Dr. Joe Vitale of “The Secret” fame states that there are four stages of consciousness: 1) Victimhood, 2) Empowerment, 3) Surrender, and 4) Complete Realization. They are similar in nature to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
Today, we shall explore the first stage of consciousness where many folks stay stuck for lifetimes. Many of us experience the first three stages of consciousness in varying degrees concurrently. While we may be spending most of our waking time in stage one, we can have our enlightened periods where we are experiencing the other stages, or we can be spending most of our time in stages two and three, and at times momentarily fall back into stage one of victimhood.
The problem with victim consciousness is that according to the Laws of Attraction, the more we think about our less than desirable state of affairs, the more we attract in the same. Negative thinking also leads to negative decisions. We shall define negative decisions as any decision that is not in alignment with our highest and best self or our soul’s agenda. This gets tricky because there are degrees of negativity. For example, when we make a decision that feels really good we are in alignment with our highest and best self. When we feel semi good about our decision, we get semi good results and when we decide to do something because someone else feels it is best for us, or we do it strictly for the money, then we can quickly or eventually get disastrous results. I can attest to this as I have experienced all of the above. The problem is that life can march us down a very long road before we wake up to realizing that making choices that align with our best and highest self, the ones that feel good, will truly bring the joy, peace and happiness that we all want.
Abraham Lincoln’s life is an example of someone who arose above his circumstances. Lincoln was born into a poor family that lived in a one-room log cabin and he ended up in the Whitehouse. You’re just not going do that with a negative attitude or a primarily victim state of consciousness. I would doubt that Abe was walking around complaining about how poor he was, but instead was focused on setting positive intentions for himself that would propel him forward to achieve his goals.
People who are setting positive intentions are generally happier, which can only be achieved in an empowered state of consciousness. Those steeped in victim consciousness are never happy campers. Think about it – how happy is someone who is complaining or reviewing over and over again what terrible thing has happened to them in the past? To rise above this victim consciousness, thoughts and feelings should not be suppressed but acknowledged, felt and then released.
Our replayed thoughts deeply encode our neural pathways, thereby producing ongoing similar results in our lives, therefore negatively encoded pathways create ongoing negative results. To come out of victim consciousness there has to be some effort and discipline to rewire our neural pathways. Releasing our thoughts before they become imbedded is the key while allowing the old negative neural pathways to atrophy.
Being thankful for whatever malady comes your way keeps you out of victim consciousness. I will give you an example of such thinking and it does not come from a yogi, guru or high priest, but from comedian Chris Rock. Rock grew up in the ghetto and was bullied. While he is 100% against bullying, he states profusely, “I thank the pack of boys who regularly kicked my ass and spit in my face because those experiences fueled my determination to succeed.”
If Rock had developed a victim mentality around being bullied, he could not have become the successful and happy guy that he is. Unfortunately, it took me 20 years to get what Chris Rock understood and when I did, I had immediate, positive results. I know it’s a tall order, but entirely possible – stepping out of victim consciousness.
For those everyday “poor little ole’ me” thoughts I suggest using a replacement thought, which is simply catching yourself having the victim thought and replacing it with a positive, or better yet, a loving thought. If you want to research the value of loving and appreciative thoughts then check out HeartMath (www.heartmath.org).
Remember, I am not saying that you can’t be successful having victim thoughts, but I am saying you will not be as successful as you could be. And depending on the degree to which you are steeped in victim consciousness, your happiness quotient is also affected.
For those of you reading this who are not CEO’s and you work for someone who is in victim consciousness then if you can wait around he/she will probably go away because being a leader and being a victim just do not go together. A tougher case is the boss who is partially set in victimhood, because while they are limiting their own success, you could also be limiting yours by remaining in that situation.