Have you ever observed yourself going on-and-on about the disappointments and sorrows bringing you down in life? Do you often tell tales of being victimized by others or external circumstances? Let’s be real: we are all guilty of this at times in our lives, especially when the chips are down and we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. What is important is that we observe how we tell our stories, because it will have a huge impact on our lives. If you are the victim in most of your stories, have you considered what the pay off is for you being in this role?
In order to take back your power, you have to be mindful of what you speak into existence, and more importantly, the story you tell yourself about the circumstances you are in or have been in. In order to be powerful, you must learn how to be the hero in your story. How do you do that? By becoming aware of the victim and hero persona that lives inside of you and deciding to tell your story as the hero. Let’s take a look at these personas that live inside of all of us.
How to Spot the Victim
When you are in victim mode, you are not interested in finding solutions to the problems in your life: you are interested in telling anyone who will listen about the your disappointments in your life. You find yourself getting caught up in things from the past that cannot be changed no matter how many times the story is told. It is all about what others are doing to you and how you are the blameless bystander caught in the crossfire. Does this sound familiar?
At one point in my life, this was my star role: I loved nothing more than to tell anyone who would listen to me about my painful childhood or the cheating boyfriends of my past. The one thing that all of my stories had in common was that I was helpless—the victim—and the pay off was the support and sympathy I received from others. I was not interested in actual solutions to my problems, but I wanted nothing more than to tell you all about them—over and over again.
Of course at the time, you couldn’t have convinced me I was playing the victim role; after all, I had all of the evidence of wrongdoing I needed. What I failed to realize is that by telling these stories over and over again, I was actually disempowering myself. I felt hopeless, exhausted and just plain tired of the circumstances I was in or talked about from my past. I didn’t make the connection between what I was saying to myself—and everyone else—and my lack of self-supporting actions. I was waiting on someone else to rescue me and make it better. If your story consists of what you can’t do/have/be because of ________ (fill in the blank), you are stuck in victim mode. How will you ever rise to be the powerful person you were created to be if it depends on the behaviors of others? Think about it, if you believe someone else holds the power to your life working out the way you would like, how does that make you feel?
How to Spot the Hero
The hero is willing to sit in the driver’s seat and take on all the responsibilities that come with that, including telling the truth about all of their experiences to date like the rotten childhood or betrayal of friends and lovers. They do not deny or pretend that everything is fine when it is not; but, they do own their power to choose. They understand they are in fact powerful and tell themselves empowering stories like the great life lessons they have learned and how it has set them up for future successes. Their focus is on what they are capable of doing rather than on what others are not doing or didn’t do. The hero understands that controlling others is not an option no matter how many times you beg, plead or get angry. The hero understands they have the power to change their lives one choice at a time, and although it may not be an easy choice to make, it is always available. The hero understands the power of narrative and takes control of their story by actively engaging in behaviors that affirm and support their sense of self-worth and value.
It All Comes Down to You
In the end, you must decide for yourself how you will show up in the world. The truth is, being the victim is easy because it requires no personal responsibility; but, it also requires you to give your power away to something or someone “out there.” In order to take back your power, you must give up the ghost of the victim mindset; it is uncomfortable, nerve-racking and induces a lot of fear because it means you are in control. It means you understand and acknowledge your power as a creator of your life and your destiny. It means you have a choice. Will you choose to live your life as a victim or as a hero?