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  • Mathew van Beek

Take Back Your Life: choose to replace blame with 'response-ibility'

The victim mentality seems to be spreading like an epidemic in Western society.

You will see it every day at work or in family relationships in outbursts such as - "How can I be expected to perform 'x' when I've got to work with him/her!" or "It's not MY fault I was late with the report ...." or "He made me do it Mum!" and so on & on during most days. We get sucked in to joining in with the unacknowledged competition for the title 'most victimised person' eg 'How was your weekend?' - 'Oh - you know - exhausting .... Everyone expected me to do the work whilst they went off for a great time on the boat' - 'Yeah! Mine too. Tim made me so angry .. He actually tried to ... & then expected me to ....' etc

Why is this 'dis-eased' and powerless mindset so popular? It's simple really - if we choose 'victim' as our deeply held truth, we won't be required to take responsibility for our reactions because it's not our fault. Someone or something else is to blame. We can't be expected to do or be or feel anything other than victimised and helpless in the face of 'the one who IS to blame'! The payoff is a seemingly rock-solid excuse for inaction.

The good news is that there's a much more powerful mindset we could embrace: the CHOICE really is ours to make. It's best described by Victor Frankl in his incredible book 'Man's Search for Meaning' where he describes life in a Nazi concentration camp. His words of wisdom from the 1940's leave us with few places to hide in 2019 -

"Everything can be taken away from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms - to choose one's attitude in any given circumstances - to choose one's way...... even in the most difficult of circumstances, this adds deeper meaning to his life."

Wow! This is a powerfully transformational message. We can choose how we want to react to any situation. Adopting a victim mentality only has a place in a dis-eased and powerless life - but taking responsibility for our experiences of life makes us powerful beyond belief. Yes! Taking responsibility for how we experience our experiences means not blaming anyone .... Aaaaahh! Surely you CANNOT BE SERIOUS? What if it really is his/her/its fault?? Okay - what if it is? Taking responsibility for your reaction - not necessarily the event itself - puts you in control. It's a powerful act.

Creating something meaningful out of whatever life has handed us in the past [along with circumstances which try to derail us in the present as well as the future] puts us in the driving seat of our life. We don't have to be helpless passengers.

Susan Jeffers in 'Feel the Fear and Beyond' suggests that immersing ourselves in Higher Self thinking* [ie - the part of us that is loving, creative, intuitive, proactive, hopeful, courageous] allows us to do this. The Lower Self is a place of paralysis and fear where our only option for survival is to cast blame elsewhere. Becoming powerful in the face of our fears requires constant exercise of our Higher Self muscles otherwise we will all too easily fall back into the habit of listening to the inner voice of doom and gloom ..... the voice that is fearful, judgemental, angry and insecure.

Blame is allied with fear. Taking responsibility for our reactions is freedom. Victor Frankl chose this truth. What will yours be? The choice is in your hands.

*Accessing your Higher Self thinking can be made significantly easier with the toolbox provided by Solution-Focused NLP coaching - try it and see.

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