Are you feeling stuck in life? Blame your victim mentality. When you go through life with a victim mentality you trap yourself in a cycle of misery, blame and self-pity. This self-destructive mindset sabotages both personal and professional success. As a result, you end up feeling stuck in life.

You are unable to progress due to your perception that everyone is out there to get you. And you must protect yourself from the people that will “cause” you pain and unhappiness. This need for protection against those who may wrong you makes it impossible to trust people. Yet the opportunity to lead a happy, healthy life depends on our ability to trust others.

feeling stuck in life

What is it like to have a victim mentality?

A victim’s outlook on life is: I’m miserable, and happiness is out of my control. People with the victim mentality blame others, or the circumstances, for the bad things that happen to them. They fail to acknowledge they had a part in creating the unfortunate situation in which they may find themselves.

People who struggle with the victim mentality unconsciously seek problematic situations and relationships. And they are prone to overreacting, turning a minor setback into a major drama.

While some people have valid reasons to feel victimized, others become victims of their perceptions.

What causes the victim mentality?

The victim mindset develops within the family of origin during childhood. Children raised by parents who were indifferent, highly critical, or plain abusive adopt a victim mentality as adults. The victim mentality is also taught by parents who display its characteristics. These parents have a “poor me” attitude, and are unable to handle life’s difficulties in a healthy way. Unfortunately, parents with a victim mentality are unaware of the impact their behaviors have on the development of their children.

How can you crush the victim mentality?

1. Identify the root cause of your victim mentality

Look back at your childhood. Was there a person in your life that displayed victim behavior? Growing up, were there any events that made you feel unsafe, unloved, or neglected? Answering these two questions will provide you some insight into what may have laid the foundation for your victim mentality. And it will enable you to start healing those painful memories.

Do: Come to terms with your past. You had no control over your upbringing, but you are now in charge of your life.

2. Accept responsibility for your adult life

The only way to change your life is to accept responsibility for it. Don’t expect anyone to come and save you from your misery. You must dig your way out of it, and break the self-destructive cycle that keeps you stuck in life. Understand that your well-being can’t depend on external sources. You create it for yourself through self-acceptance, self-love and self-respect.

Do: Let go of your helpless identity. Hold yourself accountable whenever you display the victim behavior. Surround yourself with people who discourage self-pity.

3. Be aware of your victim tendencies

Remaining aware of your self-victimization tendencies allows you to stay vigilant. So when the victim mentality shows up, you can address it right away. This requires a high level of self-awareness, and the willingness to accept when you’re wrong.

Do: Be honest with yourself, and recognize that you are no longer a helpless child. Exercise your adult power in constructive ways.

4. Quit blame-shifting

Stop blaming your past, the people in your life, or your circumstances for your misery. While a traumatic past leaves deep imprints on people, the only way out of its grip is to forgive. Forgive the people that caused you pain, and forgive yourself for not being able to cope better until now. Avoid creating new grudges, they are like poison for your mind. Holding grudges sinks you deeper into suffering.

Do: Let go of resentment and the desire for revenge. You can’t control other people’s actions, but you can control your reactions to them. Be ready to accept your mistakes, and take responsibility for them.

5. Be fearless in your pursuit of success

Fear fuels the victim mentality. Victims are afraid of failure, and of others disappointing them. So they isolate themselves from people and situations that require them to show vulnerability. Their fears hold them back from pursuing dreams and achieving goals. Yet overcoming the victim mentality, and getting unstuck in life, requires a healthy dose of vulnerability.

Do: Embrace feeling vulnerable at times. Take chances, challenge yourself to do better, and be better. Accept yourself as a work-in-progress. And actively work on your struggles.

Living with a victim mentality can be crippling. The longer you allow yourself to identify with it, the deeper you will sink into despair and unworthiness.

As you embark on the journey to defeat your victim mentality you will question everything you are and know. So be prepared to dispute your beliefs, and stay open to new ways of living life. Your sense of identity will be challenged. It won’t be easy to prevail, but the price of standing still is much higher.

Read next: Defeat Fear Of Change: Find Happiness

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