While there are some mindsets you should adopt to improve your life, there are some pieces of mindset that are holding you back. These are pieces of mindset you should get rid of as soon as possible. They are the opposite of the masculine mindset. The biggest piece of mindset most people have to get rid of is the victim mentality.
What is victim mentality?
It’s quite a simple mindset. It goes like this; X happened to me. That makes me a victim. Because I am a victim, I deserve Y and/or I can’t do Z.
In this thought pattern, X, Y and Z can be anything. People can feel victimized by countless things and events. And because of that they can feel entitled to countless things. They can also feel like they can’t do certain things or reach certain goals because of what their circumstances are.
Why do so many people like the victim mentality?
Many people these days have seem to adopted the victim mentality. Why is that? What’s so attractive about it? There are three important reasons I can see that make the victim mindset such an easy trap to fall into.
The most important reason why the victim mentality is so pervasive; it provides a (preemptive) excuse for not reaching your goals. While many people don’t even set goals, there are some things that are almost expected. Getting a job and taking care of yourself would be some of the very basic things that are expected of most people.
People might also adopt a victim mentality when they see they are failing themselves. They start looking for reasons why they are failing. It’s much easier to say you are a victim of something than to put the blame on yourself.
Besides a nice excuse, it also gives people attention to be a victim. Society is programmed to feel bad for victims. Victims get attention. Attention feels good to get. It makes people feel they’re doing something worthwhile. It’s almost a shortcut to recognition.
While attention might be the most important for most people, there are other sorts of freebees that are given to people that profess they are victims. This might not be the case for everyone but it does happen quite a bit.
There are real victims
Of course there are people that are really victimized by a plethora of things. Bad things happen to people and many do deserve empathy and help for the things that happened to them.
This article is not meant to tell you, you shouldn’t care about victims. Or even to tell you, you shouldn’t accept help if you’re a victim. This article is meant to get you out of the victim mentality. Not to stop caring about victims.
It’s good that society cares about people that have become victims of something bad happening to them. You should care about real victims and hopefully others will do the same for you when something happens to you.
Victim or victim mentality?
It’s important to realize that being a victim and having a victim mentality are not the same thing.
You can be a victim of something and not have a victim mentality.
You can also have a victim mentality while you’re not actually a victim of anything.
What’s the difference? If you have a victim mentality you have limiting beliefs that hold you back.
Where is the line?
Where the problems start is when you start milking your victim status for too long. There comes a time where you should “get over it” and go on with your life. Now you can only decide this for yourself. You have to make the choice to stop being a victim and not let it hold you back.
Milking your victim status for more “freebees” might feel good in the short run but it will hold you back over the long term.
Calling people out?
While there might be a time and place to point out to someone you know they might be milking their status a little too much, that is very difficult. People are very attached to their victim status and you pointing that out might cause a serious backlash. It’s also possible you’re not seeing what they are dealing with behind the scenes. Calling people out on their victim mentality is dangerous.
Just care about your own mindset. Maybe when people ask “what changed?” you can talk about it.
How is it holding you back?
When you see yourself as a victim, that mindset becomes a part of your identity. Because of the benefits the victim status provides, this part of the identity is very valuable.
In the long run it doesn’t help you though.
It’s self limiting
By believing you’re a victim and that you’re excused from performing in a certain way, you are limiting yourself. You are limiting yourself in a few ways;
- You’re not taking any actions since you think you are excused from performing
- You’re not setting high goals for yourself
- You think you’re incapable of reaching any goals you would set.
There is one more very important reason why people with victim mentality are limited;
- By setting goals and reaching them, you show the world you’re not a victim anymore. This will destroy a part of that person’s personality. Most people avoid ego damage at all costs.
Others will catch on
If you are just playing the victim instead of actually being one, people will catch on at some point. This is very likely to result in those people not liking you anymore. They are also not likely to give you what you think you deserve anymore.
It’ll make you an angry person
This will result in making you an angry person. The victim mentality will have you believe you’re entitled to all kinds of things. You’re the victim so people that are better off should help you and give you what you want.
This results in you not doing what you could be doing. That means you will not get the results out of life you want and this will make you angry. Nobody really cares that much about you to bring you where you really want to go.
Read this; Nobody cares about you.
