blaming and complaining.
The values of the victor include: being responsible and disciplined, being courageous and brave demonstrating an unwavering commitment to face all fears, being loyal, honest, and having honor and integrity which lead to self-respect.
Steps for transforming the victim mentality
1-Claim your power by choosing responsibility expressed through consistent action to handle your needs. This builds your self-esteem.
2-Recognize the victim mentality and victim identity and interrupt blaming, complaining and rationalizing why you can’t do something.
3-Love who you are and eradicate the habit of self-judgments and criticism.
4-Be strong, trusting and confident in your abilities, no matter what your mind is thinking. Command
your will by focusing your attention on the task at hand and declare to yourself: “I can and I will succeed”.
5-Know your values and use them as guidelines for the choices you make and the behavior you engage.
6-Commit to be loyal to you, and live by principles that honor, respect and promote well-being for everyone.
7-Create a vision of yourself as an impeccable individual driven by honor and integrity.
8-Be forgiving when you fail to live up to your new standards, particularly at the beginning of this self-transformation.
9-Be creative and resourceful and add to this list whatever you need to ensure you succeed in becoming more powerful.