We all have a Victim Shadow.  If you come from a particularly difficult background your identification with the Victim Shadow can be especially problematic.  While you may have actually been victimized as a child, you are not a Victim as an adult. As odd as it seems, the work you may be laregly challenged by is realizing that you are no longer a child / Victim to others, but a powerful, responsible adult.   The Victim part of us is a sub-personality that actively seeks for and wants to come up with reasons to be victimized.  The Victim is continually looking for reasons to blame others, ruminate on resentment, feel hopeless, helpless, or unfairly traeated.  It can tell us stories of being mistreated by another person, an institution, a country,  a parent, life itself, or even God.  It engages us with Victimized thoughts of , “I’m not good enough”, “They have all the advantages I don’t”, “Nothing ever works out”, “I should give up”, “Nobody wants me”, “I’m unloved”, “God doesn’t care about me”, “I’m a minority, come from a poor background, come from an abusive background, have a handicap”,  etc.  The Victim thoughts lead us to all kinds of Victim behaviors:  lazieness, over eating, casual sex, isolation, endless hours of television-internet-cell phone use, avoidance, gossiping, addictions of all kinds, even suicide attempts.  While its true we may have been treated unfairly in a multitude of ways, the resulting issues are still our responsibility to accept and solve now, no one else’s.  To the degree that we blame our parents, our past, our country, our current relationships, etc., is the degree that we stay stuck in the Victim.  This can be one of the hardest diamonds to split in success – giving up complaining and blaming and taking responsibilty.

The Victim often tells us that life is somehow easy for others, and that it should be easier for us.  In The Road Less Travelled, author Scott Peck shook his readers with one simple idea:

“Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult - once we truly understand and accept it - then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters….Most do not fully see this truth that life is difficult. Instead they moan more or less incessantly, nosily or subtly, about the enormity of their problems, their burdens, or their difficulties as if life were generally easy, as if life should be easy….Life is a series of problems.  Do we want to moan about them or solve them?”  

 Author Jack Canfield (of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series) writes in his book Success Principles:

“If you want to be successful, you have to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life. This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings—everything! This is not easy……..If you want to create the life of your dreams, then you are going to have to take 100% responsibility for your life as well. That means giving up all your excuses, all your victim stories, all the reason why you can’t and why you haven’t up until now, and all your blaming of outside circumstances. You have to give them all up forever.” 

The way out of the Victim Shadow is to harness the energies of the Postive Warrior.   The Warrior is interested in tackling difficult situations and taking a 100% responsibility for his / her life.  (this does not apply to children in the examples I’m giving, only adults).  Without taking 100% responsibility for what is in our lives, it can be virtually impossible to change long time patterns.  Even a subtle Victim story can erode our best efforts for change. The Warrior is involved in the field of activity.  That activity for change could be: joining a gym, entering therapy, going to a 12-step program, getting a new job, going to couples counseling, leaving a toxic relationship, investing, writing the book, moving, picking up a musical instrument, etc. 

It seems obvious we shoud take 100% responsibility for are our behaviors. It can be a more challenging task to take self-responsibilty for our thoughts and beliefs, especially when confronted with opposition or failure. If someone is trying to lose weight by exercising and dieting but continually complaining about how difficult it is, or bemoaning their lack of progress, it is only time before they will give up and find themselves polishing off a carton of ice cream in front of the TV.

If a person is continually involved in self talk such as, “I’m not good enough”, their outward attempts at change can be half-hearted and often end in failure (acting out the core belief (not fact) that “I’m not good enough”)  The Victim starts with Victim thoughts to get us to Victim behaviors. 

You may have a lot to do in taking responsibility for your negative self-talk and for learning to be self-compassionate as opposed to self-critical. (see the HAVE COMPASSION FOR YOUSELF blog for more on this) . 

Taking 100% responsibility for thoughts, beliefs, stories, and behaviors is the way out of the endless self-sabotaging cycle of the Victim and into achievement.. 

The Victim Shadow can be enoromous.  Harnessing your internal Warrior can be daunting.  Making the shift from Victim to Warrior is one way to understand what Joseph Campbell called The Hero’s Journey.  All really successful people have found help on their journey.  Finding the right mentor, support group, therapist, teacher, Obi Wan Kenobi, or guide are primary ways people have empowered themselves throughout the ages to go beyond the Victim and into the success of the Warrior. 

Click below to see Rocky explain it all for you: