Playing the Victim - gets you nowhere
How many people are there playing the victim role in life? I think there are plenty. If you're one of them, you're headed for trouble.
The old saying goes, "There are many stations in life." It's a way of saying that we're all different and "It takes all kinds."
I believe there are essentially three "top level" roles that you can play in life - the villain, the victor and the victim. The one you play is largely a matter of you making a choice.
The villain is the bad guy. We know too well about them. They are the evil ones, the miscreants, the ones that draw off and use the rest of us as they see fit, regardless of what's right. I've known many of them in my time. They hate themselves and others, and are focused on destruction - usually self destruction. These types of people are in the minority.
The victor is the champion, the one who tries to succeed, the one who is the hero in their own life and the lives of others. They are the ones with a focus on what's right, fair and just. They are the inventors, students, teachers, caregivers, entrepreneurs and workers all around us. They play the hand they're dealt. They are the majority of people you meet.
There are many playing the victim role as well. They are victims of crime, circumstance, heritage, the "system," the economy and birth. They often take the form of a martyr and choose to wallow in their misfortune to gain attention, sympathy and favor of others. They are the minority, but gaining quickly in numbers.
To some extent, many of us play all three roles at some point in our lives. Which role we play is mostly of our choosing, and often we're at least indirectly responsible for adopting that role or allowing ourselves to become that type of person.
The Victim - a dead end street
If you're fond of playing the victim, you're headed nowhere fast. It's a role that requires you to be manipulated at the hands of others. It requires that you take a seat and watch while others perform.
Worse yet, playing the victim means you have a ready-made excuse for failure. It can become a lifetime of negative self talk. Either you can't do it, or someone else did it to you. You'll find that you regularly tell yourself and others:
- I'll never be able to do that.
- There just aren't any jobs available.
- I'm not that talented.
- I don't think I can do it.
- I was never taught that. I didn't know.
- It's not my fault. He was supposed to do that.
- That's typical of the way my life goes.
- I got a raw deal again.
- Some people lead a charmed life.
- That's just the way it goes.
- What did I do to deserve this?
- Shit happens - to me!
It's as if those playing the victim are standing by watching things happen around them, or they're participating in an almost passive way, riding the waves and going with the flow. Their life seems to be more oriented towards chance and circumstances than their ability to make things happen.
The idea of a self directed life will seem foreign to the victims among us. We'll probably stand around waiting for someone to tell us what to do rather than get out there and do it.
The victims among us also like security, as if there is such a thing. They'll hang onto a job until they're fired or laid off instead of moving forward and finding something more satisfying and with better pay and benefits.
If we're a victim and we can't find work, then moving to another area is largely out of the question. We'll simply resign ourselves to being unemployed or under-employed where we live.
Change Your Attitude - and change your life
Whether you choose to be a villain, a victor or a victim has much to do with your attitude. Change your attitude and you'll change you life. Just make certain you change your attitude for the better. I believe Henry Ford said it best when he said,
Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right.
That pretty much sums up what's in store for all of us. Imagine that you can, and you'll likely find a way to do it. Continue playing the victim and you'll likely find a way to do that as well.
Yogi Berra tried his best to tell us that attitude was a key factor in success when it came to the game of baseball. He said,
Ninety-five percent of this game is half mental.
All right then. I hope that's clear.
So, step right up and change your attitude. Turn your life around in a different direction, the direction of a can do attitude, the direction of a winner instead of a whiner, the direction of success instead of excuses.
It's your life and your decision. No one can do it for you, and no one should. It's not in their best interest - it's in yours.
I choose to be a victor every time. I'm not a good villain, and I've played the victim several times in my life and it just doesn't cut it.
Stop playing the victim and start playing a role that leads to success, happiness and peace of mind. Start slowly and change a few aspects of your life at a time. There is no need to "eat the elephant" in a single bite.
Start out being more assertive, then work your way into being more aggressive. You'll find that being a victor feels much better than playing the victim.
I wish you good fortune in this endeavor.
Done with Playing the Victim, back to Mindset of Frugality