My old computer started having challenges and eventually crashed in November of 2008. Windows 8 was just being released and stores were bringing in computers loaded with this brand new operating system to entice holiday shoppers. This didn’t work out so well for me.
For whatever reason, I spent 30 to 40 hours on the phone with support people over the next few weeks. It seemed that the world, my computer, and many of the programs I used, just weren’t ready for Windows 8.
I felt overwhelmed and frustrated at how much this was impacting my life and business. I was pretty sure the tech people, Microsoft, Google, and everyone else had a personal vendetta against me. It was exhausting.
I complained to my friends, family, and anyone else who would listen. It was a great victim story and I was getting a lot of sympathy, but it didn’t feel very good.
Eventually, I calmed down enough to be aware that I had started whining and getting myself worked up over something I had no control over. I didn’t like how I was sounding and feeling, and decided to make a change.
I chose to empower myself instead of being a victim. It may not have looked that different from the outside, but how I felt inside shifted dramatically. I’m sure my friends and family were grateful, too.
Why am I telling you this story?
We all get to choose every day if we are going to operate as a victim or take ownership for our lives. It is very easy to fall into the victim trap and that only makes us powerless and keeps us stuck.
It’s easy to identify when you are falling into a powerless victim mode. It feels yucky, and heavy, and wears you out. Your voice will take on a complaining quality that hurts even your own ears and you will notice certain recurring thought patterns:
- Things should be different
- Someone or something else is to blame
- They are against you
- It’s hopeless
- I just need to get through this some how
- I am so tired of this
- Why? Why? Why?
Once you catch yourself, you can choose to step out of the deep pit of feeling victimized. When you consciously choose to shift your thought patterns and take full ownership and responsibility for what is happening, you will become more confident and effective in resolving the issue, as well as feel better about yourself.
Your new thought patterns will sound something like this:
- What can I do to move this toward resolution?
- Who do I need to become?
- I am committed to …
- One step at a time will get me where I want to go.
- What am I learning from this?
- How can I use it to my advantage?
Being a victim saps your confidence, gets you nowhere, and can alienate the people in your life. Stay tuned in and take notice when you find yourself falling into victim language and choose empowered, responsible thoughts and action instead.
It can make all the difference in the world.