You’re Not A Victim, Unless…

choices leadership role models victimhood Oct 27, 2022
You’re Not A Victim, Unless…

Throughout our lives, we go through experience after experience that shapes us into the person we are. Each experience is evaluated for its meaning to us, and then our image of self is adapted to the label. As we evaluate the meaning of an experience, we choose our reactions based on the meaning given. Knowing that each person holds that incredible power to choose meaning in their own lives, it becomes fascinating that one would choose to be the victim in a given experience.

The reason this is fascinating is that all options existed for the person. They could be a victim, a villain, a hero, a guide, or even a casual observer in their own life experience. Why, then, do people play the victim? The answer seems to lie in three key areas. A person’s conditioning, striving, and persona.

From birth to death, we observe those whom we believe are the example for us to live our lives. We watch our parents, teachers, friends, and even celebrities. When we observe people playing the victim card as a way to get what they want, it teaches us that being the victim equals getting an advantage. Thus, we create the tantrum-filled child who feels they have been cheated when they don’t get their way, so they whine and cry and pitch a fit. If your training on being a human was centered around people simply experiencing life, then making a choice to own your next move, you tend to play the hero in your own story.

As we create a concept of self, based on our conditioning, it helps us focus our efforts toward an end result. We strive toward the ideal self. When we see who we are and accept responsibility for our choices to this point in life, we more readily create the vision of who we hope to be. This future self gives us the energy to face current challenges and push through them. Without striving, we simply accept that who we are is all we are. With a focused destination, we are willing to face setbacks, struggles, and even the occasional antagonist pushing us to give up.

Both our conditioning and our creation of the future self work together to develop a persona of who we believe we are. We wear masks throughout our lives. We refer to them as the roles we play or the image we wish to project, but they are there nonetheless. These masks help to shape us by receiving feedback from others as we play our part. Much of how a person interacts with the world is based on who they see themselves to be through imagining who others see them to be. It is almost as if we want to see ourselves studying the observer, observing who we appear to be. Whether a person recognizes it or not, you are who you have chosen to be. You are projecting out an image, acting, playing a part. When you play the part well, others see the future self you desire, and it becomes your present.

You are only ever the victim in your life when you give up control of the choices that are rightfully yours. Your primary choice is what you will do next. Regardless of what happens around you or even to you, you hold the power for the next move. You are only a victim when you look for someone else to take control of your next move or when you give up your future desired self and the persona you wish to become. The hero of any story faces challenges. They have to be tested to be sure they are hero material. The victim of any story runs, hides, or blames when a challenge is put in front of them. That’s not you. My challenge to you is to stand before the mirror and imagine yourself, living the life you desire, striving for greatness, and choosing what and who you will become, regardless of what life throws at you!

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