Is Victim Mentality Keeping You Stuck?

Is Victim Mentality 
Keeping You Stuck?

What!? I don't act like a victim!
It's another one of those episodes where I'm gonna say all the stuff that no one else will ūüėā 
I'm gonna call you out on the BS, with LOVE.  Here's the truth; we've all had victim mentality in some way in some situation in our life.  Usually it's in small ways that you might not have recognized as victim mentality.  
Here's some examples:
- You told your boss that you didn't get the report to her on time because Karen didn't do HER part on time.
- You've said something like "you make me SO angry" (hint: no one can MAKE you feel any certain way)
- You've decided something like "I'm this way because of you"  
- You can't let someone else's crappy behavior go and you keep stewing on it for way too long.
- Something bad happened to you and you've decided you'll just always be "broken"
- You're always waiting "for the other shoe to drop"
- I only got fired because my boss is a total b@!*h

See? It comes out in little ways that we don't always recognize as victim mentality.  The problem is we get totally stuck here.  We get totally frozen in our victimhood instead of taking responsibility for figuring out how to move forward.  
I also want to be really clear that I understand that trauma is real, being an ACTUAL victim of something awful is real, having to deal with terrible situations and terrible people is REAL.  But you still have the choice of whether to let that situation define you and keep you stuck in victimhood, or if you'll do the work to move forward.  

Today, I'm going there.  You might feel a bit triggered, you might not like the feeling of recognizing some of these things in yourself, but if you want to get unstuck, you need to hear them.  

If anything in this episode resonated with you, I'd LOVE to hear about it! Send me a DM on Instagram or post a screenshot of this episode in your stories and tag me @tarafaulmann! And join the conversation in our FREE No Nonsense Wellness Community!

Full transcription available at the bottom of this post


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Full Transcript: 
Welcome back to the podcast, my friend, I'm so happy you're here. I'm not gonna lie. Today's episode is probably going to trigger some folks. I wouldn't be surprised if every single one of you aren't triggered in some way during this episode. But I kind of see that as my job. I have to help you ask the hard questions of yourself. Look at the hard truths, and really be able to assess honestly about what we're doing and where we're coming from. I give you a little bit of tough love. But please know this always comes from love. Today, we're talking about victim mentality. And you will be surprised to find that pretty much every single one of us has played this role at some point in some way, in our lives. I know you already hate what I'm saying. But it's true. So I want to help you understand what this is how we get stuck in it, how we get out of it. Let's go. 

Whoa, this is gonna be a good one. today. Before we get into this, I want to make sure you know about the Healthy Mind Healthy Body Program. It just relaunched or taking a whole new group of women through it. And it is going to be so amazing. So there is over 25 lessons in this program, it is extremely thorough, we take you through first the Lifestyle Quickstart and exactly the things that you need to do right away to get yourself in motion and moving forward. Then we do everything that has to do with healthy mind. And I'm talking emotional eating, I'm talking the mindful eating method, which is the way that you are going to ditch diets for good then everything in between relationships, all the things and then we go into healthy body, where we're going to talk about exactly how your body works. How does food work in your body? How does your body work or not work and what to do about it. And finally, we wrap it up with dealing with the trouble spots, overcoming self sabotage, how to deal with difficult people in your life so that you can keep moving forward. When I say this is thorough and comprehensive, I mean it. So head to Tara, forward slash join, you'll find out all about it. And you can join right there, you get access to all the info immediately. And it even comes with its own handy dandy app. So you can just plug into the app on your phone, and you don't even have to get on a computer or website. It's super cool. So take a look at that I'm so excited to bring this to you. 

