Photo by Gratisography/pexels
There are people in the world who are being victimized. They have no choice. They have no freedom, and they have no power.
If I asked you if you were a victim, you may so no. There is a stigma of shame that can be associated with being labeled as a victim. “You’re such a victim,” is a hurtful criticism used to diminish the credibility of a complaint. So, even when we feel victimized, it’s better to present as “in control.” Better not to complain. Better to just suffer in silence.
Feeling victimized makes it difficult to take responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, and actions. But not impossible. When it feels like there is no choice and no power, it’s easy to feel like life is happening to us.
We can easily feel victimized by the circumstances of our lives. This manifests in our reactions to difficult or disappointing circumstances. If the perspective of victimhood is accurate, if the circumstances of our lives are responsible for our unhappiness or dissatisfaction, that means we are at the mercy of our circumstances.
A trip to the grocery store can show you how easy it is to give away your power. Do you really want the price of hamburger to ruin your day? Do you really want the clerk at the checkout counter to be in charge of your mood?
How much power do we have? How much control do we really have?
We can influence the circumstances of our lives to some degree. But there are very few things that we have power and control over.
For example, I have no power or control over the spin or orbit of the earth. The precise spin of our planet as well as its orbit around the sun is entirely out of my control.
Let’s stay with nature. I have no power or control over the weather. Yet, the weather seems to account somewhat for the quality of my life.
I have no power or control over what other people think of me. I can influence my reputation. I can do things that I think people will be pleased with or I can do things that offend and alienate others. I can predict the reactions and behaviors of others with some accuracy. But I don’t control the thoughts and feelings that another person has toward me.
Yet, what others think of me has consumed massive amounts of my conscious attention.
I have no power over the past and can’t control the future. I certainly can influence the future and there are things I can do to change how I think about the past. But the past remains the past and the future will only show the extent of my efforts to influence it when I am living in it.
Yet, I spend so much mental and emotional energy on regret and worry.
I can feel victimized by the weather. “I can’t go for a bike ride because it’s snowing. That’s why I’m feeling down.”
I can feel victimized by the changing seasons. “It’s dark by the time I get home from work. I hate winter.”
I can feel victimized by those who judge me. “I don’t like her because she thinks she is better than me.”
I can feel victimized by the past. “I don’t take big risks because of what happened to me before.”
I can feel victimized by the future. “I don’t know what to expect so I’m worried all the time.”
I can feel victimized by what doesn’t happen. “She didn’t even notice that I did the laundry.”
There are people who are happy, joyful, productive, fulfilled, and true to their purpose even when it snows and when it gets dark early. Maybe you have been able to maintain your inner peace and joy despite negative circumstances.
There are people who take big risks despite being burned and failing in the past. Maybe you have been able to push back fears and resistance and take chances to improve your life.
There are people who make big plans and embrace the unknown even though there is so much that could happen. Maybe you are able to forget that last loss or failure and keep your positive energy.
Do people who seem to have it together, who don’t get slowed down by the challenges of life have more determination, more grit, more strength than the rest of us? Do they know something we don’t?
Maybe. But I believe that happiness, joy, and fulfillment are possible for all of us despite circumstances.
Why, when we aren’t really victims, do we sometimes feel victimized by life?
The overwhelming majority of what can be perceived in our environment is managed unconsciously. There is a limited capacity for conscious awareness of all that there is to be perceived. As children, most of us got years and years of protection and care while our brains and minds were being programmed by our experiences.
Once we knew what chairs were, we lost all curiosity about them, and they became common. Chairs are to sit in, most chairs are safe. Got it. Now I don’t have to give much of my attention to chairs.
Dogs are fun or maybe dogs are scary. Dogs are safe or maybe they seem dangerous. Got it. Now I don’t have to give much attention to dogs. I will unconsciously react to them according to my programming – according to what I made my experiences with dogs mean.
We have already chosen what chair and dog mean. We have already decided what woman and onions and people who look different means.
We feel like victims to the circumstances of our lives because it doesn’t feel like we have a choice. But, in fact, we have already chosen. We logically draw meanings and conclusions about what we experience and then put concepts, ideas, beliefs, fears, and expectations into unconscious storage. And until we choose again – until we pull our programming out of storage and take inventory, we will feel powerless.
By taking inventory of the beliefs, fears, and expectations formed in our early childhood, we can use our conscious minds to discard what is no longer relevant and replace what has been released with updated information. Once inventoried and updated, the ideas and concepts that automatically determine how we react to life begin to produce reactions far more relevant to current reality.
If things are going your way, you’re probably content. But when things go wrong and don’t quite measure up, most of us automatically look outside of ourselves to identify what is causing our discomfort. It seems obvious that we are dissatisfied because of what is happening out there.
But that’s not what is really happening most of the time. Our satisfaction is determined by our perception of what is happening out there. Our perception happens inside our minds and hearts. Our perceptions show up as the thoughts, feelings, and reactions to what life hands us.
We have all built the lives we have from what we decided a long time ago about the meanings and values related to all that we experience. If we feel victimized, it’s because we see the situation through the lens of our outdated beliefs, fears, values, and expectations.
If we can change our perception, we can change our satisfaction.
To change our perception, we must journey into the unconscious. It is entirely possible to reach back into the unconscious storage area of your mind and examine it with your conscious mind. This can be done in any area of life that you are dissatisfied with.
Feeling victimized is characterized by a feeling of powerlessness and the loss of choice. By exploring what you have been storing in your unconscious mind, you can reclaim your power and choice.
If what we learned about jobs, relationships, trust, money, relaxation, and a million other concepts isn’t automatically generating the experiences and results that we want, it can feel like life is against us.
But that changes as soon as you understand that it is your unconscious automatic programming that determines your satisfaction with life. With effective methods for changing your mind, you can begin to live a life unrestrained by your outdated past.
Would you like to learn more about how coaching can help with this? Schedule a 30-Minute Discovery Conversation.
Could coaching help you on your personal development journey? Schedule a free 30-minute discovery conversation.Schedule a free 30-minute discovery conversation.