“When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change; at such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back.”

– Paulo Coelho

Life is unfair, life is difficult.

I know this, yet how I perceive this now, has been the biggest changer of my life story.

Life throws blows.

In the past, with every next shot, I kept falling further and further into what I can only describe now as a deep, dark hole.

I was knocked off my feet more times than I can count.

Eventually, I believed life would never offer me happiness I was expecting.

I used to live life constantly complaining.

About the unfairness, about the challenges basically about everything.

I really expected a perfect life without any bumps.

I lived life constantly as a victim and the accompanying victim mentality approach.

Why Me Syndrome

I constantly existed with why me syndrome?

This syndrome spoke to the fact that life owed me and life was supposed to go the way I wanted.

Writing it now, makes it seem even more ludicrous.

Yet this was the life

I lived. I own who I was and who I have now become.

“You have power over your mind - not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.”

— Marcus Aurelius

I had allowed myself to become a victim of my experiences and lived like such.

Victim Mentality Syndrome

Indeed, I did encounter some extremely rough experiences, as everyone else does.

Yet I personalized the world’s unfairness to me - from growing up on my own, to other life experiences, to the marriage that ended in divorce.

By this time I had completely developed the full victim syndrome.

I basically sat and waited for the next “bad thing” to hit me and wallow in self-pity.

I shudder to think of how my life was and I am truly grateful for the progress I have made.

My progress in life all had to do with changing beliefs and expectations.

I began understanding life would be tough, but I had to discover me and use the strengths and know my weaknesses.

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”

— Bernice Johnson Reagon

Victim Mentality Lock

Self-defeating thought patterns had kept me locked in a victim mentality.

At a point in life, I recognize I had two choices - continue believing I am a victim.

Or face the challenges with the belief I can overcome and be better for it.

I chose the latter.

I realized from watching and listening to successful persons who have achieved their goals.

They made it despite many obstacles and challenges that are still difficult to comprehend.

No longer could I stay locked into the victim mentality and cradle it as a comfort and enjoyment for a pity party.

I had to make a choice.

I choose to define how my story will continue, by choosing not to view obstacles as the be-all and end-all, but a detour or a changing approach to achieve goals.

The Path to Strength

“Strength doesn’t come from what you can do. It comes from overcoming the things you once thought you couldn’t.

—Rikkie Rogers

It is not easy to get out of the victim’s thinking syndrome.

I did it for many years even though it never proved to fulfill.

It was a means to not push and take the necessary effort to do better.

It is hard work to change the victim mentality.

I don’t know what you may be facing.

All I can say as difficult as it may be choose to become better in spite of it.

The Obstacle is the Way

“If you expect life to be easy, challenges will seem difficult. If you accept that challenges may occur, life will be easier.”

― Rob Liano

Now, I choose to face obstacles head-on and learn and grow from it.

The victim mentality offers no long term gains and I got up one day tired and fed up with being depressed and sad all the time.

I decided I would fight for the life I want.

I now look for opportunities in every crisis.

It is not easy to do still.

Daily it is a choice to be an overcomer of obstacles, rather than a victim to it.

Every day I choose because when I choose, I change my story and take another step in the direction of the future I want.

I encourage you to do the same.

My future story depends on the steps I take now…It’s always a choice - victim or overcomer.

“Because some people see a wall, and assume that’s the end of their journey. Others see it, and decide it’s just the beginning.”

—Angeline Trevena

Ria Caliste Vanessa she engages on a life long path of self-discovery. A counselor and a writer for life. Connect with her at axiomcounsel@gmail.com or www.axiomcounsel.com