Often, a victim mentality can help us identify what we truly want deep down.
Even as a trained life and relationship coach, I still fall prey to my own negative thinking, comparison-itis, and imposter syndrome.
I woke up unusually early this morning and couldn’t fall back asleep. After some tossing and turning and realizing I wouldn’t be drifting off anytime soon, I resigned to get started with my day. While I don’t recommend this habit, in today’s case, it made for some good content.
I grabbed my phone and checked the usual. Email, Medium, then Instagram. Everyone is talking about this new app Clubhouse, and all I’ve been seeing the past few days are the early adopters (aka the ‘cool kids’) raving about all the interesting conversations they’re having on this invite-only app.
One of my friends and fellow coach posted a story series on Instagram about her girlfriends having a juicy fun conversation in Clubhouse last night. I immediately got triggered. I wasn’t invited. I wasn’t included. I’m not cool enough to be on this app.
All the thoughts—I’m not good enough, I’m not chosen, I don’t actually belong.
The truth, however, is that I don’t even care about this app. I don’t need another thing to be on. I’m not even friends with those other women using it, and yet my age-old biology and wiring left me feeling out of the tribe.
I let myself ruminate for 10–15 minutes in these feelings of not belonging and blaming my friend for excluding me. I was in full-on victim mode. I knew I couldn’t stay here, though. It didn’t feel good and it was not the vibration I wanted to start my day on. It was literally 5 am, and I still had many hours ahead of me.
In this hole of self-pity, a window of awareness appeared and my old teacher’s words came through: “The best way out of victimhood is desire.”
I started to see if I could find the ‘desire’ underneath all my complaints and blaming, and slowly it started to form. I have a desire for a deeper connection with the women in my life. Boom. There was the thud of truth: There was the true desire beneath my sense of being left out.
With this knowingness, I knew it was now up to me to hold the full weight of my desire and get to action — the opposite action of the ruminating, pity party, and victim mentality.
The truth is, I have so many amazing women in my corner. I rolled over and started making a list on my phone of all the women in my life I’ve spoken to recently and those I’d want to connect more with.
What if I sent an email and expressed my desire for deeper connection and pitched the idea of a monthly women’s group where we talk about non-work, non-business things? I hold women’s groups all the time for my clients and during workshops, but I’ve never thought to actually give this desire to myself.
What if, rather than ruminating in my FOMO, I created my own opportunities based on my desires? That felt more powerful. There was so much electricity buzzing behind the idea of planning what this could actually look like. This is what I really craved, deep down.
Through victimhood, I identified my true desire and found out what I actually wanted. That said, let’s take a deeper look into the nature of desire and find out how we can all use it to our advantage.
There’s a basic concept in psychology called cognitive bias. Simply put, it’s the idea that when you buy a red car, afterward, all you’ll see on the road are red cars.
We favor information that holds up our beliefs. It’s efficient and our brain likes to simplify (i.e. when we make up our mind to believe something, it’s all we can see around us). We also fall prey to blaming outside forces when we don’t get our way. Our environment ‘confirms’ what we think and believe — and not always positively.
I see this a lot with clients. They complain that everyone is married and everyone is in a relationship. They have a belief that they can’t have this sense of companionship, it will never happen to them and so their reality shows them all the happy relationships they’re not in just to torture them.
I work with them to shift their mindset to believe that no, they actually can have it too. I instruct them to follow their desire for a healthy and loving relationship and to take forward action toward continuing to work on themselves to remove these blocks instead of being victimized by their circumstances and environment.
Triggers like jealousy and seeing people with all the things we want are hugely informative. I use these situations in my own life to get curious and try to find where I’m being shown something I want and work with my mindset to believe I can have it too.
Case in point, my Clubhouse group of women trigger.
No One’s Going To Do Your Life For You
The reality is, only we are responsible for our lives, our choices, and for making our relationships and connections work. Period.
When we stop wishing and hoping for someone to come in and save us from our misery, magically give us the thing we want, or somehow make our life better and instead take responsibility for pursuing the things that we want, that’s real freedom.
After all, only we have the power to create the life we want. No one is going to do it for us.
With the Clubhouse situation, I was passively waiting around for someone to invite me, for a group of women to include me in their circle — ultimately for someone else to fulfill my own desire for more connection and friendship.
Thankfully, I didn’t stay here long and realized I actually have the power to create that experience for myself and to have that level of depth within my own friendships — but I have to take action toward pursuing that desire.
Desire Helps Us Become More Honest With Ourselves
The reason I’m endlessly fascinated by the concept of desire is that it’s a potent life force that has the ability to spotlight the truth and help us become more honest with ourselves
This desire for a deeper connection with women helped cut through a bunch of false beliefs and stories I was holding onto. In my hole of self-pity, I was telling myself all sorts of things: “I don’t have friends, I’m a loner, no one likes me, I wish I were friends with these women.”
Those are all such false narratives. I don’t even desire to be connected to those specific women. I just wanted to belong. When I became honest about that fact I realized that here I am pining after something that isn’t even my truth. Then I could clearly ask myself:
“Okay, then what is my truth?”
My truth was that I did in fact have lots of quality women in my life who I respect and admire, women who also respect and admire me, and I do belong. There was way more sensation and excitement thinking about creating this friendship group of my people instead of asking to be included in the other for the sake of not feeling left out.
In summary, when we feel ‘victim’ to our life, our circumstances, or other people, we have to ask ourselves: What is the desire underneath all my complaints?
From there, we have to be willing to become ruthlessly honest. What is my actual truth here? After that, it’s all down to choice. Once you’ve identified what your desire is, it’s up to you to either take action towards making it a reality and pursuing it or simply sitting back wishing for it to come true.
Power comes from realizing we have control over the things we want and knowing we have what it takes to make our dreams a reality.
So what will you choose?