‘You are not a victim. You may have been victimised, but you are not a victim.’
Listening to Mel Robbins explain this to a woman she was coaching made me appreciate her just a little bit more than I did already.
Why? Because she had so clearly and concisely articulated something that had been nagging the living daylights out of me whenever I heard the word ‘victim’ or ‘survivor’. Those words would set my teeth on edge. I felt my hackles rise. But I couldn’t work out why, to begin with.
A few years ago, when I was having a major crisis of confidence, even though I was a sobbing in the loos at work, over-exhausted, sugar-bingeing wreck, I was still railing against the idea of being a victim. I didn’t know why. I just knew, instinctively, that it felt wrong.
But now, as a fully trained RTT Therapist with a shedload of Continuous Professional Development and enough time in practice to have a lovely group of happy clients behind me, I know why.
Because words like ‘victim’ and ‘survivor’, they put you, me, anyone in a box with a big label on it. And no one needs that.
Once you’re in that mindset – of being defined as a victim of bullying, or a crime, or your own procrastination… whatever the label says you are – you get stuck with that definition. ‘I’m a victim and therefore I am x and y and z.’ Whatever your x, y and z are for you, I’m willing to bet they are judgemental, negative and designed to keep you holed up in the past.
What Mel is saying, and what I am absolutely sure is true, is let someone put you in a box with a label on it and you’ll then have the added problem of breaking out of that and ripping off the label.
Dreadful things may have happened to you, there are some messed up people out there who damage others through their own tortured weakness. All the more reason to wash off their energy and step away from their cruelty. Not lock yourself in a box with it.
And of course there is another saying, one I’m particularly fond of… ‘Revenge is a dish best served cold’.
Nothing cheers me more than looking back at all the bad bosses, the girl who bullied me at school and that very sad boy who sexually assaulted me when I was a teenager and I think ‘ha’. (I might think a few other words, you can use your own imagination there), because their weakness makes me stronger.
Every time I fall over, I learn. Every time I get up, I get up stronger. Every time I look back at them, I see their influence, no matter how painful at the time, pushed me forward into ways of thinking, learning and being that not only benefit me, but also allow me to serve others more powerfully.
And how good is that?
Stepping up to embody our confidence is available to us all of us. If you think I can help you move forward, get in touch.