There are several models of thinking that describe how our brains function and why we think the way we do. Over the last two years, I’ve studied several of these models. I wanted to become the best coach possible, but as I was going through my healing journey, I began to wonder why I thought the way I did. Learning about these models of thinking allowed me to understand why I chronically thought I was the victim of my life and like everything had been done to me. Learning about the Victim v. Victor model helped me realize this isn’t the case at all. Instead, I was prescribing to a victim mentality. I was inputting the thought processes of “this is happening to me,” therefore, my life/brain was outputting data/experiences that led me to believe this is true.
We are not the victim of our experiences. Let me be very clear when I say I understand just how difficult a pill this is to swallow. There are moments in our lives we feel completely and utterly victimized. And I would never, nor will I ever, discredit situations where we truly are the victim of an experience: death, assault, addiction, etc. However, beyond the moments of victimization, it is entirely up to us to choose how that experience will affect our lives. Unfortunately, there is no eraser for the moments we wish didn’t happen. So instead, I am here to tell you there are ways to move past what feels like defining moments in your life. We can harness our power and shift from victim to victor.
The Mindset of the Victim V. Victor
I’ve recently been reading and rereading Mind Change by Heather McKean. It’s an extraordinary book on the power of the mind and just how much power we maintain to change it. I can’t even begin to write a recommendation for this book. I believe that if everyone in the world read Mind Change, life as we know it would change. So, I’ll just say, go read this book immediately. Early in the book, McKean writes about the Victim V. Victor model and why thinking from a victim mentality attracts victimization. What we think, we attract. If you think positively, you exist at a higher vibration. High vibrations attract high vibrations. So if you’re happy, you’ll attract positive experiences into your life, and vice versa. If you continually think you’re the victim of the experiences and thoughts in your life, you will continue to attract low vibrational thoughts and experiences.
Shame and The victim mindset
As we’ve established in previous conversations, shame is the lowest vibration we can exist in. And when we feel shameful about our lives, thoughts, experiences, and actions, we often adopt a victim mindset. This isn’t to further our shame, but instead, it’s our subconscious attempting to validate why we feel shame about these things. Our subconscious is a metaphorical filing system for every experience and thought we have ever had; we use these files as proof or evidence for our beliefs. So, if you’re habitually thinking, “this is happening to me,” your subconscious will store that thought and memory associated with it as proof that you are, in fact, the victim of something. So it’s not as if we’re attempting to seek opportunities to be a victim. But, because it’s a thought we’ve habitually practiced, our subconscious will seek opportunities to “file” away as further proof of this belief.
The difficulty of removing yourself from the victim mindset comes from the feelings of shame. We feel shameful for feeling like a victim, for feeling vulnerable and out of control. And so often, instead of acknowledging those feelings circulating around shame, we attempt to bury them, further adopting a more pessimistic attitude. The problem then isn’t necessarily feeling like the victim of something. When someone says something really rude to you, it’s okay to feel angry and think they’re out of line. We’re human beings, so naturally, we may go through a phase attempting to argue against what they said (searching those file folders for proof that they’re wrong). But we can’t stay in the “hurt” for too long. If we do, we open the opportunity to fall into the victim mindset and believe what they said is accurate.
Choosing the Victor Mindset
Here’s the issue: we often believe that we need someone or something outside of us to validate the feelings we want to feel. If we’re feeling joyful, we look to things outside ourselves to validate that feeling–almost like we’re not confident enough to believe what our brains are already telling us. The victor mindset places all of the power back within you. As McKean writes, “No person, place, or thing can make you feel a certain way. Only YOU have the power to determine how you will react to the things that happen around you.” When we choose the victor mindset, we maintain the power to choose our emotions. If you don’t want that comment someone made about you to affect your opinion of yourself, you must choose this mindset. When you choose the victor mindset, your subconscious will no longer store this comment as “proof.”
By using EFT, visualization, or meditation, you will re-write the connotation around this comment. Instead, you will believe statements like, “This comment reflects their insecurities,” or “they were doing the best they could, and it has nothing to do with me.” Believing these statements lets you maintain your power and believe only what you choose to believe. I strongly encourage you to listen to this week’s Do the Damn Thing podcast, where I elaborate on the victim v. victor mindset. Again, I understand how difficult it may be to believe this when we’ve experienced terrible things. However, I believe listening to my story and how I’ve shifted my perspective will give you the courage to do the same. You are always in power, and when you choose to believe so, you can construct the life of your dreams.
listen to the podcast
Want to know more?
Head over to the Do the Damn Thing Podcast on Apple or Spotify and listen to the conversation on this week’s topic! The podcast is an open forum conversation where we dive even deeper into all that is intentional living.