When you hear the word “victim,” what automatically comes to mind? A person who’s helpless to stop something from happening to them? Someone who is being attacked for no good reason?
What about: A person who’s full of excuses? Or a person who lets life happen to them instead of making life happen? Or a person who always places blame on outside people, events and circumstances?
There are different levels of victim, some much more severe than others.
But what if you’re just living with a victim mindset?
The Victim Mindset
When you have a victim mindset, you always think the world’s out to get you. You look at everything that happens (especially bad things) and justify it by saying you have no control over anything that happens to you.
When you live with a victim mindset, you always feel wronged or cheated. You live a story that has no power.
How This Affects Your Writing
When you live with a victim mindset, you live full of “reasons” why you can’t do something or why something happened to you. You make excuses for why you can’t write.
And let’s face it—If you’re never going to write, then you’re never going to be a writer. Period.
How To Recognize It In Yourself
Here are some signs that you’ve living with a victim mindset:
- You’re constantly complaining—about everything.
- You think the world really is out to get you; you truly believe the Universe is conspiring to make your life difficult.
- You say things like: “Why does this always happen to me?” or “He/she always does this to me” or “life always gets in the way of XYZ.”
- You make excuses—for everything: I can’t write because I have to help my husband do our taxes. I don’t have time to write because my boss is making me work extra hours this week. It wasn’t my fault I skipped my writing session, my sister called just as I was about to sit down at the computer.
The Real, Actual Truth
You are not a victim. I repeat, you are NOT A VICTIM. Not even a little bit.
In fact, you have so much more control over your life than you even realize.
But being in control first means you have to take control. And you do that by owning up to your mistakes, admitting that you continually make excuses and taking responsibility for yourself, your choices and your actions.
Once you can do that, you’ll be ready to take the reins of your life and steer yourself in the direction of your dreams.
My Victim Mindset Confession
Today is my first blog post in almost a month. A month!
And there’s a reason for it. Not a good one, mind you, but a reason nonetheless: I’ve been allowing my excuses to get the best of me.
That’s right, even writers like me who seem to have their shit together can let things like excuses get in the way of writing.
I’ve been sitting here since the beginning of January telling myself that “life” stopped me from blogging. I’ve blamed everything from my employer fucking up my paycheck when I was desperate for money to my dog peeing on (and ruining) my couch to my overall fear and lack of confidence.
Of course none of this is true. But that’s the thing about the victim mindset, once it gets a hold of you, it’s tough to get it to let go.
Over the last few days I’ve begun to own up to my excuses and am once again ready to start taking the reins and continue moving toward my goals for 2011. I’m back.
How do you deal with the victim mindset?
About the Author: Jennifer Blanchard is the founder of Procrastinating Writers. She is co-founder of the Better Writing Habits Challenge. For more great writing tips, tools and advice, be sure to follow her on Twitter or Facebook.