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Fawn Germer

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6 Tips for Taking Charge of Your Victimization

Posted: 11/09/10 08:40 AM ET

Life doesn't play out the easy way. It'll knock you around as much as you let it.

So if you ever remind yourself that life isn't fair, well, stop. Life is neither fair nor unfair. It just is. You get tripped up when you focus too intently on your own little world. If everything starts and ends with you, the outside world will continue to hurt you again and again. But what if you change your perspective?

There are so many occasions when you can feel victimized. I am not minimizing anything. You will suffer loss, disappointment and dissatisfaction throughout your life, but the victimization that comes with it is your choice. There will be times when following this advice will be impossible because your suffering will be too immediate and vast. But there will come a moment when you will have the power to move beyond your wounds because you want better for yourself. It is a conscious decision, and you have power to deliberately turn the page on a difficult chapter and rewrite the story. It is hard to do this when you are in the throes of depression, but you do have the power to do this.

Even when you can't control what happens or happened, you can control how you react. When you are in pain, you don't want to hear this kind of advice because it seems to minimize your distress, but it is simply the truth. The question is, how do you take charge of your anguish?

1) Decide you've had enough. You can't let go without making the conscious decision to do so. People cling to their victimization -- often for years, sometimes for life -- when they have the power to pick up and move on from it. People suffer differently. You can have two children grow up in terribly abusive homes, and one will suffer for life while the other will work through it and get past it. Circumstance will give you infinite opportunities to darken your perspective on your life, but you have the ability to fight back by seeing light in total darkness. When you realize you want to be free of the burden of your victimization, make the choice to take charge again.

2) Stop obsessing about your situation and look around. When you see the big picture, you see how small your problems are. As bad as things seem, you have to admit that there are probably several hundred million people who have it worse than you. So, stop feeling sorry for yourself. Don't minimize your feelings or the situation, but put everything in perspective so that you can position yourself to move on.

3) Give it to the wind. Or, if you're spiritual, remember the "let go, let God" concept. When your problems get too heavy to lift, hand them off to the universe. Things do tend to work out. Trying to fix the seemingly unfixable will make you crazy, so don't try. Let it go.

4) Realize your power. Until you realize that you have the power to rewrite the story, you can't use it. First, learn the science of your brain. It's like a computer. You can program it any way you want. If you want to program it, send your thoughts to wallow in darkness, and your brain will abide by your wishes and make sure you wallow day and night. If you program it to send your thoughts straight to the light, they will go straight to the light. If you tell yourself something enough times, your brain will believe it. If you deliberately repeat positive thoughts, you will respond with positive actions. If you consciously choose to always approach situations from a positive perspective, you'll move forward with positive energy.

5) Take charge of your inner voice. You aren't the only person who beats himself or herself up on the inside. In fact, just about everybody does that. You can minimize the impact and strengthen your self-esteem by realizing what that inner voice is. What is it? It's a crock. Think of the negative things you say to yourself and realize that you will say terrible, destructive things to yourself that you would never say to a stranger or even somebody you can't stand. What would you do if someone said such wicked things to your child?

6) Write the right affirmations, then say them. Affirmations are powerful and will rewrite the negative script. Come up with 10 positive statements about your situation, then repeat them 10 times the first two days, five times the next two days, then three times a day until you realize that you believe them.

Not everyone is born with the strength to live in this way, but that doesn't mean these skills can't be practiced, refined and ultimately learned.

 

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