Why You Can't Be A Victim As Well As A Success

I've told my story many times over the years, and am always happy to share it with others in the hope that they will be able to either change things in their lives that may be making them feel uncomfortable or unhappy, or recognise those things in others - and offer support.

I think it's our duty, as humans, to help each other.

Of course, when you tell your story, it is often then communicated by others, and one of the words that has been used to describe me in the past is 'victim'.

  • 'Victim' of childhood abuse
  • 'Victim' of domestic abuse
  • 'Victim' of the education system

The list of scenarios goes on.

But I don't see myself as a victim, in fact I would go as far as to say that I actively counter the description of victim. It's not a word I can associate with; it has no resonance or connection for me, and I just, plain, don't like it.


The instant you are described as a victim, two things happen. Firstly, people feel sorry for you (please don't feel sorry for me), and secondly there's then an imbalance of power in the relationship. We might not realise it, and it certainly isn't done with malice or intent; but the change is there. And I don't think that what someone else has done to me in the past should carry on having an effect, for other people, in the future. 

Similarly, I don't like being described as a survivor (the more positively perceived version of victim) because that just leads back to being a victim again. You can't be a survivor without having first been a victim.

And here's the biggest thing of all: you can't be a victim, and be a success at the same time.

The two are mutually incompatible. The reason? If you still see yourself as a victim, you're likely to be stuck in the victim mindset (not the same as the victim mentality).

The victim mindset tends to see us believing that we are unable to move forwards because of the harm that has befallen us, that this harm has caused us irreparable damage (that we'll never be able to overcome), that life is too hard or difficult - and that we can't achieve what we want to achieve. We're not strong enough, or determined enough; we don't have enough energy

Now I should say right now that I'm not blaming you, or anyone else who has been a victim somewhere along the line. Far from it. You are more than entitled to be angry, upset, disappointed, frustrated, sad, or any other permutation of feeling, if you've been at the mercy of someone who has hurt, abused, or damaged you. 

More than entitled.

However, you can't move forwards and achieve success - whatever that success might be - if you're still holding on to that negativity. That hurt. That pain.

Because you'll keep going back to it. It'll keep eating away at you; the unfairness, the inequality, the downright wrongdoing that was levelled at you. And you're right to feel those things.

But not forever.

At some point, you have to let go. You have to see it, and accept it, for what it is. What it was. But what it won't be anymore.

You have to say that enough is enough, and that your life is now yours again. That the person who wronged you isn't in control of your life, or of you, anymore. That you've taken over, peace is breaking out, and you're back and happening.

Only when you can truly feel that will you be able to break the shackles of victimhood, and take the reins of success.

1. Accept it for what it is: An outrage, an inequality of epic proportions, and TOTALLY unfair. But are you going to let it eat you up anymore? Are you going to let that person, or event, carry on affecting your life? Or are you going to say 'I accept this, I see it, but I don't allow it to cloud my life any longer'.

2. What happened to you is not the sum of who you are. You are not a bad person, and you didn't ask for, or want, these things to happen. Things happened to you, and they made you feel a certain way, but in order to move forwards the inequality has to end. You need to seek help, take counselling, speak to a friend, or perhaps start meditating or using mindfulness techniques to take hold of your life again. A life of great worth and value.

3. Always remember that you are loved, and when you're loved you can move mountains. I promise you, even if it doesn't seem apparent to you right now; someone, somewhere loves you. Someone somewhere wants you to be happy - and you make them happy. You add to their life. They see your pain, and they want to help. They want to walk this next stage of your journey with you, next to you. Reach out to them, accept their love - and embrace what the world has to offer you.

For whatever you want, your heart's desires, are out there; you just have to leave the label of victim behind, and take on the mantle of successful you.