One of my most common conversations is around making the conscious decision to be either a victim of our past experiences or, a survivor.
It is a difficult conversation to instigate but the magic only really happens outside our comfort zones.
For most, stuck in this mindset it is an alien concept, they feel they have never really had any power over their situation, never really been a decision maker and their future has been in the hands of others.
When I explain that the power to decide rests with them, and that it’s probably their boundaries that have been a bit shaky, ropey and non-existent; the light bulb moment usually occurs.
Installing some new robust boundaries, gives you your power right back!
Deciding to be a survivor rocked me out of my victim induced coma and catapulted me into reality. It did not diminish my experiences, but I realised that I can’t change the past – nobody can – but I can damn well change my future.
Being a victim had served me well, it allowed me to wallow in a pit of despair and not take any responsibility for my behaviour or my health. Because life had treated me appallingly, I decided I wasn’t worth it.
I looked for abuse, I found it, and be assured those around me never disappointed. I was a magnet for every work place bully, I allowed myself to be caught up in toxic family politics and took every set back as a personal injustice. I was a victim, I had been dealt a crappy hand, I wasn’t worth the effort and took it on the chin in a veil of tears and ‘braveness’.
Although, I had always been seeking answers and trying to fight my demons in my own way, fundamentally I was searching for skills to deal with ‘what had been done to me’.
In this mindset, I paid precious little attention to what I had done to myself, what I had allowed to happen.
I very quickly realised I had no boundaries, none at all, and they were my responsibility. I had anger and frustration but nothing in place to look after me.
But then, from those ashes of abuse, violation and self-neglect I rose and found my worth. I became a survivor. I realised that I had a choice on how I viewed the world but much more crucially, I had a choice about how I viewed me.
I will admit that I am still a work in progress, but I definitely know where my boundaries are. For example, project on to me and you will not get any support, I am no longer anyone’s scapegoat. Reach out, take responsibility and I will always be there for you.
Deciding to be a survivor allows me to look at the lessons detours in my plan are teaching me, setting boundaries allows me to find out who I am and protect myself. But most importantly, it empowers me to be the very best version of myself!
Being a survivor has been the greatest gift, I have a very different life now and you can too x