What value is there in keeping your past alive, especially when it wasn’t so great the first time around?
This may seem a ridiculous question but it is very true. When we allow ourselves to run in victim mode, we are keeping our past alive and prevent a future of happiness and fulfillment.
How do we run in victim mode?
Most people, at least to some degree, live their lives in victim mode. They do things like undermining their own ability to do certain tasks, they get uncontrollably angry, they make themselves sick, and they sabotage good relationships or attract and keep unhealthy relationships.
The choices we make that activate our victim modes are subconscious and automatic. They are triggered by common responses that occur regularly in everyday life. They are so automatic that we often do not even realize we have triggered them.
You can recognize them easily because these responses usually start with a negative statement such as “I can’t, “I won’t”, “No!”
Every time we allow ourselves to be victimized or if we choose to put ourselves voluntarily in victim mode, we are reinforcing the victim inside of us. Even when we stand up for ourselves against threats, we are often reinforcing the belief systems that support our victim because the method we use for standing up for ourselves is based in fear. It is a reaction against rather than a chosen action “for”.
So what can we do to get past victim?
We need to look at “victim” as a game we play with ourselves. We need to stop playing this game.
The absolutely first and basic step in getting past victim is to become aware of how we talk to ourselves. Learn to listen to your own thoughts and what words you use. If the verbiage is basically negative, victim mode is in place. However, by just changing your wording, the blind barrier of the victim can be transcended. All you have to do is be willing to give yourself a chance. Choose positive words!
You are the one and only person that has to listen to your own thoughts 24/7. You are also the only person who can choose how you act out on your own thoughts. You are the only one who ends up reacting to your thoughts and paying for your choice in words.
We are always the director of our thoughts. We can pick and choose which thoughts we want to recognize and give energy to. We create actions that cause related thoughts to be brought to our consciousness.
When we let our thoughts run without any form of management, we allow unhealthy thoughts to have far too much importance.
Thoughts are powered by emotion. Thoughts are also intertwined with emotion. This is a learned relationship that developed during our childhood. If you look back at your childhood, you will soon see the relationship and how it developed. If you endured years of negative teaching from parents who lacked good parenting skills (to say the least), the negative thoughts with their entwined emotions will be stronger for you than any positive thoughts. This is because you are more familiar with them and have a more intense emotional history with them than with positive thoughts.
Through years of constant reinforcement the negative thoughts will be heard in your head most often. The positive thoughts are there and get to express sometimes but they will often be dismissed or undermined because they lack any kind of emotional punch.
So what can we do about this imbalance of power between negative and positive thoughts?
Again, the first step is recognition. Recognize a thought for what it is… a thought. It is nothing more than that.
You always have the power to choose whether you want to act upon any thought. However, it takes practice to move your mind out of victim mode and to choose the better thought.
Are you willing to do it?
Are you willing to take the time to listen to the goings-on in your head?
Are you willing to become the new manager of your thoughts and stay with it?
All you have to do is say “I can”.
You are the only one that can do it. You are the only one who can make changes in your life. I must say at this point, however, that it would be really good for you to have a good relationship with a counselor so that when you get into a tough moment, you have a reliable resource to help you move forward safely. Please ensure that it is you doing the changes though. The counselor cannot do it for you.
When difficult or undesirable thoughts come up this is what you do:
- Recognize the thought as undesirable
- Remember that you have complete choice about acting on the thought
- If you choose to activate the thought, do so (remembering that you are responsible for its outcome).
- If you recognize the thought as undesirable, take no action on the thought. Just do what you can to let it go away. After all, it is just a thought.
- Just let it go!
Here are some tools that will help you to let go of undesirable thoughts:
- Be aware of your thoughts as best you can (It will not ever be 100% of the time)
- If the thought has a lot of intense emotion behind it, try to be still and focus on doing some good belly breathing. (Move your abdomen in and out as you breathe). Keep doing the belly breathing until you calm down if you can.
- Use the technique demonstrated in the video inserted in this blog. It helps to open the energy channels to your mind so you can “get out of your head”.
- Try to focus your mind elsewhere without resorting to using external blocking devices such as drugs, alcohol, loud music, and excesses such as overeating.
- Do focus your mind elsewhere by singing, whistling, purposeful thinking about other subjects, journaling or exercise. You can use quiet peaceful music that supports your focussed breathing to quiet you down but only during the coming down period.
- If you are in a situation that encourages undesirable thinking, get out of it at least until you can get calmed down.
The more you take responsibility in the management of your thoughts, the more you empower yourself. Be kind to yourself in the process. Beating yourself up for slipping is another form of empowering your victim. No one is perfect.
As you become more invested in your own mind management program, you will find that your present life situations may begin to change as well. As you become more aware of how you do your life, you will become aware of how some of the people and the situations in your life support your victim. Eventually, you will be faced with some tough decisions.
When you are ready, you will need to help these people and situations to decide whether they are to stay in your life or not. In my books, it is always preferable to keep the familiar in your life, however, they will have to change with you to accommodate the changes you are making or they will not fit any more.
As you begin the process of letting go of your victim, it is essential to include the key people in your life. They need to know what you are up to. They also must support you and will, hopefully, join with you. After all, only victims hang out with other victims.
When you get into a tough situation where you feel you are losing your ability to stay clear, if you feel it is necessary, slowly put up your hand like a stop sign and state how you are feeling in a single sentence such as “I am feeling scared right now so I need to stop.” Then stand still in that position and allow the other person to digest your statement. Be resolved to stop. Do not allow yourself to be forced into continuing on if you feel you are not able or willing to.
Be sure the other person is aware of this sign beforehand so they do not think you are going to hit them. After all, they have a victim too.
The key to this whole project of getting past your victim is your own ability to stay true and loving to yourself. It will take a lot of time and a lot of mistakes but just be ok with it.
I have personally used these techniques for years (when I remember). They work. Just be aware of yourself and what you are doing as best you can and remember to congratulate yourself every time you do well.
Remember that our goal is to be happy with ourselves as human beings. We also desire to feel safe. We must get ourselves out of victim mode and into our own loving power in order to meet this goal. We must do this by empowering ourselves and supporting others in their journey to the same end. Nobody ever felt safe or truly happy being a victim. Your own personal happiness depends on you making choices that are good for you.
Let’s do the journey one step at a time.