victim to survivor — switching your mentality

One of the biggest lessons and transformations I have had in the past couple years would be switching my victim mentality into a survivor mentality.

The victim mentality (and why it is dangerous)

As commonly defined, the victim mentality is a belief that one is always a victim. Whenever I made a mistake or experiencing failures, the guilt, shame and anger would accumulate and conform a self-defeating mindset. In result, I often felt like I was up to no good and would expect bad outcomes from any scenario in my life.

Having a victim mentality could limit many aspects of your life such as in sustaining relationships with others, achieving your goals, as well as increasing well-being. It can make you feel stuck, inadequate and hopeless, consequently preventing you from enjoying your successes and reaching your greatest potentials.

How do you know if you have a victim mentality?

The first step to solving a problem is to acknowledge it. If you often experience any of these signs, it might indicate a victim mentality:

  • You often think that everything is against you
  • Feeling guilty when you treat yourself
  • You often feel powerless or helpless when being faced with challenges
  • You avoid searching for solutions
  • Quickly jumping into (rather pessimistic) conclusions
  • Lack of self-confidence

The victim mentality doesn’t come out of nowhere and can be caused by different things, such as traumatic experiences, betrayal from others, and trying to avoid risks and failures.

Turning it into a survivor mentality

The good news is, the victim mentality is not something that someone was born with, and it does not have to be permanent. Here are five ways that have helped me in shifting my victim mentality into a survivor mentality:

  1. Take responsibility. This might be a hard pill to swallow, but you are responsible to the circumstances that may not even be your fault.
  2. Focus on what you can control (and what really matters). No matter how powerless you feel in any situation, you are always in control of how you want to react to it.
  3. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Know that you are a lot more than what happens to you. No one is perfect and not everything that comes to your life has to define you and your future.
  4. Develop a growth mindset. Always seek rooms to grow and improve. Find the lessons from any situation and learn from them. I promise you will soon realize that even when you feel like losing, you can still gain.
  5. Develop self-awareness. By knowing your potential and capabilities, you will gain more control over your actions. Additionally, it can boost confidence and productivity in the long run.

By adapting the survivor mindset, it will eventually shift your focus to overcoming obstacles and challenges that you face. Whenever something inconvenient happens, know that you are not destined to suffer from it, but believe you will get through it and show up stronger on the other side.

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Lia Thamrin

Lia Thamrin

what I know, what I want to know, and what I will never know

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