As women, we are excellent at creating ourselves as victims and martyrs. This is the time and here is the first step to break the ugly cycle and move on to being powerful instead of tragic!
Martyr - A woman who suffers by choice and wears it as a badge of honor. This is a woman who will settle into a bad relationship or job situation and allow everyone to say how heroic she is for "putting up with it." There is NO honor in martyrdom!!! NONE. It is choosing to be a doormat.
Where do we learn martyrdom? As little girls, we often learn from our mothers or religions that sacrifice is honorable.
Victim - A woman who blames someone or something else for everything that happens to her. A victim wants an audience to complain to, to get sympathy and attention from. This is a very weak way to live our lives and I did it for most of mine without knowing what I was doing!
Where do we learn victimhood? As little girls, we model people we look up to for guidance. Most people choose to blame instead of take responsibility for their lives. Being a victim is toxic to your bright future vision.
Both martyr and victim mentality comes from and facilitates low self esteem. Therefore, it is impossible to conquer without deep personal growth work to change underlying beliefs.
Real-life story: I was in a store when a woman in her 60's stopped her basket near me and stood there for about a minute and a half. I was focused on reading a label but noticed her out of the corner of my eye. Then, a little boy walked up to her and said, "Let's go, Grandma." The lady replied to the boy, "I can't go because this lady is in my way and I don't want to bump into her." That lady was me. Instead of saying, "Excuse me," or something to let me know there wasn't enough room to get by, she just stood there and blamed me for her being stuck. She never did speak to me as I said, "Oh, excuse me. I didn't know I was in your way."
My question to you: How many times in this woman's life do you think she has she played the martyr by coming to a complete halt, not valuing herself enough to ask someone to let her move on? How many promotions, opportunities and chances to change someone's life has she missed out on by choosing to suffer in silence?
Real-life story: In the same store during the same visit, I overheard a grown man so whiny and tragic over not being able to type his 16 digit code in a coupon offer on his phone correctly that I thought he was going to cry! His wife didn't seem to notice and I speculated that she tuned out the whiny years ago. He was getting several shoppers' attention by creating himself as the obnoxious victim of his small cell phone screen.
2 Steps To Take Now:
Step 1: Evaluate your relationships, career or job and friends in your life and determine if you are being a martyr or victim. If so, I have good news! Recognizing it is the first step to solving it once and for all!
Step 2: Live into your power. There is nothing solved by keeping your gifts inside. The rest of us want to know what you know, what you've learned and what advice you have about something we might be going through.
To further explore living into your power, grab your weekly Positive Woman Tip plus free eBook and audio book at Positive Women Rock right now.
More life coach advice on YourTango:
- Tap Into Success, Confidence & More With A Life Coach
- Why Do I Need A Life Coach?
- What Do Women Want?