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August 3, 2011

Usually I don’t like reading these kind of articles because they tend to come across as condescending, and most people who purport to be psychoanalysts are really just assholes projecting (see now I’m projecting, that loop could go round and round for a while). Freud, one of the great freaks of the 20th Century, comes to mind. But this one I found well written.

Five lies self-made victims tell themselves

It’s a harsh title and at the risk of sounding harsher still, I should say that
self-made victims go well beyond telling themselves the following lies. They
tell themselves with the passion of a preacher. They feel them with such
conviction that we may be more accurate by suggesting that these are lies that
people live, not merely tell. And before I appear arrogant beyond
belief, I confess that I have done my share of living these lies, as most people
have. The challenge, as with most of the deeper issues, is to recognize
them.In fact, it is more important than ever that we take responsibility and
stop making victims of ourselves. The world is changing at an ever-increasing
rate. If you, as a health
conscious, environmentally aware person who is thoughtful of your life and your personal impact on
the world, do not stand up, stand out and move beyond all forms of
self-victimization and powerlessness, then we are in a world of trouble. The
earth needs more enlightened people living on it if it is
to survive. Self-victimization is antithetical enlightenment.Here are
the lies. I’ll talk about what they share in common at the end.1.
It’s not my fault.
We all know this one. Feeling that if we admit our area
of responsibility our entire house of cards will fall down, we remain defensive
and don’t give an inch of truth. Someone else is to blame, period! If I lost my
job, it’s because my boss is a jerk and my coworkers impossible. The fact that I
was a bit lazy from time to time, well, so is everyone! That’s just human
nature. Even the part that is my fault isn’t my fault, really.2. It’s
all my fault.
This one is tricky. We all know people (perhaps intimately)
who play the personal
responsibility card to the extreme. “Oh it’s all my fault. I’m such a loser”
is the common stance. Some people use this tactic sarcastically in arguments,
while others trudge through life with the “loser” mentality engraved on their
forehead. Let’s take a closer look at it.

If you speak at length with a
self-proclaimed loser (someone with deep issues related to personal worth) and
if you are sincere and sensitive, before long you can get to the source of their
ill-feelings about themselves. I can tell you that in the vast majority of cases
these folks are blaming their parents or early caregivers for not providing love
and attention. They are not lying about the facts. They are merely hanging onto
them to their own detriment. So, blaming myself – insisting that I am a loser
that screws everything up, is a distorted way of blaming my parents for not
loving me. Self-blame to the extreme is nearly always other blame in

I’m not suggesting that unloving parents are OK or that
childhood pain is to be scorned. This is far from the case. When we look at our
childhood, however, perhaps we can look at it with the goal in mind of improving
(taking more personal responsibility) today.

3. I can’t do it.
There are indeed many things that you truly cannot do. Most of these genuine
limitations aren’t worth discussing. If you are 40 years old, pudgy and a
college dropout who wants to become an astronaut, then I’d throw in with you if
you admitted that you couldn’t. However, with regard to the relevant issues in
your life: work, money, relationships, health, community, etc…just substitute
the word “can’t” with “won’t” and you are much closer to the truth.

I did it myself.
When self-made victims accomplish something worthwhile,
they often claim, “I did it!” without recognizing perhaps multitudes of others
who contributed directly or indirectly. Here’s why. Self-made victims see the
world as “out there” or as “me vs. them.” In this light, the world and the mean
people in it are always ready to impose and ruin things. When it does, the world
is somehow to blame. When self-victimizers do succeed at something, they have
succeeded (in their mind) in spite of the world and other people and this is
indeed a personal triumph to be celebrated. People who have contributed to the
effort are rarely included in the celebration because if they were, that might
preclude blaming them for problems in the future. Of course, this paradigm is a
perfect set up self-victimization.

5. “They.” This one bugs me the
most (Translation: I victimize myself when I hear this). “They” this and “they”
that. Who is the ever present “they” that are messing with people? Whoever they
are, self-made victims find great comfort and convenience in laying the blame on

What do these five lies have in common? Fundamentally, they
all function to reduce perceived anxiety. Until we have grown and developed to
the point where we take an extraordinarily high level of genuine personal
responsibility for ourselves (which represents the ultimate in personal freedom)
we have varying degrees of anxiety about it. One student in our online NLP course put it this way:
Most people act as if confessing their role in a problem is akin to
accepting blame for the whole thing.
This is far from true, but certainly
feels true in the moment.

Learn more:

Molyneux – Free Yourself From Self Abuse

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