Think Simple Now — a moment of clarity

What should I do with my life? Click here.

How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim

Photo by Eduardo Izquierdo
You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. ~Dr. Seuss

I’m outing myself.

For many years I chose to live seeing mostly the fear and scarcity that I believed was controlling me.

I couldn’t make enough money. I couldn’t sustain a loving, healthy relationship for any length of time.  And my business wasn’t successful, even though I was running myself ragged, working nights, struggling to get my business operational during the day, and taking care of my daughter 24/7.

(I’m still a little embarrassed to say that the business I was trying to build was all about guiding women to those very same things my life was lacking!  Talk about putting the cart before the horse!)

But what happens, happens – right?  We can put our best efforts and intentions out there, but we can’t control the outcome.

Then again, we might be able to influence it a little.

It turns out that the way we choose to look at things can have a very BIG effect on them.  Dr. Viktor Frankl, author of “Man’s Search for Meaning,” writes that we all have choice—even if it’s only the choice of a new perspective, a different way of thinking about things than we might ordinarily see.

Yes, what happens, happens. But we always have a choice about how to SEE what happens—as in the “glass half-full or half-empty” philosophy. And here’s the neat part—what we focus on, we notice more of!

My boyfriend is a wicked Jets fan. And football is something I have never paid any attention to; but this season, I decided to support him by learning more about the game. I even bought my 7 year-old daughter a Jets t-shirt to wear on game days. And you know what happened?

Now I see people wearing Jets t-shirts…everywhere.

Are more people all of a sudden displaying their love for the Jets? I don’t think so. What happened is that I am more aware of them, have started thinking more about them, and as a result, SEE more Jets support, all around me.

Why does this work? For many of us, we’re so stuck in patterns of belief, in habitual and old stories we tell ourselves, in fear even, that we don’t realize that we have the power to choose our own perspective.

And as demonstrated in the 2006 film The Secret —which I’ve noticed for myself as I work through this— we not only see more of what we train ourselves to be become conscious of, we also actually attract more of it ! That could be anything from Jets fans to good-paying job opportunities.

Are you ready to look at your life differently?

You will know when you are not putting your conscious powers of perspective to their best use if you are feeling any of the following:

  • drained
  • resentful
  • victimized
  • deprived
  • hopeless
  • dependent
  • exhausted
  • frustrated
  • despondent

Do any of these symptoms feel familiar to you? I used to notice SO many of them for myself! And it would make me feel really awful — why couldn’t I get all the pieces together? Why couldn’t I keep all the balls in the air? What couldn’t I create for myself what I was so good at helping other women create?

I could sense that a key piece of the puzzle for me was that I wasn’t managing my own energy—I was letting myself get sucked into the vicious cycle of self-incrimination and self-loathing, of feeling as if I couldn’t handle my life and make it work for me. But it was REALLY hard to get that ball rolling—like trying to lift a rock up when you’re lying UNDER it.

What helped? How did I get leverage?

First of all, I admitted that I was totally fed up with feeling that way—so much so that I was ready to do almost anything to change the pattern for myself.

My second step was to work at noticing when I was choosing to see things negatively and then quickly replace those thoughts with a more positive perspective.

Here’s an example: at the supermarket check-out, I had to put 3 items back because I didn’t have enough money. At first I got upset that I didn’t have enough to pay for those 3 things. But I caught myself and instead chose to give thanks for still having enough money to buy three bags of healthy, organic food for myself and my daughter! How blessed!

My third step – and this is something I do now on a daily basis is to literally re-train my brain by choosing my thoughts and repeating them to myself. The tool I use is EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques or tapping, as some folks call it), and if you’re interested in trying it I recommend watching the awesome videos of Brad Yates on YouTube – he’s my favorite.

And lastly, I make a habit of an Abundance List. Every night before I go to bed I write down everything special thing I have been grateful for that day: that penny on the street, the sunlight I got to walk around in, the extra hug from my kid, the smile from the old man on the park bench, the cuddle from my dog, the early bedtime I gave myself the night before.

So here are the steps for you to take:

  1. Declare your intention out loud: “I am no longer willing to be unhappy and experience my life this way.”
  2.  Manage your energy: build awareness of negativity and consciously choose to change your point of view.
  3.  Retrain your brain: use affirmations, EFT, or any other tool that works for you to teach your brain to see things the way you choose to see them without slipping into a default setting just because it’s comfortable or familiar.
  4.  Focus on gratitude: take a little time each evening to list the things you have been grateful for that day.

What will you choose to see — and have — more of in your life today?  Be conscious and proactive and decisive — and then make it happen.

Before you go: please share this story on Facebook, RT on Twitter. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to receive email updates. Thank you for your support!
Connect with TSN Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Instagram RSS
About the author

Britt Bolnick, of In Arms Coaching, is dedicated to guiding and supporting women who are ready to look clearly at where they are, where they want to go, and what's standing in their way of creating joy, balance, and manifesting their heart's dreams! Check her out at InArmsCoaching.com, or write to her at britt@inarmscoaching.com

Love this article? Sign up for weekly updates!