So today we're talking specifically about victim mentality. I don't even like that word, even like, what it feels wrong coming out of my mouth just to say the word victim, but we need to talk about this. And I want to be really, really clear. This is not about you recognizing someone else's victim mentality. This is not about saying "oh my gosh, so and so totally acts like this". Right? It's not about that. We're not here to judge other people where we only have control over ourselves. We only have control about our thoughts, our beliefs, our emotions, our actions. And so when we're having this discussion today, I want you to get introspective, it's going to be really easy to recognize these things and other people, but it's going to be a lot harder to be honest and recognize some of these things in ourselves. But that's exactly what I want you to do. I want you to learn how to deal with you first make sense? So in my life, I have never considered myself a victim. Like that's just a word I do not ascribe to myself. And you're probably the same you would never say I Oh, I'm such a victim. I'm acting like that. You wait like we just don't say that. I've always considered myself pretty mentally strong. However, that was, until I noticed and became aware of some really subtle ways that I have allowed other people to dictate my emotions, and I have allowed other people to have power over me. Thereby I was playing a victim role. I saw myself as a victim of their shitty behavior. And instead of taking responsibility for how I was handling the situation, I was blaming the other person for making me feel a certain way for treating me badly. That my friends, is victim mentality. Have you ever done that? Have you ever blamed someone else for making you feel a certain way? newsflash, no one has the power to make you feel any kind of way that is 100% up to you. So if you are giving that power away, you thereby are becoming the victim, and we are, we are succumbing to that victim mentality. That's, that was hard. It was hard pill for me to swallow. But we've all done it. We've all given someone else the power instead of taking that power to ourselves. So that's what I want to talk about today, those small, subtle ways. 

There are some large ways that people play the victim mentality, right? You've seen it, you've maybe experienced it. But these small, little ways can be just as powerful, but are less recognized. And so I really want to focus on that today. So what does it mean? What does it look like to have a victim mentality? Well, victim mentality sort of rests on these three key beliefs. And that is that bad things happen to me. And they will probably keep happening. Notice the language, languages power, bad things keep happening to me, and they will likely keep happening. The second belief, other people or circumstances are to blame, it's not my fault. I didn't do anything. I'm just the bystander, I was just here. They did it. They did that they acted like that they said that they they they, right. And the third key belief is that anything that I do to try and change, this is just not going to work. There's no point in trying, I can't do anything about it. You see how all three of those key beliefs are giving all the power away to someone else. And that never works, does it? When you are ascribing to any of these three beliefs, you are in effect, saying I am powerless? Well guess what the more you say you're powerless, the more you say words, that mean you're powerless, the more powerless you will become. If you actually want to have any kind of change in your life, if you really wanted things to change, you can't keep giving the power away to change to someone else. You can't wait for someone else to do something, say something act differently. You have to. You're the only one who has control over you. And you have no control over what anyone else is doing. Constantly placing blame on others, instead of looking at your own involvement and contribution to the situation. That's victim mentality. I'm guilty of it. I have done this in my life. And I bet if you are real honest, you've done this in your life too. It's that staying in the place of feeling sorry for yourself, instead of taking action to create change. That woe is me. I can't do anything about it. It just is what it is. They acted like this, they treat me like this. I'm in this situation. b. s, that is all victim mentality. And we've all said or done things like that at different points in our life. 

Now, I want to draw a real distinction here. Because sometimes when we're dealing with hard things, dealing with hard things looks different than victim mentality. Sometimes dealing with hard things in our life looks and sounds very negative. But it's very different than being a victim actively processing these difficult emotions and these difficult experiences. That's a totally different situation than deciding that you can't change it or it'll never be different. So why even try when you're actively trying to work through this tough stuff that is not victim mentality. When you are denying any role that you have, or any power that you have to change this tough experience or this tough emotion? That's when we start getting into victim mentality mode. Does that make sense? Do you see the distinction between the two? I want to be really clear because I'm definitely not saying that going through hard things makes you a victim. It does not going through stuff means you're going through stuff right processing difficult emotions, working through difficult situations. The difference is you're working. You're trying, you're moving forward, you're taking steps, no matter how small you maintain the power, you maintain the authority over your own life to make change. When you play victim mentality you have given up, you have no power to affect change in your own life at all relies on what other people are doing. Does that make sense? I want to be real clear about the difference. 

