(NaturalNews) It's a harsh title and at the risk of sounding harsher still, I should say that self-made victims go well beyond telling themselves the following lies. They tell themselves with the passion of a preacher. They feel them with such conviction that we may be more accurate by suggesting that these are lies that people live, not merely tell. And before I appear arrogant beyond belief, I confess that I have done my share of living these lies, as most people have. The challenge, as with most of the deeper issues, is to recognize them.
In fact, it is more important than ever that we take responsibility and stop making victims of ourselves. The world is changing at an ever-increasing rate. If you, as a health conscious, environmentally aware person who is thoughtful of your life and your personal impact on the world, do not stand up, stand out and move beyond all forms of self-victimization and powerlessness, then we are in a world of trouble. The earth needs more enlightened people living on it if it is to survive. Self-victimization is antithetical enlightenment.
Here are the lies. I'll talk about what they share in common at the end.
1. It's not my fault. We all know this one. Feeling that if we admit our area of responsibility our entire house of cards will fall down, we remain defensive and don't give an inch of truth. Someone else is to blame, period! If I lost my job, it's because my boss is a jerk and my coworkers impossible. The fact that I was a bit lazy from time to time, well, so is everyone! That's just human nature. Even the part that is my fault isn't my fault, really.
2. It's all my fault. This one is tricky. We all know people (perhaps intimately) who play the personal responsibility card to the extreme. "Oh it's all my fault. I'm such a loser" is the common stance. Some people use this tactic sarcastically in arguments, while others trudge through life with the "loser" mentality engraved on their forehead. Let's take a closer look at it.
If you speak at length with a self-proclaimed loser (someone with deep issues related to personal worth) and if you are sincere and sensitive, before long you can get to the source of their ill-feelings about themselves. I can tell you that in the vast majority of cases these folks are blaming their parents or early caregivers for not providing love and attention. They are not lying about the facts. They are merely hanging onto them to their own detriment. So, blaming myself - insisting that I am a loser that screws everything up, is a distorted way of blaming my parents for not loving me. Self-blame to the extreme is nearly always other blame in disguise.
I'm not suggesting that unloving parents are OK or that childhood pain is to be scorned. This is far from the case. When we look at our childhood, however, perhaps we can look at it with the goal in mind of improving (taking more personal responsibility) today.
3. I can't do it. There are indeed many things that you truly cannot do. Most of these genuine limitations aren't worth discussing. If you are 40 years old, pudgy and a college dropout who wants to become an astronaut, then I'd throw in with you if you admitted that you couldn't. However, with regard to the relevant issues in your life: work, money, relationships, health, community, etc...just substitute the word "can't" with "won't" and you are much closer to the truth.
4. I did it myself. When self-made victims accomplish something worthwhile, they often claim, "I did it!" without recognizing perhaps multitudes of others who contributed directly or indirectly. Here's why. Self-made victims see the world as "out there" or as "me vs. them." In this light, the world and the mean people in it are always ready to impose and ruin things. When it does, the world is somehow to blame. When self-victimizers do succeed at something, they have succeeded (in their mind) in spite of the world and other people and this is indeed a personal triumph to be celebrated. People who have contributed to the effort are rarely included in the celebration because if they were, that might preclude blaming them for problems in the future. Of course, this paradigm is a perfect set up self-victimization.
5. "They." This one bugs me the most (Translation: I victimize myself when I hear this). "They" this and "they" that. Who is the ever present "they" that are messing with people? Whoever they are, self-made victims find great comfort and convenience in laying the blame on them.
What do these five lies have in common? Fundamentally, they all function to reduce perceived anxiety. Until we have grown and developed to the point where we take an extraordinarily high level of genuine personal responsibility for ourselves (which represents the ultimate in personal freedom) we have varying degrees of anxiety about it. One student in our online NLP course put it this way: Most people act as if confessing their role in a problem is akin to accepting blame for the whole thing. This is far from true, but certainly feels true in the moment.
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