How to get rid of victim mentality?
Maybe you’ve diagnosed yourself with victim mentality at this point. What can you do to get rid of it or at least reduce it? Here are a few things you can do.
1. Don’t lie to yourself
If you’re seeing some victim mentality in yourself, be completely honest to yourself. Are you telling yourself the truth? Or are you just making yourself believe your own lies about how outside forces are responsible for your situation?
If you repeat a lie often enough, chances are you’ll start believing them. It’s a difficult cycle to break but necessary for many.
Lying to yourself about your situation might protect your ego in the short term. It will prevent you from growing in the future however. If you are lying to yourself about being a victim, you are forcing limiting beliefs on yourself.
2. Accept you are at a disadvantage
Life isn’t fair. Some people are really at a disadvantage compared to others. That sucks and often there is nothing you can do about it. If it’s something from birth or something that happened later, doesn’t really matter. The end result is the same; life isn’t fair.
Be careful with judging other people though, they might have their own challenges to overcome you’ve got no idea about. They might not be the same as your challenges but, they have to overcome them nonetheless.
Accepting you might not be as lucky as some others then leaves you with a couple of options.
- You try to disadvantage other people
- You wait for others to help you
- You work harder
The first option isn’t going to make you any happier. It’s just going to make the world a worse place for everyone.
The second one is where many people end up. It’s most likely not going to work out for those people however. Read this article; nobody cares about you.
The third option is the most difficult. Maybe you have to work harder at something than other people to reach the same results. It still results in you ending up in a better place.
The third option has the highest chance of your life improving. The other two options either make it worse or you stay in the same place. Maybe you don’t end up in as good a place as someone who started from a better position. Who cares? You improved your life, be happy with that.
3. Don’t milk it
It’s possible you really are a victim of something. Don’t keep milking that status for the perceived benefits. Take the help you need but try to do things yourself as much as possible.
If you milk your status for too long, at some point people won’t care anymore so you’ll be left to fend for yourself anyways. Make sure that you’ve done everything you can to make sure you’ll be OK by yourself.
4. Do the best you can
Whatever might hold you back doesn’t excuse you from doing the best you can. Using your victim status as an excuse not to do your best will hold you back.
When others see you are doing whatever you can, it makes them much more likely to help you as well. If you’re acting like a lost cause, you’ll be treated as such. If you’re behaving in a way that shows you want to become better, people will respect this and maybe try to help you out.
Check out this article; You have to take care of you.
5. Set “unreachable” goals
Many people default to the victim mentality because they feel they can’t reach the goals they would like to. As a result of that they just stagnate where they are and never even try.
Of course some goals are actually impossibly to reach but, if you don’t try you’ll never know.
If you set your goals too high, you’re less likely to work for them. You’ll give up before starting.
If you set your goals too low, you’ll be disappointed in yourself, probably only reinforcing the victim mindset.
- Think of a goal you’ll be able to reach.
- Now think of one step above this goal. Just one step. It should be something you don’t think you’re capable of.
- That’s your target. You are probably capable of more than you think now.
Just one step beyond what you think you can do is not so high that you’ll give up from the start. It’s not too low that you won’t feel good about reaching it. When you set a goal that seems slightly unreachable, it will make you feel great when reaching it. It will show you that you are capable of more than you could imagine.
6. Compete against yourself
You are not necessarily competing against other people. While other people can provide a benchmark to work towards (or beyond), competing against yourself is important too.
- If you’re actually a victim of something, you don’t start from the same position other people do. Comparing yourself to them might be demotivating if the gap is too big. Realize however that most people have their own problems to deal with.
- Beating your past self means you have improved. You might not be where you want to go yet but, you’re going in the right direction.
- Be proud of your improvements.
Also read this article; Realize you can always improve.
7. Be prepared for some ego damage
By reaching your goals and outperforming your own expectations, you can’t let the victim mentality be a part of your personality anymore.
There are people who cling very tightly to their victim mentality. It’s very hard for them to let go. Once they see they can do things they didn’t expect from themselves, they have to give up that part of their personality. If they keep it, everyone will see through it in no time.
Realizing that a part of your personality or ego is not as you thought it was, is very difficult. You have to change a part of yourself.
This can be painful but, the good news is, it will be liberating in the end.