Victim mentality sounds like complaining all the time about circumstances, but not actually taking any action to change the circumstances or to change your reaction to the circumstances. Remember, in our formula for success, that very first line, the thing we don't have control over the circumstances. Well, guess what you have control over what you do think, say feel about the circumstances, if you tend to be a complainer, then you are probably in victim mentality. I know that's hard to hear. Because we all like to complain about stuff sometimes. Right? I complain about my kids and I complain about the laundry, I complain about cleaning the bathroom, right? We all got stuff we complain about a complaint, you know, you might complain about your difficult boss, you complain about this complaint, we all got stuff, right? We do. And we all complain from time to time. However, if we are doing the complaining, and then not actually doing anything to change it, or to move it forward, or to change the our thoughts about the situation to change our actions in regard to that situation, then we're in victim mentality. If I think the only way that I can move forward is if someone else does something, that's victim mentality, are we getting a clear picture? So you see how kind of subtle it can be? Right? It's little things. It's not necessarily these huge things that you might see people saying, and doing. It's these small ways that we all have been in victim mentality from time to time. 

So what do I do about this? How do we get out of it? How do we recognize it? How do we overcome this? Well, one of the hardest pills for me to swallow was this one, taking 100% responsibility for your life, all of it. Every single thing and situation in your life. 100% responsibility lies on your shoulders. That's hard. That's hard. Because because we want to say that this and that happened because of that person. And I feel this in that way because of this situation. And I'm acting making this choice because of this situation. And it's true, some of us have really tough circumstances. But we have to take 100% responsibility for our reaction to those circumstances. And that is hard. And even more than that, how did we get in these circumstances? Are these circumstances a result of actions or choices that we have made? Yeah, I told you, it was a hard one. So not taking 100% responsibility sounds like this. It sounds like constantly placing blame on others instead of looking at your own involvement and contribution to the situation. For example, let's say something goes wrong at work. And instead of saying to your boss, I can handle this, I will make it right. You say something like, well, I couldn't get the TPS report, ready because Janice didn't get her numbers to me in time. Listen, your boss doesn't care. Your boss wants you to just get it done, and wants you to take responsibility. When you get up, especially into those upper management positions. Your boss don't care what Janice did or did not do. Your responsibility is to get that report to her come hell or high water and you better do it. And I don't want to hear any excuses about it. So not taking 100% responsibility. Sounds like you blaming something on someone else. Ouch. Right? Have we all done this? I can tell you, my husband is in the corporate world. And I hear these stories all the time. One of the reasons he's so successful in the corporate world is because he takes 100% responsibility every time even if he had nothing to do with it. He will take 100% responsibility and make it right. That's why he's successful. I hear so many stories about other people in the corporate world that he works with who just complain and whine and blame. And he has zero tolerance for it. Take responsibility. It's that simple and that hard. 

Here's another example. Have you ever heard or have you ever said, if my husband would just pay more attention to me, then I'd blah blah blah, right? It's conditional. If he would just do this thing, then I would be more inclined to do this thing. Hmm. That's not how this works, sister. That's not how relationships work. That's not how life works. Your behaviors, thoughts, feelings cannot be conditional on someone else's actions. Uh huh. Yeah. Let me say this again. If you want your husband to pay more attention to you pay more attention to him first. If you want your husband to do something for you do something for him. First, take responsibility, take action, take control, your happiness. Your life is not conditional on someone else's action or inaction, that victim mentality, get out of it. Yeah. Is this is a trigger triggering you yet? have you all been triggered? At this point? I probably yes. Yes, that was kind of the point. But know that I'm doing this with love. I want to call you out on your own Bs, I want you to be able to call yourself out on your own Bs, so that you see what's happening so that you can change it. 

I really want you to hear me too. When I say that I understand. Bad things really do happen. Like some of us have had a really bad things happen to us really difficult circumstances, really, truly, absolutely shitty shitty stuff. However, even being the victim of a crime or something as awful as that does not mean you have to live in victim mentality, you may truly have been a victim of a crime, but you do not have to be a victim. Does that make sense. You can choose whether or not to give your power away, to see yourself as a victim to identify with your victim hood, you can believe that you are damaged or broken because of the thing that happened to you. Or that you'll never be okay. Or that whatever negative things that you've decided you are because this thing happened to you. Or you can decide that this happened to you. But you can take 100% responsibility for how you're dealing with it. This is taking your power back. This is making the conscious choice to be a survivor rather than a victim. And it's a choice that only you can make language is power. If you decide that you are the victim of a crime, or are you the survivor of a crime? Are you the victim of a disease? Or are you the fighter of a disease, which isn't only you get to decide, but you're deciding between losing and winning, you're deciding between responsibility and victimhood. It's your choice only you can make it. 

