Business psychology

Is a victim mindset holding back your biz?

- October 23, 2014 3 MIN READ

Businesses that are stuck in ‘victim mode’, regardless of the reason, can struggle to prosper. Learn how to break the cycle, be empowered and transform.

The Midas touch gone wrong

Many years ago I met a man who seemed to have the “Midas Touch”. Any business venture he started, always boomed, and he became very wealthy in the process.

Then, through a series of misfortunes, his business failed and he lost everything.

Sadly, he never got over it. Although he had the ideas, ability and resourcefulness to start again, he turned into a bitter and angry man who blamed the world for his loss.

I’ve played the victim in the past. I know the dangers.

I once had a business partner who took everything I owned, even the kitchen sink – literally. I was left with a pile of debt and a battered and bruised ego. I spent a year feeling really angry with him and feeling sorry for myself.

I was also hell bent on revenge.

Then one morning I woke up and realised how much energy it was taking to hold on to the anger. I was physically suffering from my rage – I had boils all over my body, I wasn’t sleeping, I was short-tempered, and in general, I was not a very nice person to be around.

That morning I knew something had to change. I made the conscious decision to let go of my anger. Instead of being consumed by negative emotions I decided to learn from the situation. As much as I blamed my business partner for doing what he did, I learned a very valuable lesson (which in hindsight has saved me a lot of money).

The change was amazing – within a few days my boils cleared up, I started to sleep like a baby, my energy came back and I started to see opportunities everywhere.

Want more articles like this? Check out the business psychology section.

How to move from victim to victor

A good place to start is by identifying the issues that are clouding your decision making or impacting on your attitude in a negative way.

Then ask yourself two questions: first, what have you got to gain by holding on to this issue, and secondly, what have you got to gain by letting it go?

Example 1: Staff

In a business context, and whilst I know we are soloists, at some stage you will probably have people working for you. If a member of your staff steals from you, it’s easy to decide that you will never trust another employee again. Worse still, you might start to imagine that everyone is trying to steal from you. You will become paranoid and spend all your energy worrying about it. But how can you grow your business if you don’t empower people and trust them to do the right thing?

Example 2: Clients

If you have a bad experience with a client, don’t assume that every client is going to be the same. In fact, when you think about it, most clients are wonderful, and if they aren’t, you’ve got the wrong clients – that is a lesson in its own right.

Example 3: Marketing

If you try a marketing initiative and it doesn’t work, don’t classify all marketing as a useless waste of money and vow never to do anything again. How do you think that will work out for you and your business?

Holding on to past failures and mistakes takes a lot of energy. One of the best lessons I have learned, not only in business, but in life, is to understand the power that comes from letting go. Let go of the past and you can actually start to move forward.

What are your thoughts on the impact of a victim mindset?

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  • Andrew Caska

    Caska IP Patent Attorneys

    'Flying Solo opened up so many doors for us - I honestly don't know where I'd be without it"