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Updated: Oct 5, 2023

Victim - Transformational Distinctions

Being a victim is generally described as things "happening to me," with someone or something being at fault and to blame. A victim mentality has us believe that external factors are responsible for our suffering. When we attribute responsibility to external circumstances, we give away our personal power.

In a transformational context, the term "victim" is distinguished as a perspective. In this context, the goal is to break free from our victim mentality and instead take responsibility for our lives by being able to account for our past and be at cause for our future. This distinct perspective on responsibility has nothing to do with blame or being at fault but rather represents a stand we declare to shape our future, being at cause rather than effect.

However, when we strive not to adopt a victim mentality, particularly in cases where we have experienced genuine victimization such as abuse, assault, trauma, or violence, it can be difficult to accept the alternate perspective of being at cause for the event. This can lead us to shift blame or fault onto ourselves, thereby becoming victims of our accountability.

Moreover, the intention behind letting go of being a victim is not to minimize or diminish the reality of our circumstances but rather to examine our choices within those circumstances and the significance we assign to them. We always have a choice in how we experience things. Taking responsibility from this perspective empowers us to make choices that serve us best, create the experiences we want, and lead a more fulfilling and empowered existence.

It is important to reiterate that the focus in transformational trainings is not on determining the truth of either perspective, nor is it about diminishing or denying what happened or the surrounding facts. Rather, it offers a different lens through which to perceive the situation. When we are able to distinguish these distinct perspectives and consciously choose the perspective of accountability and being at cause, we experience a greater sense of personal power and empowerment and can authentically take a stand of responsibility for our life.

A wise woman wishes to be no one's enemy; a wise woman refuses to be anyone's victim. - Maya Angelo

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