Victim vs. Participant:

Victim is the viewpoint that something is being done to me. Participant is the viewpoint that I am the cause for my experience. My experience is the result of choices I have made.

The key element that distinguishes these two viewpoints is choice. The victim does not see that they have choices. This is revealed in the use of some common victim statements like "I can't" or "I have to."

Using each of the above statements, read the list below of how we sometimes look at life from the perspective of a victim:

I can't find time to come in for chiropractic care because …
I can't afford to spend money on organic food because …
I have to do something about my health because …
I have to work out because …


Now simply change these statements to "I choose to":

At first you might resist this exercise, but do it anyway. Do you notice that re-wording your statements to I choose to feels different? That's because victim statements are draining. They consume energy and bring with them resentment, powerlessness, and frustration. When you make choices, however, you create options and feel empowered.

When we are honest with ourselves and admit that we have both the right and the ability to make choices that serve us, our experience changes. We begin to see how we can live from a participant...rather than a victim point-of-view. 


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