Leadership Article

Are you a victim? by Gary Edwards
“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions and not on our circumstances.”
-- Martha Washington
    
Are you “an angry, whining person blaming other people for your circumstances?” If so, you fit the classic definition of a victim. The problems of everyday life give us plenty of opportunities to blame others and point the finger at how things are dealt to us, rather than acknowledge how we react and recognize our own attitudes

If we’re not careful, the victim mentality can dominate our thinking and become a self-defeating way of life. You can begin to break the cycle by asking yourself: Am I living in the problem or the solution?

Telling your story to a trusted colleague or friend can be an objective way to determine your own attitudes. Telling the same story to more than one person can take awareness and perspective to an even higher level. Every time you explain the situation, you gain more objectivity and detachment. Do it with half a dozen people and hopefully you will shorten the story down to its essence and place the problem in proper perspective.

You can waste a lot of energy by remaining a victim. Instead, ask yourself: How I can turn this problem to my advantage? Is there something that I refuse to recognize about the way I handle this kind of situation? What life lesson can I learn? If you lean into rather than resist whatever is going on, it frees you up emotionally and helps diminish the energy drain.

Be careful not to develop an identity around suffering on any issue. Instead, live life to the fullest, seizing every opportunity to live, grow and feel the “Wow” of being alive in all areas of your life. There are many things in life that can’t be changed. What you can change is your own attitude. Start today by asking yourself, “How I can do better with what I have right now?”