Refuse to be a victim.

Today I’m going to share what to me has become a personal law and philosophy for me.

iuri melo
iuri melo

Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking a few minutes out of your day to personally nurture and invest in your mindset, and in your own personal power. After 20 years of private practice, and literally listening and being a part of 10's of thousands of personal stories... victories, failures, tragedies, and triumphs, I've noticed some patterns and characteristics that I believe can lead people to lead happier, more successful, and more empowering lives, while some mindsets and personal philosophies will lead people to feel disempowered, stuck, less successful, and ultimately less successful. Today I'm going to share what to me has become a personal law and philosophy for me. A powerful mindset that can color my experience in a more optimistic and hopeful way, and in addition, this simple strategy can rescue me from a very unhelpful and ineffective place.

This personal philosophy will reveal to you the incredible urge and gravitational pull we constantly feel to act and believe we are victims. It's difficult to not be one, thus the need for us to refuse, and to do so with an exclamation point! It's important to understand that throughout our lives, we will be victimized. People will lie, cheat, and abuse us in many ways. Events themselves will victimize us, and yet being a self-made victim is something entirely different. It is a place you want to avoid because being a self-made victim leads us to believe that we are helpless. This means that we see the solution to our problems outside of ourselves, and just beyond our reach. The unconscious outcome of adopting a victim mindset is helplessness, hopelessness, bitterness, and a lack of personal power and confidence.

You will notice that self-made victims always do 4 things:

  1. They constantly blame others and external circumstances.
  2. They justify and rationalize their actions
  3. They make themselves out to be martyrs and gather armies
  4. They are constantly gathering armies and evidence to defend their positions.

Okay, let's start with Number:

  1. Consider this your homework assignment for this week: watch yourself, watch others, and notice how often individuals will slip into this unconscious and ineffective state of mind. Notice their tendency to blame others, whether it's their boss, their spouse or partner, the government, neighbors, wild teenagers, events, circumstances, your town, your state, etc. People who are stuck in this particular mindset, are very dependent on others and external circumstances for their own emotional and psychological wellbeing. If this is you (and it is you to some extent), make a commitment to recognize this urge to blame, and find fault, and eradicate it from your life. Instead, see yourself as an individual who is able to influence any circumstance, and use your focus and energy to get to work discovering how you can positively affect what is occurring, and then act with courage, hope, and independence. In other words, stop being a critic, and instead become a builder and a positive source for good.
  2. Justifying and rationalizing our actions is exemplified by individuals who say things like: "well, if she hadn't screamed and yelled at me then I wouldn't have...," or "if he wants my respect he has to earn it," or even "if only he was nice, then I would be nice." The problem with these statements is that these individuals are behaving in ways that betray their best sense of self, and that go against the ultimate outcome that they want (love, kindness, respect), simply because someone else is acting in a way that they don't like. In a way, these people believe in the bronze rule, not the golden rule. The golden rule being "treat others how you would like to be treated," vs. the bronze rule which states "treat others how they are treating you." To engage in this sort of self-betrayal, individuals have to justify why, and usually they blame others and/or circumstances for why they've dropped their best personal beliefs and philosophies. So make a decision today to stop making excuses and justifying why you are acting in a way that is unhelpful and that betrays your best thinking and your most effective principles.
  3. When individuals make themselves into martyrs, they enter the "poor me" pity party state. They begin to see themselves in two ways:
        Rhey see themselves as the hero, who is putting up with life, who is surviving through the great injustices that people and circumstances have thrown at them. This usually leads to this kind of thinking "Look how good I am for having to go through this situation, or having to deal with this person." This is usually done to receive some form of sympathy from others. The reality is that people do have to put up with and swallow much injustice in life, but when we place ourselves in that ‘hero' place, we aggrandize ourselves, and ultimately demean others. This perspective is not effective, and only serves oneself, as others indeed do view this individual as a martyr who is living through the many injustices of life. By communicating this self-righteousness to others, they are hoping to gather an army that supports them and that sees things their way, and of course, that despises the other.
        The other thing that Martyrs do, is they descend to a place of self-deprecation or self-destruction. This usually sounds like.. "I know I'm awful, I don't know why you married me," "yes, yes, it's always my fault, it will always be my fault," "I'm so stupid, I never do anything right." It's similar to playing chess with someone, and at some point when things aren't going the way they want them to go, they just throwing the pieces off the board while exclaiming "this game is so stupid, I'm so stupid, and I don't even know why I play this stupid game." It's a power grab. A quick way to regain some control of the situation.Refuse to become unconscious and retreat to this place of insecurity, helplessness, and hopelessness. Don't gather armies against other people, or badmouth them. It doesn't mean you can't talk to others about problems or difficulties in your life, but choose those people carefully, and do so in a way that is solution focused, instead of just having others feel sorry for you.
  4. And lastly, If you've ever had the pleasure of arguing with someone who is constantly gathering evidence against you, you will know how damaging and debilitating this last mental-habit, and behavior, is. These individuals (and I know you are one of these individuals) gather evidence, or keep an ace up their sleeve, for moments when they feel threatened or afraid, and then they unleash the evidence, sometimes in a rapid-fire machine gun attack. Starting with something that happened many years ago, spanning the history of the relationship, and culminating on how it's going to be happening in the future. The core message being relayed by this individual is, "you sucked then, you suck now, and you're always going to suck!" Sometimes I meet individuals who may not outwardly attack their partner, but will instead spend an unhealthy amount of time running scenarios in their mind about what they should have said, or what they will say or do next time.

My dear friend. I know I brought the heat today. I want you to realize that I'm not here to harm you or condemn you. There is a reason why I have called this personal philosophy of mine "iuri... refuse to be a victim", and it is because I have traveled through that valley of the shadow of death many times, and have engaged in all of those behaviors. I've blamed, rationalized, justified, raised myself as a martyr, and have at times built armies and gathered evidence in my interactions... I've done it... i'm still doing it, and my honest guess is that you are doing it yourself, and I want you to evolve out of this neanderthal-like mindset and psychology, into a better and more empowering perspective. A perspective that is solution and resolution focused... one where you see yourself as a source of positive influence, and where you focus your energy and efforts to raise, lift, and make better... where you see yourself as a person that brings solutions, instead of just someone who is able to pick up on all of the failures and shortcomings of people, schools, governments, etc. Refuse to be a victim. Refuse to blame... Refuse to justify your own self-betrayals... Refuse to step into that martyr mindset... and Refuse to build armies and gather evidence to put others down... instead focus on seeking to understand, on being compassionate with others... expand your gratitude and humility... and look to build others around you by being hopeful and forgiving. This world needs redemption and a kind and encouraging voice. It needs courageous people who are willing to step in and serve, and give of themselves for beautiful causes.

So when you find yourself slipping into these four behaviors, remember your new rule... your new law... your new personal commandment, and refuse to be a victim, and refuse to enter this helpless and powerless place, where you just sit and wait for other people to change so that you can be happy. Instead, you will take charge of your life, and focus your time, energy, and money to promote the things that you ultimately want. What say you? I hope this was helpful to you, and I'll see you next week.