OK…it’s time to talk about victim mindset 😬
Before we get into this conversation, let’s remember to view this topic, ourselves, and others from a place of non-judgement. We all do the best that we can, we always have done…and, at the same time, we can do better.
I’ve noticed a theme coming increasingly into my awareness over the last few months. It first crept into my awareness by me noticing that my own energy was starting to become depleted – this is always a sign to me to step back, go inward, and feel what’s going on. So I did. I meditated more and got curious. In my meditations I asked ‘what am I not seeing? What is causing my energy to be depleted?’ And the answers started to flow in…
I have a lot of conversations with people, in both my work and personal life. We talk stuff through. I love it…mostly…and that’s where my depletion was starting to creep in. When I’ve got even more present to my energy flow, I’ve noticed a clear pattern as to when my energy feels drained, and when it doesn’t.
I noticed, that it was drained when I was having conversations with people, where their story was stuck on a loop. Same pattern, same words, no new action, so same old story playing out time and time again. Things like… being stressed about certain situations but disowning their choice to stay in them. Being anxious or depressed but disowning their role in making the effort to do the inner work required to manage or move beyond their state of being.
What I noticed, is that, whilst listening with empathy is undoubtedly a great balm, there is a level of dishonesty to not be real in the conversation too. To over-look someone’s part int heir own suffering is, perhaps, not generous or supportive. Of course, we often don’t say things because we don’t want to offend or hurt someone’s feelings. But it really got me questioning the true cost of not being truly honest with each other. Do we enable a victim mindset? And what good does that serve any of us?
Let’s take workplace stress as an example – signing an increasing number of people off work with stress isn’t serving any of us in the long term. It’s simply not going to the root of the problem. Aside from the increasing pressure it leaves those who have to pick up the workload from those off work, which in and of itself is going to break more and more people down, we have to get to the root of WHY people are needing to be signed off sick.
Now, before you think I’m stating the obvious here, let’s go a bit deeper. The obvious cause might be unrealistic workloads and/or targets – and when will we actually change what we do about this? Another obvious cause might be something that has occurred in someone’s personal life – let’s allow ourselves to be human and that life is undoubtedly incredibly tough sometimes. The bit that I think we need to get into is us all taking personal responsibility for our own ability to navigate life. We can choose to find, learn and practice the things that support us to manage our own internal state of being. We can find, learn and practice things that help us to navigate life and all the inevitable shit that does sometimes come our way. We can learn the self-awareness to recognise when we have outgrown situations that we cause our own suffering to stay in. We can choose to get present with, and take responsibility for, our own thoughts, feelings, words, choices, and actions…and the outcomes that those bring. When we do that, we step into our own power. When we choose not to do that, we live from a victim mindset.
So, back to my depleted energy…it’s taught me that I can literally feel my life-force draining out of me whenever I am engaging in conversation with someone who is speaking from a victim mindset and I am not being honest with them in my responses. My life-force drains out of me when I am coming from a victim mindset myself. It drains out of me when I have slipped into rescuer mode and/or take on the responsibility for another’s wellbeing when they are not taking their own responsibility for themselves.
What does this mean then? It means empathy and accountability. It means more open honesty and my choice not to enable victim-mindsets, which will mean I’m not for everyone. It means my work and my personal life will focus much more on raising my game, individually and collectively.
If you too want to be more self-empowered, here are a few questions you could reflect on…
🤔 what patterns keep showing up in your life?
🤔 is there anything you find yourself repeatedly saying or moaning about?
🤔 is there anyone or anything you keep blaming for what’s not working in your life?
🌟 and, when reflecting on the above, with non-judgement, what part are you playing in keeping this pattern going? Is there anything you want to choose to do differently now?