Small Changes – Greater Outcomes

We have all heard of the Victim Mentality and Victimhood. Victim mentality removes all blame and responsibility from self and places it on something or someone else.

During our lives, things happen to us, life happens and sometimes, life can be painful, bringing traumas and events that we find very hard to let go of. Sometimes our history and trauma is just too big, and therefore we tend to define ourselves by the past experience and past trauma. We find it impossible to move past that aspect of self and become stuck in our victimhood.

In that state we grow in our past experience and remain in a state of vulnerability that perpetuates helplessness. As life moves on, and things don’t work out as desired, we divert all our energies into the negative thought patterns of our history and replay the victim role over and over in our minds.

This of course can lead to Alcohol and Substance abuse, as it is through these that we can lose our fear, forget our past and become social – at least for a time. Of course, as we consume more alcohol and our substances abuse grows in an effort to escape from self, seeking that place of oblivion, we become dependent on the consumption and as our body facilitates the tolerance for the alcohol or abusing substance, it begins to lose its affect leaving us to seek more alcohol or abusing substance in order to achieve the same effect. This of course leads to a cycle of addiction.

What may follow could be rehab, enrolment in programs or joining groups of people with similar issues, this can be either very positive or very negative, as we share our experiences with the group, we can become empowered to move past the cycle and be well through the efforts of self, the program or group, or we may make this new arrangement a new victim mentality cycle, as now we have lots of other people who are victims also.

It's Not Me

Not everybody with past trauma has an addiction for alcohol or substance abuse, but may have the symptoms of another addictive cycle, this one even more sinister. This is the cycle where we are “attention seekers”, we are the “poor me”, we are the “blamers”, playing the blame game, but will never recognize these trait within ourselves.

We use words like “I can’t” or “I am trying”, and statements such as “nothing can help me” or “nothing works for my problem”, seeking pity, approval, validation and attention anywhere we can find it. In this victim mentality cycle, we never take risks, and don’t take responsibility.

The language we use, keeps us in the victim mentality as we use words and statements such as “I can’t” which simply means “I won’t”, when we use these words, listen to the power within them, “I won’t” is a very domineering and strong word, whereas “I can’t” is weak. When we say “I am trying” we are already giving ourselves permission to fail. So when we say “I can’t”, we are telling ourselves, telling our subconscious mind, “I won’t” and when we say “I am trying” we are telling ourselves that there is no need to succeed.

We can identify this cycle by paying attention to the patterning of problems and how we verbalize these recurring and repeating problem patterns. An example “I can’t lose weight, I’m so fat” means I won’t lose weight and I every time I think I’m so fat, I have just told myself to be fat and I won’t lose weight because I have just told myself not to lose weight.

In the example I have used we can go further, “my clothes don’t fit me” “I can’t find anything to fit me” “nobody understand” “nothing I do makes any difference”; all we are doing here is compounding the problem and ensuring that we will not lose weight.


Because we are telling ourselves “my clothes don’t fit me” and so our body will accommodate that instruction. “I can’t find anything to fit me” and so we won’t, because our subconscious mind will facilitate our demand.

“Nobody understands” and nobody will because our subconscious mind will make sure we are so unclear, nobody will have a clue what we are on about. “Nothing I do makes any difference” and nothing we do will have any impact, because we have told ourselves to do nothing.

But why do we have that weight problem in the first place, I am not talking about people who put on and lose weight at will, or yoyo dieters, I am referring to people who have weight issues, and have the mindset that nothing can help them.

What happened in our lives that we began to pad our bodies, was it to protect ourselves because we were hurt in the past, was it to ensure nobody would like us or love us because our heart was broken in the past. Something happened in our past that set us on the Victim Mentality path, nobody can help me loose weight.


victim mentality


Self Empowerment with Positive Thoughts

Having a positive outlook and attitude can help trauma, and although we don’t want to dilute or minimize the trauma, reliving or endlessly discussing the trauma only keeps us in the past, in the event itself and we must move past the event, past the trauma to heal.

I have learned in my clinical practice that focusing too much attention on the event or events tends to keep the trauma alive and therefore embeds the client’s identity as a victim. It is much more empowering for the client to learn to be positive, and allow the trauma become part of their journey and allow the trauma shrinks to a more manageable size.

Using words such as Victim or Survivor is not empowering, the use of these words keep us in the Victim Mentality. When we change our dialogue and conversation with ourselves and begin to verbalize or think in a new language we become empowered.

Replacing words like “cant” for the true intention of Won't, removing “should” and replacing with Could, changing “trying” to Doing, removing statements from our vocabulary such as , “my clothes don’t fit me” and rephrasing statements such as “I can’t find anything to fit me” to All my clothes fit me. Changing the statement “nobody understands” to I am understood, and remodeling “nothing I do makes any difference” to Everything I do makes a huge difference

When we speak to ourselves in the positive, positive things happen, we do not give our subconscious mind much though, we believe that our conscious mind, is in charge and makes all the decisions; well that is simply untrue.

Our conscious mind wants to be in charge, just like our Ego, but our subconscious mind works 24/7, remembering every word we ever said, remembering everything thought we ever had. Imagine how many times we have told ourselves we are fat, and how many times we have thought we were fat and now wonder why we are fat.

I have used weight as an example, the same applies to smoking, sleep disorders, relationships, social disorders, and the list goes on.

Change the dialogue and the outcome will change.

So to change our victim mentality, not alone must we change our dialogue but we also must give up the benefits of using this victimhood as a crutch for our own inability to forgive those who may have caused us pain or suffering and our own avoidance of taking responsibility for ourselves.

We must also become grateful for our life here on the planet, remembering that from the moment we were born, we touched the hearts of so many other people without ever realizing that fact. Be Grateful for the gift of Life.

Small changes in our thought process bring life changing benefits.

Think and Speak in the Positive, Forgive, Take Responsibility and Be Grateful.

David Ellis