Experiencing life from one side of the boxing ring can be tough. Whether you´ve been bullied, harassed, or the target of assault – our brain has this annoying habit of reinforcing its own perspective. Feeling repeatedly defeated has a tendency to knock the life out of us, dim our willpower, make us question our own strength.
At the same time, believe it or not, victimhood can feel comfortable. It´s sheltered. If you crawl away in a blanket fort and blame everybody else, and isolate yourself, you might feel like you are safe. This type of thinking has been with me for a long time and I find it difficult to detach myself from it sometimes.
Though isolation can be productive – when used properly – in this setting, it´s rarely productive. Withdrawing from life usually reinforces the exact patterns of thought that perpetrators try to instill. “I am not resilient, I am losing out in life, there is no way that I can handle this, better find somebody else”.
Being either a victim or a victor doesn´t require two separate individuals. To the contrary; it´s quite possible to be experiencing this exact struggle in your head. Faced with a difficult situation, your brain might scream: “the responsible party is doing this to me! They are forcing me into an inferior position and I hate them for it!”.
The archetype of the victor, on the other hand, is calm. “I can handle this“, they say. They are not bellowing some kind of victory chant. They breathe in and out, they stay composed. They know that the situation will floor them if they let it, so they choose not to engage with emotions of defeat at all.
I experienced this first-hand, in my business with the landlord, who is trying to squeeze money out of me (read more about it in the Rent Mess). My first instinct is to hate her – because I feel that she´s taking advantage of me. I tried to calm down and phoned a friend. “Put it out of your mind“, – he said – “until you remember your strength“.
So remember this. If you feel like a zero, absolutely worthless – it is much easier to be victimized. It is much easier for someone else, because they will recognize you are not stepping up and standing tall. You alone hold the power to remain cool in a situation that would suggest a defeat. You make the final decision.