The attitude we have towards ourselves and towards the world in general and our beliefs are among the most important factors that shape our destiny.
Attitudes are formed by experimentation and represent our position on something, the way we relate to something. An attitude can be compared to a mental filter through which we perceive the world. A negative attitude means a negative perception.
Based on our beliefs and attitudes, we adopt a certain life position. Some people are led by fear, they are convinced that suffering is given to them to atone for a certain punishment which even them don’t understand, that they must bear their cross accepting to be unhappy, giving up the fight and settling for less than they deserve. They make compromises, they find excuses and people to blame for the way their life looks like, placing responsibility on others, they complain, they believe that they are simply unlucky and what’s the point of trying to change something, and for them everything is too hard or it’s not possible.
Although they want a better life there is a mismatch between their actions and dreams because they don’t have big expectations and they are content with staying in their comfort zone. Therefore they lie to themselves that they are doing everything they can, when actually they don’t take 100% responsibility for their life and they look for external factors to blame: the circumstances, other people, authorities, their boss, their family.
Thus, people distort reality to correspond to their subjective perceptions, and in everyone’s mind a subjective perception equals to the truth. For example, they can delude themselves to believe that they work more than they do, they are more competent than they are, or they find excuses and justifications for toxic behaviors or the low quality of their own lives.
They are afraid to face reality as it is and to act based on facts. To make the difference between truth and facts. The facts are reality. The truth is our subjective perception of that reality. For example, a person may perceive charity as an expense while another person may perceive that as an investment in someone else's life. The reality is that people give money for charity, whether this is perceived as an expense or as an investment. Which type of thinking represent the truth? Both.
People who distort reality by lying and deluding themselves and remaining in a comfort zone that has become uncomfortable anyway, those who complain but don’t make any changes, those who always seek help from others and even become dependent on them because they don’t trust themselves and their inner power, are those people who have adopted a victim position in life, who may still not realize that they suffer first of all because of their dysfunctional thoughts and actions and not because of external conditions.
There are also people who suffer because they are too attached to their past, because they can’t accept what happened, because they have regrets or blame themselves for their actions or lack of action. They live in the past thinking "If that hadn’t happened, now I...", "If I didn’t do that, then ...", "If I had chosen differently, now I …”
We have all gone through experiences we perceived to be painful, to which we have related at some point with despair or lack of hope, anger or denial. But it’s important to understand that people do what they know better with the resources and knowledge they have at hand. Now there’s no use to blaming ourselves anymore. We can’t change the past, but we can change the way we relate to what happened to us then. We can give another meaning to the events that marked us and which we continue to remember.
Our true power lies in the present moment where we have the ability to realize that we can see everything that has happened to us in the past as opportunities to become stronger and wiser. We are not some victims, nor should we relate to ourselves that way if we want to have control over the way our existence looks like.
Regardless of the problems we face in life, it is preferable to evaluate them correctly, to try to find the best solutions and to act to solve them. Victimization and self-pity have never solved anything. On the contrary, they have made even more difficult the existing situations.
People who refuse to relate to their life as victims have understood that others are not to blame for the way they live, but that they are the only ones responsible for their own existence. If something dissatisfies them, they are willing to make changes even if they are uncomfortable.
A person who has a positive attitude towards themselves and others, who face life not as a victim but as a fighter and more than that, a winner, will be able to recognize their mistakes and to learn from them, will not resign bending their head down but they will be willing to pursue their goals and dreams with ambition, determination and confidence. The’ll think they can handle life and are able of solving problems and will act to get the winning results they want. This is the only position based on reality.
On the other hand, when you say, "I have to bear my cross," is this a fact or something that you think is true according to your subjective perception? You can also think of other things you believe are true and ask yourself the same thing. You will notice how often your subjective perceptions based on fear, dysfunctional beliefs or fear of change underpin your actions.
If you really want your life to look different you have to give up the victim position where nothing is ok - not the world as a whole, nor the people around you, not even you.
Analyse your life and observe where you encounter difficulties and how you relate to them. Do you ignore them? Do you close your eyes? Do you expect they’ll go away on their own? Do you expect to be saved? Do you lie to yourself that the situation isn’t that bad and things are ok the way they are? Face reality and make the necessary steps to get out of situations or relationships that harm you. Accept change and overcome your fears. Overcome that fatal resignation, set your goals and plans for the future, and make a commitment to doing everything it’s necessary to accomplish them. Thus, you will no longer be tempted to do things half-heartedly, to lie to yourself that you make enough effort or to wait for it to happen on its own.
Be honest with yourself and answer the following question: "Are my habits, actions and behaviors consistent with my plans or with the vision I have of my own life?" When we want to improve the quality of our life, but our actions don’t support this vision, we can end up deluding ourselves that we do a lot of things and that we put enough effort, when in reality things are different.
Each of us invests daily a certain amount of energy in their thoughts, emotions and actions. What do you intend to get by the effort you invest in your life? No matter how you direct this energy, in a negative or positive way, the amount of effort is the same.
What do you choose to invest your energy into and how do you choose to relate to your life? From a victim position or from a winning position?
Dr. Ursula Sandner