“You don’t be the victim; you be the victor.”
I heard this line spoken recently — an inspiring statement that encourages us to rise above a state of victimhood. Sometimes, it’s easy to justify why we are where we are in life. Past experiences could certainly give way to trauma, childhood environments can leave scars, or coping mechanisms such as substance addiction may spin out of control.
And while there’s acknowledgement that some circumstances are downright terrible, we can still remember that “ruin is the road to transformation” (as referenced in Eat, Pray, Love). There are aspects of a negative situation that we can control, change and choose to overcome.
Inspirational speaker Kute Blackson wrote about relinquishing the helpless victim mindset. He talks of acquiring courage to “take responsibility for your inner experience, especially when someone has wronged or hurt you.” Since there are areas of life that we have no say over, he stresses our ability to select our interpretations of the occurring event.
“The moment you give up your power to choose is the moment you enslave yourself,” Blackson said. “Just because you made your bed a certain way in the past doesn’t mean you need to keep lying in it in the present. Being a victim simply keeps you stuck, paralyzed and powerless to actually be able to do anything about the situation that you’re in.”
Pain or fear may appear inviting if that’s what you’re accustomed to; a comforting place to stay and feel at home. It may be that some feel comfortable not confronting what has to be dealt with head-on. De-stressing from struggles effectively and helping yourself isn’t always the easiest path to follow.
“Making a change might take effort, money, and time,” Christine said in her post on pathpartners.com. “It might be uncomfortable, difficult, or confusing. And so, to avoid risking any of those uncomfortable feelings and experiences, you stay put and complain about it.”
Now, I feel like a broken record with my mention of resilience here, but there’s something to be said for cultivating an uplifting approach, where you could navigate your way out of the darkness and into the light (and yes, sorry for the clichéd corniness). And though it could be a hard and scary process, upholding a resilient nature can be integral in absolving the victimized shield. Choosing your thoughts carefully via an alternative lens is a start.
A Chinese proverb states:
“The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trials.”
Maybe sifting through the rubble is necessary before you can enjoy what’s to come afterward. It’s probably natural to defend why things are the way they are, and the past surely can affect us. Perhaps, though, identifying as a victor paves the road for brightness ahead.
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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 18 Sep 2013
Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.
Suval, L. (2013). Be the Victor: Rising Above Victimization. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 27, 2015, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2013/09/19/be-the-victor-rising-above-victimization/