In 2019, I am committing myself to being my own hero. I am freeing myself from feeling trapped by circumstances and other people's actions in the past and present. I'm working to let go of the last vestiges of my victim mentality.
It was nine years ago when someone suggested I was keeping myself stuck in the role of the victim, blaming others for my lack of happiness.
I was an anxious new mom with a constantly crying baby, and I complained to my doctor that no one was helping me enough (along with a dozen other complaints, I am sure). “That's interesting,” she said kindly. “I wonder why you were placing yourself in the role of the victim?” I blinked at her and shifted in my chair. “What do you mean?” was all I could manage to say.
“Well, if you really wanted to improve your situation, you would have to take responsibility for asking for help and making changes in your own attitude and life. Many people never take that responsibility though, and get stuck in a victim mentality. They believe the outside world and other people are always 100% to blame for keeping them stuck and unhappy.”
No one likes to hear they have a victim mentality, and I was no exception. For one thing, it implies the problem is all in our head, when we probably just want someone to acknowledge that we are struggling.
What is even more tricky, though, is that many people will feel the only alternative to blaming others is blaming ourselves.
I am a big advocate for self-compassion, so I definitely don't want anyone turning their criticism or blame inward. We can love ourselves even with our human imperfections and create a third choice: personal responsibility.
Personal responsibility is about looking for our point of power. It is about facing difficult circumstances head-on and looking for the ways in which we can improve the situation. Afterward, taking responsibility may mean reflecting on how we can avoid any of the same mistakes in the future.
Finding our power instead of wallowing in blame may take many forms, including:
-Changing our attitude, and looking for what we can feel grateful for in the situation.
-Letting ourselves have some rest and rejuvenation to encourage a fresh outlook
-Choosing not to engage with mean-spirited criticism or a toxic person
-Recognizing that our internal worth is unchanging and unaffected by someone else’s actions
-Setting boundaries for ourselves
-Asking for help instead of feeling alone in our obstacles
-Making a bold decision even if other people may not approve
-Getting off our tush and starting (or finishing) a big project we are passionate about.
Whatever it may look like for you right now, I hope you deepen your own sense of personal power in 2019. I wish for you to always see your own brilliance and potential and to take inspired action to be your own hero.
Photo by Patrick Fore on Unsplash