Do You Have a Victim Mindset?
We all have bad days, especially at work, but if you have a victim mindset as a default position, then you could end up fulfilling your own prophecy – with catastrophic results. When you are in the victim zone, you tend to believe that everything in your life is controlled by others: Your boss cost you a raise, your colleague sabotaged your report—you get the picture.
But it is your attitude that is holding you back. You can blame-storm and feel sorry for yourself, but it will not create the reality you need or deserve. Life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people all the time. We have the right to blame lack of happiness, success or achievement on factors beyond control. Factors such as poverty, natural disasters, horrible supervisors, job losses, dysfunctional leadership and unethical companies cause people mental anguish and suffering. Surely, many of us experience hardships, and the impact can justifiably have a detrimental effect on our mindset and limit our professional achievement.
Break the Cycle
However, if you cannot move past that kind of thinking and look at the overarching causes of your unhappiness, you may become stuck in a rut that you cannot get out of. When you start thinking that everything in your career is a result of someone else’s actions, you usually do not believe it is your job to take charge and make a change. For example, do you find yourself constantly complaining about your job, but you will not look for a new one, or you think your boss is an idiot, but you never initiate any conversations to improve your relationship? If you do that, you will find yourself forever stuck, mired, and miserable.
Take time out to look objectively at your situation. By doing so you may come to some uncomfortable truths, but they will ultimately be liberating and help you break the cycle.
Are You a Perfect Victim?
For Perfect Victims, everything that goes wrong is the result of someone else being unhelpful or too demanding or getting in their way. Every suggested alternative only creates new difficulties for these types. No matter what you do, the PV complains, “Why aren’t you helping me more?”
Perfect Victims are convinced they’re always right, and they’re always suffering. It’s not usually clear whether they’re actually deluded or just unbelievably skilled at not seeing. They believe that their motives are pure, their skills are sharp, and that they are, above all else, blameless.
If this sounds like you, then there are steps you can take to break the habits you have built up and become empowered and successful.
Diarise Your Behaviour
Keep a literal diary of how many times you fall into the victim mindset category. Write down the cause, the effect and how that perfect storm of misery manifested itself. As your journal builds up, take a look for any repetitive scenarios and take a hard look at the real causal factors. Only then can you take charge of your destiny and make positive changes.
Yes, it is a cliché, one of the most used out there. However, once you have identified not just how, but how often you think like a victim, you can begin to identify how to change the beliefs that drive those reactions. So instead of thinking “why am I being asked to do all these duties”, realise that it could be that your manager entrusts you to get the job done right. It’s these paradigm shifts in your attitude that will rid you of your victim mindset. This will also empower you in ways you hadn’t even imagined.
Switch From Being Reactive to Proactive
A big one this. It’s all about taking charge of your own fate. Even if you make the odd mistake, you can squarely blame yourself and no-one else. If you truly believe you’ve been overloaded with work, then you can try delegating. Victims almost always suck it up and take the extra work to validate their own victimhood. And if you don’t speak up, or changeup, you will inevitably get more work piled upon you. Delegate it and not only will you be taking charge, but you will also automatically cease being a victim.
Change won’t happen overnight, but the sooner you realise that change is in your hands, the sooner you can banish the victim mindset for good.