Think Simple Now delivers weekly self-reflective, inspiring stories from real people. Join our empowering community by entering your email address below.

12 thoughts on How to Stop Feeling Like a Victim

  1. Hmm… The book and movie “The Secret” only scratched the surface, like a Manifesting 101 course. You have to go beyond “The Secret” if you really want to shift your life.

    “Retrain your brain: use affirmations, EFT, or any other tool that works for you to teach your brain to see things the way you choose to see them without slipping into a default setting just because it’s comfortable or familiar.”

    Affirmations are positive statements, e.g., I am prosperous and I am loving and lovable. If you DO NOT believe these statements, your brain will toss them out. The same goes for EFT. This is why many people are still broke, unhappy, etc. They’ve read the books, paid lots of money for courses and coaching, but their ‘subconscious’ it still program for lack, fear, etc.

    It’s easy to stop playing the victim, you just stop playing the victim, that’s it. You choose something different. You drop your shame (Buddha did this) and move forward with your life. EFT, affirmations, afformations (from Noah St. John), books, etc. are great tools, but YOU must do the inner work. Otherwise, you’ll waste time and money and won’t see any improvement in your life.

  2. Hi Brit great post, I’m sharing it with my readers because it goes hand in hand with my post scheduled for release at 6pm today and with this additional info it helps for the knowledge to marinate and sink in. Sometimes we get so caught up with our negatives we loose the focus on the positives in our lives. You’ve listed do-able guides to go by, I especially like your nightly Abundance List, its a great tool to bringing the positives to the forefront of one’s mind.

  3. I relate to what you are talking about here because I used to this with time. After a lot of frustrating experiences with time in a job & commute I felt trapped in, I started constantly feeling like I was at war with time – the worst part is the perception spread to my weekends and time off…and then when I left the job it took me so long to shift out of that time scarcity perspective. It was like I created time stress even though it didn’t have to be there anymore. This is a tricky subject, as people can get defensive and say “don’t tell me just to think differently,” but I think what you are saying is look for different perspectives that are also TRUE and possible, and build from there. I agree, that is what has helped me.

  4. Chere

    These are good suggestions. Realizing my victimhood, a lifetime pattern was my first step toward understanding that I put myself in a position to be hurt over and over again. I was able to work very slowly spiritually toward making changes by looking at the pattern and figuring out my part in the pattern…. a lot of people helped me with this process. Very slowly, I was able to stop reacting to the situation, pattern, comment or behavior…..stopping the reaction was huge for me. Then taking alternate action came. Today to be able to look at a painful situation to come to understand my part and to be able to make changes slowly, without resentment and with a rational spiritual guide helps me to continue to grow, to be in control of my life in an easy, positive way. My key to change is willingness, open mindedness and honesty.

  5. Ron

    I see this all the time – “oh, woa is me, I am poor. There are no jobs out there”…blah blah blah. When I ask them when was the last time they looked for work, its often weeks or even months. The think is you gotta take action for as long as it takes to reach your goal!

  6. Vikas Chauhan

    You have written many special things in this article. So congratulations for it. Thanks because many of the things are reminder, what i have already learned. One criticism, your first step about declaration is very negative statement.
    This one >> Declare your intention out loud: “I am no longer willing to be unhappy and experience my life this way.” It should be something like, I am willing to be happy and experience my life in prosperous [whatever positive word one can use] way.

  7. I’m going to watch “The Secret” – it sounds right up my street!

  8. Britt, I can relate. I went through a period of my life in the 90′s in which a poor choice in marriage set me way back, both financially and emotionally. I struggled for years, at times feeling like a victim. It took me a long time to recover.

    But now I’m healthier — in all ways, including financially — than I’ve ever been before. I write a weekly blog about being rich in what matters. And last year I finished a novel (Revelle) that reworked my traumatic marriage into a story that takes responsibility, rather than being a victim.Dozens of people have told me they loved it, and felt uplifted by it.

    I agree with you that it’s our job to craft our attitude and our lives in a positive way, no matter what happens to us. Thanks for being so open and vulnerable.

  9. Retrain your brain- I love it. I spend my life trying to explain this concept to people.

    It is your choice on how you want to think/believe.

    Great post

    SW

  10. Thanks for putting so much of you out there in this post. ”What we focus on, we notice more of” – that’s powerful, very powerful. I think it’s important to realize that this process of retraining your brain is not an overnight process. It’s like going to the gym – you need to work on it everyday.

  11. Stefanie

    A big THANK YOU for this reminder. Very empowering.

  12. Of course that’s right! In life there comes a time when you know what you need to do, but you stress out that it is impossible with the means which you have to be able to do it. Only at this time you can overcome your egoism and concentrate on hard work and achieve what you need.

Your thoughts?

Leave a Comment

We’d love to hear them! Please share.

Think Simple Now, a moment of clarity © 2007-2013 Simple Life Media, LLC Privacy Disclaimer
Back to top