Every day brings a series of small and large challenges that workers sometimes win by overcoming them and sometimes lose by failing. Most workers adapt to these challenges and understand that these challenges help them grow in their profession even when they fail. But if they believe they’re a victim of circumstances, they will find themselves being the victim even when they could have succeeded.
Feeling like a victim often starts early in life and maybe triggered by trauma. As a child, some situations may be forced on you that are unfair, difficult, or harmful. As an adult, a series of losses can lead to feeling like you have little control.
Lack of control is a hallmark of feeling like a victim. Victims believe they are powerless to change, improve, or overcome obstacles.
Victims feel helpless. They often feel trapped by circumstances and believe they aren’t capable of overcoming their situation. These feelings can cause a person to give up on themselves, their goals, and their performance.
Psychologists agree that believing you are a victim creates a cycle where your beliefs make you a victim over and over again.
According to Psychology Today, a leading group of psychologists and researchers, the beliefs a person has directly affect how they cope with challenges. These specialists have identified certain beliefs that lead to victim behavior.
- Why try? I never win
- Trust no one
- I can’t
- Everyone else is better than me
Why try? I never win
Everyone loses sometimes. Even a sports team with a perfect season rarely has more than one perfect season in a row. In life, just like sports, you can lose sometimes and still win the overall prize in the end. But if you let your losses overshadow your accomplishments, you can start to believe that your wins aren’t real or substantial. When you see life as always loosing, it’s not worth trying for anything, and what you lose is the opportunity to win.
Trust no one
Victims don’t trust anyone. They believe that everyone else is against them and out to harm them. Even innocent slights by others are perceived as intentional hurt. While not everyone in life is willing to accept and help you, most people don’t spend all their time trying to hurt others. Believing that you can’t trust anyone means that you will miss out on confiding and accepting help from people that could and would support you. Without support, you remain a victim.
Feeling powerless robs you of control. If you believe that you don’t have control, you may start to feel like you are a victim. “I can’t” becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Lack of commitment to change, refusal to learn and grow, and inability to accept mistakes as part of the path to success, all make it impossible to do something positive in your position. It’s not that you can’t; it’s that you believe you can’t, so you don’t.
Everyone else is better than me
The powerless of believing you’re a victim elevates peers and co-workers above you. When you give others more control and power than you, you always remain a victim. Believing everyone else is smarter, stronger, and more accomplished than you keep you from trying to improve and traps you as a victim. Until you believe in yourself, you will always be a victim.
Work can be hard at times. It’s possible to fail during the learning process and ultimately achieve goals. But if you believe you are a victim of life, you always will be. Letting others have power over you and giving up your control keeps you from the opportunities work offers to grow, change, and achieve.
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