Why do you allow yourself to be a victim? That’s the million dollar question, ain’t it? Believe it or not, I think it has a pretty simple answer when you get down to the nitty-gritty of it. Just like the “pinball experience”, where we let life just bounce us to and fro, I believe we become victims when we neglect to stand up for ourselves. No real epiphany there; the “ah-ha” moment comes when you admit to yourself why you don’t. Often the “why” lies somewhere between “I didn’t realize I was doing that”, and “I don’t know how to not do it”. Many times, through life experiences that begin when we’re children, we begin patterns of needing and wanting to please others that sets us up to be victimized somewhere along the way; actually, at just about every stop along the way. What would happen if we sought to be motivated down our road of life versus manipulated? There is a vast difference. One comes from the outside; the other from the inside. Which one is fueling you right now?
Folks who are repeatedly victimized lack a good foundation; and by that I mean a good understanding of who they are and what they want for themselves; and notice I said repeatedly. (For the purposes of this particular line of thought, I’m not considering those who have a “random” accident or incident where they are a victim of a crime or some similar event.) Someone with a firm foundation, a strong sense of self and personal identity establishes early on the boundaries that keep predators at bay. When you don’t have good boundaries, good “rules for engagement” if you will, you leave the door open for lots of heartache and confusion. I heard Dr. Phil say once, “you teach people how to treat you”, and it really hit home with me. I can look back on “friends” who lied, stole, or mistreated me, and I remember continuing the friendship only to have them do it again. I could also count the numerous times I “forgave” a boyfriend for cheating and then chose to continue the relationship to give him a chance to prove he could do better. WHAT?? Oh brother! Things never got better, they got worse! Why? Because I “taught” those people that treating me poorly was an acceptable way to act! They simply followed my lead! Are you doing that with relationships in your life? Have you taught those you engage with that it’s okay to treat you like crap? Well, stop it! Let today be the day that you stop it.
There’s a big difference between being manipulated and being motivated. Like I said, manipulation is what you allow from others; motivation is what you plant inside. It’s the positive things you tell yourself from a firm foundation. It’s the positive cues that you receive from people around you who want to see you succeed. You have to learn to listen to you before you listen to anyone else. Your inner dialogue has to be louder than all the noise coming at you from every direction. When your inner voice is positive and strong, it will direct you towards people and things that will motivate you.
Honesty and sincerity motivate me.
People who admit when they’ve done something wrong, own up to it, and ask for help to move forward motivate me.
People who know my weaknesses and respect my views in spite of them motivate me.
People who still appreciate a sense of tolerance and fairness in this world motivate me.
And I’ve told you, once you begin this transition of mindset, be ready! Your mindset isn’t the only thing that will change. You wants will change. Strong minded people want different things that weak-minded ones. Your needs will change. You’ll need to be around those who lift you up; you’ll crave information and insight from those who are where you want to be. Your habits will change. You may find that you don’t frequent some of the same places, or hang out with the same people; AND THAT’S OKAY. If you’re not growing and evolving every single day, you’re not doing it right. Challenge yourself. Motivate yourself. Identify your “why” in this victim cycle and work towards making it a non-issue.
You can do it. I’m rooting for you.