Perhaps one of the worst things you can ever do to others in the workplace (or anywhere) is to discourage them. It pulls them down and makes them feel hopeless. The effects can often last years, and, depending on how fast they recover, it can delay or totally abolish their dreams.
It’s funny that most people will agree that discouraging others is unacceptable but won’t notice that they could actually do it to themselves. It’s called the “victim mentality” (or victim mindset). It is self inflicted dejection, like discouraging yourself. Where you have actually resolved that you are a looser, and, will always be a victim of unfortunate circumstances. Now, not to invalidate those “circumstances” -most of the time, really bad things happen to people. But it doesn’t mean that you will forever be a magnet of misfortune. By being addicted to this mindset, you are hurting yourself and others who believes in you, in the process.
The common symptoms?
Fear driven. They tend to move in fear all the time. In everything they do, they ask the question “will this get me into trouble?” – sort of like mild paranoia. Like everyone is just there to put them down.
Blame gamer. When something goes wrong, they think that it’s everyone else’s fault – not them. After all, they are the victims, right?
Rebellious tendencies. When the victim mindset has sunk deep into their hearts the natural reaction is cowering in fear or retaliation. This is when it starts to get messy. They now plot things against others “in defense” of themselves and influence others to do the same. They usually do this after the “pity party”.
When you have people with the victim mindset around you, it just pulls everybody else down. One needs to know how he can get over this mindset for the sake of himself and the people around him. Here are some suggestion I can think of:
1. Move in faith. The first, but probably the hardest part of the process of removing the victim mindset. Fear of making mistakes and fear of attracting the wrong circumstances are, well, legitimate fears. But these are the type of fears that cripples a person from doing remarkable work. Remember that everyone who achieved great things faced the greatest adversities.
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline [2 Timothy 1:7, NIV]
2. Take responsibility. This is a choice one has to consciously make. When things go wrong in our lives, the easiest thing to do is to blame others for it. We are scared to be accountable of our own lives because most of the time our failure exposes something inside of us that needs changing. The truth is, there is a lot of things in our lives that needs changing.
For we are each responsible for our own conduct. [Galatians 6:5, NLT]
3. Forgive, forgive, forgive. They say un-forgiveness is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die. Sometimes bitterness comes from this too.
Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. [Ephesians 4:32, NLT]
There are probably a dozen more ways to battle the victim mindset, but at the end of the day, the person needs to ask himself one question: “Am I going to be a victim forever?” Once the “victim” answer that question and resolves to himself that this is not going to be the case- liberation will definitely be on its way!
In God’s economy, nothing is wasted. Through failure, we learn a lesson in humility which is probably needed, painful though it is. – Bill Wilson
2 Timothy 1:7, Bill Wilson, blame, discourage, Ephesians 4:32, faith, Fear, forgiveness, Galatians 6:5, mentality, mindset, Nick Vujicic, victim