There are times in life when things seem to get on top of us.  When chaos reigns and circumstances seem to conspire against us.

During these stages in life, it can be very easy to fall into a victim mentality, to think that there’s nothing that you can do and that you’re destined to be unhappy.

Here are a few tips that I’ve used to halt that mindset and become optimistic and resourceful again:

Choose your attitude.  As Anthony D’Angelo once said, “Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.”

You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can always choose your attitude.  You can choose to remain down in the dumps or to be optimistic about the future.

Personally, I love the story of the two brothers when thinking about the impact of choosing your attitude.

Be grateful.  Whilst there may be a few negative aspects to your life, I’m almost certain that there some wonderful things to focus your thoughts on as well.  Sometimes they’re even the same things looked at from a different perspective.

I know for me, there are times when my kids drain my energy and I can feel almost overwhelmed by the incessant challenge of parenting.  But instead of being a victim of my circumstances, I can also choose to be grateful for three beautiful, loving and healthy children.  I’m incredibly fortunate when I choose to look at life with an attitude of gratitude rather than a victim mentality.

Set some goals.  Sometimes when you feel trapped, you don’t know what to do next.  You can genuinely believe that there’s nothing that you can do.  Thankfully, that’s not true!

By setting some simple goals in specific areas, you can begin to take greater charge of your life.  All of a sudden you have a mission and somewhere resourceful to place your energy.  As you achieve a few, you build momentum and feel more like a victor than a victim.

I heard a great quote from Tony Robbins recently, “Where your focus goes, your energy flows.” 

There’s something energising about having great goals to work towards and something similarly draining about focussing on all of your problems and acting like a victim.   

There’s always someone worse off than you.  I know that it sounds simplistic, but it’s also almost certainly true.  Whatever your circumstances, I’m almost certain that an eight year old child who was stolen from his family in Uganda to become a child soldier who rapes and murders in drug-induced rampages is worse off than you.  As is the similarly aged girl who was sold off to become a sex slave to disgusting, sleazy old foreigners in South East Asia.  I’m not exaggerating, this really happens in the world today and tragically there are thousands of children living in these situations. 

There’s a version of an old Persian proverb that says, “I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.”

You’re not such a victim now are you?

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