This is Why You are Feeling Stuck
We want to do so much with our lives. We make plans and wish lists. But we feel that nothing ever happens. Nothing gets “done” We feel that we have been stuck where we are for a long time.
Being stuck is one of the three common characteristics of a victim mindset. This seems to be less concerning when compared to the other two, which are powerlessness and hopelessness. But I feel that all three are intertwined and manifest in different forms relating to the person.
However, overcoming any form of victim mindset is crucial for our personal growth and mental health.
Thus, here are a few tips to practice.
- Don’t be hesitant to get help
It is not appropriate to gauge your past traumas with anything other than yourself. Whether your experience is immense or minute, if you feel that you need someone to guide and counsel you, go for it. There is nothing shameful about it.
2. Heal your inner child
“Know thyself. Heal thyself.”
Your inner child is the one who gets triggered easily, acts out, and keeps you in that victim mindset. It is not someone to be driven away. It deserves to receive what it missed as a child.
Your inner child needs validation and approval to heal past wounds. And you are the channel for meeting their needs. Do the shadow work. Reparent yourself. Heal yourself.
3. Take responsibility
Taking responsibility for yourself means owning your actions towards yourself and others. This is the crucial step to overcome the victim mentality.
Taking responsibility comes in two forms: 1) owning your actions and 2) owning your mistakes.
Everything has a purpose. Likewise, the purpose of mistakes is to learn. Unless your mistake deliberately hurts somebody, there is always something to learn.
4. Focus on your responses
I learned this equation somewhere:
Events + Response = Outcome
Also, I want to add this to it:
Thoughts + Response = Outcome
One cannot control every event that happens to them. Similarly, one cannot control the thoughts occurring in them.
What one can control are their responses to those events and thoughts. This, when applied to the above equations, has the potential to change the outcomes in favor of you.
Thus, focus on what you can control.
5. Change this one-word
A common phrase used by people with a victim mindset is “ Why is this happening to me?”
If you look deeper, this phrase is not directed toward a solution but is reinforcing the problem itself.
I came across this TED talk by Sarah Hernholm, where she suggests a better way to reframe this question by changing one word. It is,
Instead of “Why is this happening TO me?” ask yourself, “Why is this happening FOR me?”
This made so much sense. Do you remember that I said that everything has a purpose? The same applies here too. When you face an undesirable event, look for what is in it for you.
6. Focus on the now
When you are caught in the victim mindset, it is common to fall back into past events or get anxious about what is about to happen.
The only working solution for this that I found to be effective is focusing on the present. It means being mindful of what is in the moment.
It takes a lot of practice to shift from the unhelpful patterns of ruminating to coming back to the present moment.
7. Practice gratitude every day
This is the one practice that is preached everywhere in the mental health domain. It is because it works.
Recall at least three things you are grateful about every day.Don’t worry about repeating the same thing the next day. We are never hesitant to repeat the same prayer every day. Likewise, when you feel grateful for something repeatedly, chances are that it will last longer.
8. Pursue your passions or interests
This is my favorite because I do it and ask others to do it too. I am sure that every person has a passion or interest that they have left unattended. It is time to retrieve those passions, dust them, and revamp them.
Trust me, when I say this, you will be a different person after a month or so. You will be better not only in your skills but also in your mental health.
9. This is for parents: Consider your children’s future
If you are a parent, this could be your driving force to overcome the victim mentality. This is because your children are always watching and learning from you.
When you get into the victim mentality, just become aware that you are your child’s role model, and you have to be better than this.
10. Apologize if needed.
We are trying hard to overcome the victim mentality, but we are humans. We tend to make mistakes. And sometimes those mistakes affect people other than you.
I am specifically talking about those people who are close to you, your children, your family, and your friends. You might be so overwhelmed that you let out some hurtful words. Your actions might have affected them in some way.
It is okay until you are ready to own your mistakes and apologize to them.
Genuinely apologizing for your mistakes is so liberating that it makes you feel light. It doesn’t matter whether the other person accepts your apology or not. That is their own space to work on. But it is you who are setting the pent-up negativity free, and that takes another level of courage.
I’ll stop my lecture here. I would love to know what actions you are going to take. Is there something else you would like to add? Please comment and share it with somebody who might find it useful.
Hi, I am Shanjitha. I write about the mental and emotional aspects of personal growth, self-management, books, and motherhood. If you like my stories, don’t want to miss them in the maze, and feel like supporting me, subscribe to my Substack newsletter for free. I write exclusive topics on healing and self-discovery. Also, I believe in growing together and am open to sharing your thoughts with me.