3 Simple But Powerful Ways to Help Your Clients Overcome Victim Mentality, So They Can Create Lives They Truly Love Living
Do you ever find yourself coaching a client, or maybe even just talking to a friend, and you don’t know exactly what to say or do because the person you’re talking to is feeling like a victim of their circumstances – and not taking responsibility for the results in his or her life?
Many of us have been programmed to believe that we are powerless over the circumstances and conditions of our lives.
But in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
While we can’t always control what happens to us, we always have the power to choose how we are going to react to any circumstance or situation we find ourselves in.
Here are several tell-tale signs that a client you’re working with may be stuck in a victim mindset…
Every single one of us faces trials and tribulations in life that are often outside of our control. And some of these challenges are more serious than others – the loss of a loved one or a serious medical diagnosis are examples of this.
When something devastating occurs in your life, the normal human reaction of feeling hurt and in pain absolutely does not mean you’re stuck make you a victim.
When I refer to a “victim mentality,” I’m talking about is someone who consistently has a “poor me” attitude – who fully believes that other people or outside factors are 100% responsible for why they feel unhappy or unfulfilled in their life.
These are people who, despite how wonderful they are, seem almost allergic to taking responsibility for their own experiences and lives.
A client operating from a victim mentality may say something to the effect of the following:
- My husband makes me so mad.
- I’ll never be able to do ______ because of what my parents did to me.
- I’d love to start my own business, but the economy is so bad right now. It’s just not the right time.
- I can’t be happy because ________.
- I can’t find a relationship at my age, and besides, all the good ones are taken.
Notice that in all of these examples, the client has a reason outside of themselves for feeling unhappy or for not having the results they say they want.
It’s rare that someone is permanently in a victim mentality.
Most of us have certain periods of time where we fall into feeling like the circumstances of our lives are more powerful than we are. When this happens, the support of a trusted friend or coach can help us shift our thinking to a more empowering one.
Letting go of victim mentality
Here are 3 steps you can take to support a client in letting go of a victim mentality, so that they can begin creating the results they want in their life.
1. Help your client understand that they always have the power to decide how to respond to any given situation.
Help your client see that while they can’t necessarily control everything around them, they can control how they react to their surroundings!
For example, maybe they commute to work every day on a packed highway, one that becomes a total parking lot at rush hour. They can’t change the traffic or make it go faster. But they can choose how they react to it.
They can be frustrated and angry that they won’t get home as soon as they’d like, which is what many of us default to – OR they can choose to feel calm and patient, maybe putting on soothing music or listening to an interesting podcast to make the most of that time.
Or, your client could use that time to create a list of all of the things they feel grateful for in their lives! Doing so will immediately shift them into a happier, more empowering mindset.
2. Help your client create a clear picture of the result they would truly love to create.
When working together, say to your client,
“Imagine it’s three years from today and you’re living a life you love. Tell me about your health, your relationships and so on.”
Encourage your client to step into what living their dream life really looks and feels like, and to describe it in present tense.
Any time your client has the tendency to collapse back into bemoaning their circumstances, draw them back to this vision of their life that they’ve described to you. Encourage them to focus on that vision often, especially when they’re feeling out of control and at the mercy of their circumstances.
Holding a vision for specific results or dreams with help your clients stay committed to crossing the threshold and taking action toward them, rather than standing idly by and feeling powerless!
3. Invite your client to do what they can, from where they are, with what they have.
Even the smallest steps will lead you right up Mt. Everest, which is an empowering truth you can share with your clients.
Celebrate with them as they take baby steps toward their goal, focusing on the progress made, not the results not yet manifested.
Ask them to create action steps, however small, and then help them stay accountable by checking in with them on how they’re doing with these steps.
And whenever they hit roadblocks or setbacks, and they begin to fall into a victim mindset, be sure to ask them,
“Where is the hidden gold in this situation? What lessons can you learn from it that will move you toward your goals and dreams?”
There’s always a silver lining to be found in even the most challenging situations.
Overcome victim mentality
If you have a client who is used to blaming other people and their circumstances for why they don’t have the results they want in life, guide them through these three steps!
You may have to guide them through this three-step process several times, and that’s okay!
Repatterning and reprogramming our mindsets is an ongoing process.
But if you stay repetitive with these steps, and compassionately hold your clients responsible for creating lives they truly love living, you’ll help them move toward their goals and dreams with unprecedented ease and speed.
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