Monday, May 9, 2016

How to Overcome Victim Mentality

     "Trauma creates change you don't choose. Healing is about creating change you do choose."
     ~ Michelle Rosenthal, Your Life After Trauma

     I had a dream recently that I'd like to share with you. It involved a character who was in victim consciousness, or victim mentality. Wikipedia defines victim mentality as "... an acquired (learned) personality trait in which a person tends to regard him or herself as a victim of the negative actions of others, and to behave like it were the case—even in the absence of clear evidence."  This would include seeing yourself as the victim of the negative actions of the universe, God or a higher power.

     I want to make a point that this article is NOT about victimization, which is of course real and serious. Tragically, victimization happens far too often to far too many people. Part of the tragedy of victimization is the formation of victim consciousness.  This article is about victim consciousness, which is an energy pattern that can happen after victimization that colors our perceptions, and can create misfortune and powerlessness in our lives.

     In my dream, the character had become lost. Even though an elevator was right in front of her, she remained stuck, unable to move because she couldn't find the person who was supposed to tell her what floor to go to. Indeed, when we are in victim consciousness we feel powerless and can become dependent on others to tell us what to do.

     Dream themes are metaphors. In this dream the elevator is a metaphor for moving or ascending from one level of consciousness to another. The dream elevator is a symbol of personal growth. The message of the dream is this: When we are living in victim consciousness, we can lose our way on our path of personal evolution and become stuck -- even though the path may be right in front of us. But even if we think we are hopelessly lost, the solution to the issues of our lives are within us.

     Almost everyone has been victimized in some form or another. But victimization is something that happened to us. It is not who we are. Unfortunately, when we have been victimized our identity can be set in victim. And as long as you believe you are a victim, and think like a victim, your life circumstances are not going to change. Change comes through changing your beliefs about yourself.

     You Are a Creator

     The first step is to shift your identity from victim to creator. It may be hard to believe you are a creator if you are repeatedly experiencing mistreatment and misfortune in your life. This is because your life is created from your energy patterns, and your beliefs shape your frequencies. In other words, if you believe you are a victim, you put out a "victim vibe."

     If you vibrate in victim, you haven't done anything "bad" or "wrong"! There is no judgment in energy. The "vibe" we put out is unconscious. But once you become aware of it, the belief is brought to consciousness. And then you can do something about it.

     Here's the tricky part.  What I have observed is that people tend to judge and attack themselves once they realize they have been unconsciously creating victim experiences in their life. Or they will feel embarrassed or guilty. In order to shift out of victim consciousness, choose compassion for yourself. Have compassion for the part of you that has been wounded and conditioned to feel like a victim. And focus on what you are willing to change.

     The Magic of Willingness

     I know the title of this post is to "overcome" victim mentality, but I only used that word because it's the word people usually use when searching on this subject. But it's not about overcoming. Its about healing, and that involves shifting from disempowered to empowered.

     What we need to move forward in life is willingness. In order to get on the elevator in the dream, we need to be willing. Because willingness empowers you. Willingness shifts our energy out of victim vibe. All you need to do is complete this sentence with what you are willing to do:

     Even though I've been conditioned to believe I am a victim, I am now willing to..

     ....change how I look at my life circumstances.
     ...let go of my need to know exactly where I'm going.
     ...consider that I am a creator, not a victim. 
     ...have compassion for the wounded part of me.

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