Are You Struggling With Your Identity?
Everyone feels lost at times. If you’re finding it difficult to clarify your values, direction, or purpose in life, you’re not alone. The reason I started making music was to transcend my suffering and discover who I really was.
My artist persona, Floowood, was initially conceived out of heartbreak. You can hear the pain in my voice in the song “Ghost,” the lead single on the album Inferno: Descent. The song is about longing to feel recognized and ends with the words, “I’m just a victim.”
When I wrote those words, I meant them. I told myself a story that I had been wrongfully treated and found a sense of power and relief by identifying as a victim. Doing so meant I didn’t have to take responsibility for my failures and could avoid uncomfortable emotions. It gave me the right to complain and feel righteously sad and persecuted. In reality, I was just manipulating myself and others, although I wasn’t conscious of it at the time.
Identifying With Suffering Prevents Healing
Some believe our struggles define us. We find a sense of identity in the adversity and pain we overcome. After every hardship, we have a choice to see ourselves as survivors or victims.
These are not physiological wounds to heal because they are self-inflicted wounds. We carry wounds as badges of life’s experience, so we don’t let go.
Sometimes, suffering becomes so engrained in our identity that any attempt to heal our pain becomes a threat to our identity. In this instance, the victimhood identity can become a hindrance to spiritual growth and our ability to heal because we cannot let go of our past.
How to Overcome Victimhood Identity
1. Speak For Yourself
Instead of making statements like “you made me feel so angry,” express yourself through a direct “I” statement such as “I felt angry when you said that.” Take ownership of your behavior to improve your overall happiness.
Consider saying affirmations such as “I am responsible for my life” or “I am empowered to create change” to help you build confidence and reprogram the unconscious need to play the victim.
2. Change Your Story
Are you a victim or are you a survivor? Victims get stuck in the past. Survivors move forward. Victims tell themselves they are helpless. Survivors fight to take control.
Although the victim mentality is addictive, the survivor mentality is much more empowering. When you see yourself as a survivor, you begin to feel more appreciative, confident, and optimistic about life.
3. Don’t Suffer Twice
Don’t blame yourself for being a victim. That doesn’t do any good. This identity isn’t something you choose. You inherited your code of beliefs through childhood conditioning. Give yourself grace and practice self love. Replace self-judgment with self-compassion.
4. Integrate Your Shadow
Explore the wounds and core beliefs that limit you. Much of these limiting beliefs dwell in the shadow side of our psyche, and can only be explored through deep shadow work. The mistaken beliefs we unknowingly adopt about ourselves and others create anxiety, depression, anger, and blame. Instead of pointing fingers, don’t be afraid to ruthlessly interrogate yourself and understand your own toxic behavior so it doesn’t take you by surprise.
5. Give Thanks
Gratitude is the simplest, most powerful antidote to depression. Vocalizing what you’re thankful for reminds you that life isn’t all misery. Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of life, identify ten things that you’re thankful for each day. Try saying grace before you enjoy a meal. The more you focus on your blessings, you will feel less empty and more whole.
7. Express Yourself
If you’re struggling with identity and a victim mentality, consider seeing a therapist. You can also express yourself by journaling or through creative pursuits such as poetry, music, and dance. One of the best ways to process pain is to turn it into art and release it.
8. Show Love
The more we identify as a victim, the more we tend to isolate and focus only on ourselves. Doing something nice for someone you love is a great way to get out of your own head. Be generous with your service. The more helpful you are, the less helpless you feel.
Reclaim Your Sovereignty
We are not defined by our traumas. We are defined by our ability to overcome them.
Sovereignty is the opposite of victimhood. It is quality of being independent and responsible for one’s life conditions in such a way that we take charge and are prepared to meet life’s challenges. To be sovereign means to be free from fear, self-pity, and limiting beliefs. It means controlling our healing process.