Here's another example. Let's say for example, you get fired from your job. If you are in victim mentality, you're gonna think things like my boss had it out for me, she's such a bitch, instead of taking a look at the possibility that there might be really legitimate reasons that you actually got fired, like things that you were doing, saying the way things that you were ways that you were acting, that actually got you fired, you're not going to be willing to look at any of those things. You're just gonna say stuff like, she's terrible. She was a horrible boss, she is such a bitch, oh, my God, I can't even do anything wrong. Right? If you're not willing to look, you're playing victim mentality, you're blaming it on someone else. You need to look at your part of that situation, and understand how the whole thing worked. Understand it from her perspective, take back that power for yourself. You can only change you can only get better if you understand what went wrong. 

Let's say for example, you have a tendency to blame things on your childhood. It's my mom's fault that I am this way. It's because of my parents divorce that I am this way or that I have a hard time with this. If you blame your parents in your childhood, for the way you are now, that's victim mentality. Now listen, I get it. trauma is real, like stuff that happened in your childhood absolutely can affect you now, as an adult, the fact that those things happened and that they could still be affecting you. That's totally real. I'm not discounting that at all. However, You're a grown ass woman, using past trauma as an excuse to not make an effort to overcome it. Now, that victim mentality that is not taking 100% responsibility for your recovery from the trauma shit that happened earlier in your life. Do I need to say that again? Using past traumas, as an excuse for not making an effort to overcome it now, is victim mentality. Take back your power. Decide who and how you want to be now, instead of resigning to the fact that I just am the way I am, because that's how they raised me, because this is what happened to me. Oh, blame, blame, blame, I'm not taking any responsibility for how I am now. Ah, girl, you need to take responsibility for dealing with that shit. That is your responsibility. It happened, it's done. It's in the past, you have no control over it, and you cannot change it. What you can change now is how you deal with it, how it affects you in your life. Now, what are you doing about it? What are you thinking about it? What are you feeling about it? How are you acting upon it? What are the choices, being guided by those thoughts and feelings? What happens now is either you still keep playing the victim, or you take 100% responsibility for how you're dealing with those things now, clear Got it, okay. 

Here's the other way that we overcome this, you have to really understand that you cannot control other people's behaviors. And some of the situations that I recognized a victim mentality in myself, I wanted to blame the other person for how I was feeling. She's doing this to me, she's treating me like this. She's being an awful person. She said this, she did that she acted in this way. I don't deserve this kind of treatment, I was making my thoughts and feelings and actions dependent on her thoughts and feelings and actions, right? The only way out of this is to realize I have no control over what she does what she says what she thinks I only have control over me. And I don't want to feel like this way anymore. I don't want to act this way anymore. I don't want to be in this position anymore. I have the power to change that I do not have the power to change anyone else. But I do have the power to change me. So remember our formula for success? Again, if I put someone else's behavior in that circumstance line, again, I don't have control over anyone else's behavior. So I put it in the circumstance line. All the rest of the formula I have control over. I have control over my thoughts about the situation about that circumstance. I have control over my emotions, about that circumstance. I have control over my reactions, and actions and choices regarding that circumstance. Yes. So what's more productive thinking, Oh, I just can't believe she's doing this to me, or what do I need to learn from this situation so that I can move on? Or she can do and say all that she wants, but it no longer affects me? Who? Wow, can I really do that? Yeah, yeah, you can. And it feels really good. 

So have you ever been in that situation? Friend, a family member or a co worker? Can't believe they would do this to me, I can't believe they would say this about me. Okay, you have no control over what they do or say or think you only have control over how you react to it. So take 100% responsibility for how you are contributing to the situation. How are you engaging in the drama? Ah, get real with yourself, girl, how are you engaging and perpetuating in this drama, if you don't want it to keep happening, or remove yourself? Okay, it ain't that hard. I mean, it is hard, but it's really not that hard. 

