15 Feb Are you a Survivor or a Victim?
How many times have you heard the statement “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”? Sometimes this is a tough pill to swallow. However, there is something we can do about this. How we face these difficulties and hardships reveals a lot about us. People react to problems in different ways. Some people will develop a survivor mentality and some the victim mentality.
Let us see what the dictionary has to say on the matter:
Victim: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent; one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions; one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment.
Survivor: one who lives through affliction; one who continues to function or prosper in spite of opposition, hardship or setbacks.
Immediately, you can see some major differences. A victim is defined by the harm that has come to them; a survivor is defined by their life afterwards. A victim has been destroyed and mistreated; a survivor has continued to live and prosper despite having been victimised. A victim is powerless, at the mercy of others; a survivor has reclaimed their power.
Here are some specific examples for the survivor and the victim – which describes you?
The survivor thinks –
• Look at the things and people I have in my life
• How can I become and do more
• Looks at the positive things in life
• Finds ways to make things happen
• Acknowledges responsibility for the good and the bad in life
• Takes guidance and constructive criticism
• Creates goals for him/herself and works hard to reach them
• Learns from mistakes and strives not to make the same mistakes
• Forgives people who harm them in some way
• Imagine a long distance runner, patiently working toward the finish line
The victim thinks –
• Look at all the things I don’t have, there are many more things I want
• Waits for things to happen & wonders why others are having success
• Wonder why can’t I have and do more?
• Finds excuses for why they can’t do things
• Blames others for their problems and ignores their own culpability
• Feels and says they know everything
• Creates obstacles that hold them back from success and happiness
• Fails to learn from their mistakes and repeats the same mistakes
• Holds a grudge even at times when there is no plausible reason
• Imagine a short distance runner who fails to reach the finish line.
I am a great believer that the language we use (both in our heads and out loud) has a significant impact on how we view ourselves and the world.
The first step in reclaiming your power is to recognise that you have lost touch with your power, but not lost it entirely; that just because you don’t know how to get it back doesn’t mean that getting it back is impossible; and that you need help.
Asking for help in finding your power again is not a sign of weakness or victimhood – it is the first step in declaring that you have survived your traumatic past, and that you refuse to stay stuck.