People with a victim mentality should never be entrepreneurs. We all know the role of starting and running a business is unpredictable and has a high risk of failure. For people with a victim mentality, this fear of failure alone will almost certainly make it a self-fulfilling prophecy.
I’m sure you all know someone who is the perennial victim. The problem is that most people aren’t likely to accept your assessment, so it’s hard to help them. They don’t see themselves as others see them, and many refuse to accept the realities of the world.
According to an article by Karl Perera, Victim Mentality – You Don’t Have to Suffer!, there are many indications of a victim mentality in a person’s thought process. Here are some key ones he mentioned, applied to the entrepreneurial environment:
- “When things don’t work, I secretly believe I’m the cause.” Victims act as though each business setback is a catastrophe, creating stress for themselves. These people feel more importance and ego when relating problems rather than successes. A survivor believes terrible things are an anomaly to be brushed off or another challenge to overcome. They look forward to the challenges and get the most satisfaction from declaring victory.
- “When I talk to myself, I never have a positive discussion.” Second-guessing every decision affects mood, behavior, and happiness and will likely cause or intensify a victim mentality. If you are negative, you cannot see reality, leading to more bad decisions, confirming you are a victim. Survivors continually relive their positives and see themselves as miracle workers. They live in the present or the future and rarely dwell on the mistakes of the past. They have faith in themselves and life as a whole.
- “When others put me down, I‘m wounded to the soul.” Negative comments from others are devastating to a victim. Offensive behavior towards you says more about the other person. But, if you have a defeatist mentality, you will just take what they say or do at face value and believe you deserve to be the victim. The survivor always stands up and fights negative comments and usually turns the blame back on the deliverer. He is quick to counter with all his positives. He builds boundaries around harmful or toxic people and avoids them at all costs.
- “I believe in fate, even though it’s unfair.” If you succumb to fate, you think you are responsible for all the bad things in your business. The victim feels that they have been mistreated but is trapped. There seems to be no way out. Survivors believe they can make things happen rather than let things happen to them. They accept random turns in their life as new opportunities rather than unfair punishment.
- “God punishes for a reason.” Religious beliefs can have a positive or negative effect on your life. If you believe in a deity who is responsible for everything, it’s easy to think that your pain and misery are punishment for something you did wrong. Survivors take it the other way. They enjoy a personal relationship with the deity of their understanding and feel gratitude for everything positive in their life. They may ask their deity for help but rely on themselves for results.
This victim mentality is not a good thing under any circumstances, but it’s particularly lethal when applied to an entrepreneur. If you want to be an entrepreneur, remember you don’t have to be a victim. Take a hard look in the mirror. Indeed the only one who makes you feel like one is the same person who can make you a survivor – you!