The last way to overcome this victim mentality and honestly, for me the hardest. Even though, even though as a Christian forgiveness is something that I should be real good at it. It's hard. Forgiveness is hard. And here's the thing. It's not just about forgiving the situation or forgiving the other person. It's about forgiving yourself. The most important thing that I have been able to do is find a way to forgive me find a way to forgive myself for allowing myself to be treated a certain way for not valuing myself enough to stand up for myself, not valuing myself enough to make a change to take back the power to forgive myself for not standing up and stepping into my power to control me. I have had to forgive myself for treating myself like an A hole. I've had to forgive myself for being stuck in victim mentality. And maybe that's something that you need to do to when I've been stuck somewhere for a really long time. I have to forgive myself for keeping myself stuck. Does that make sense? Like girl, it's okay. Like you didn't get it. You didn't see it. But now that you see it, forgive yourself and move on. Forgive yourself and move on. And there is an element of having to forgive the other person or forgive the circumstance, whatever that is. hurt people hurt people. You've heard that saying before, right? When someone's hurting you, it's often because they're also hurting. And I know that so hard to see sometimes because some people are really awful. But they're awful because they have been hurt in some way. They have played a victim in some way. 

So this is where my, this is where my Christianity comes into play. And if this is not your beliefs, it's it doesn't matter because the the principle still stands. In the Lord's Prayer in Matthew, it says, forgive us of our trespasses, as we forgive those that trespass against us. Forgive me for what I do. And I am going to also forgive those for what they've done to me. That's right. They're God's instructions to us, or to ask for forgiveness, that is taking responsibility, asking for forgiveness, for not standing up for myself, for allowing other people to control me for allowing situations to have power over me, asking for forgiveness for that. That's taking responsibility. That's what we're supposed to be doing. And also forgiving the other person allows us to move forward. If I can say, Lord, I don't know what happened here. I think this person also needs some help. Because this is how they're acting. This is what they're saying, This is what they're doing, I think they need some help to, Lord, I'm gonna give this to you, you help them, I don't have control over it, I can't do that. But if you're a Christian, then you believe God can. And if you're not a Christian, then you can at least believe and understand that you don't have power to change that person, you can only hope that they find that change for themselves. Forgiveness is not about absolving someone else of their responsibilities of absolving someone else of the things that they have done and said that have been hurtful, you don't have control over whether or not they ever take responsibility for the things that they've done. 

Forgiveness is more about allowing you to move on allowing God to handle the rest for you. You move on, God will handle that other person. That's how I see that. And even again, if you're not a Christian, you don't believe in that. Being able to let go of the other person because you don't have control over them and move on with your own life. That's the exact same thing. That's what we're talking about. Letting Go and moving forward, letting what happened, go moving on from it, you can't change it, you don't have control over it, they're going to keep acting a fool or they're going to stop. But either way, you can keep moving forward. So my friends, the bottom line here is that we have all played the victim role. We've all had a victim mentality in some way at some time. It's not some grand, huge thing, or Oh, Oh, Oh, I'm so dramatic. And everything awful is happening to me, it doesn't always look like that. It's sometimes it's much smaller, giving our control over our thoughts, actions, and feelings away to someone else, making our thoughts, feelings and actions dependent on someone else's thoughts, feelings and actions. That's how we all play victim mentality. And I want to write I want you to recognize that in yourself, I want you to see in your life in different times when that's happened. Because I can tell you from my own personal experience, it's really easy to get stuck there. It's real easy to get stuck there because this person is doing this and they're acting horribly. And I can never move forward until they stop acting horribly. Hmm. Yes, you can. Yes, you can. And you must. But the only way to do that is to recognize it for what it is, you're giving your power to them. You're giving your power to them. So take it back, knock it off, take it back and move on with your life. I know that's like a simplified way to say it. But that's truly what you're doing. You're taking your power back from that situation, taking power and responsibility over your thoughts, your feelings and your actions and ultimately, your results. I hope that was really helpful if that was helpful. And this was a really good message for you. I hope it reached you at just the right time. I hope you're hearing this exactly when you needed to hear it. And if you did, take a screenshot posted in your Instagram story. tag me Tara Faulmann. I would love to hear your experience with us. I'd love to hear if some light bulbs went off for you. I'd love to hear if you were able to share this with some friends and impact their lives in some kind of positive way. Until we talk again, my friends, Be Well.  

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