Ep. 278: How to Conquer the Victim Within and Embrace Success

Practice These Daily Habits for Success

If Having a Victim Mentality Is a Learned Behavior, Then so Is Being a Success

Who should listen: If you find yourself blaming circumstances or others’ behaviors for your situation, then you owe it to yourself to listen to this episode and find the inspiration and know-how to stop making yourself out to be the victim.

Key idea: Your situation may negatively impact you, but so what?

Action item: Use any or all of the suggestions from this episode and stop being the victim and take charge of your success.

In this Silver Dollar episode, we present a few actions you can take if you feel like the world is out to get you, but there are many more we’ve found that we’d like to share with you here. But before doing that, it’s important to make clear that having a victim mentality is not the same as having depression or another medical illness.

Although the former may contribute to the latter, a victim mentality is a learned behavior while depression is a medical illness. Someone with a victim mentality can overcome their symptoms with structured changes in their behavior and their thinking (hence the suggestions). However, someone with depression often needs therapy and medication to combat their symptoms.

Within this context, here are some additional daily habits for success that can help you break the cycle of feeling like a victim and start to feel in control of your achievements.

Start your day the right way

Caroline Castrillon is a frequent contributor to Forbes who writes about careers, entrepreneurship, and women’s advancement. She’s collected 5 Morning Habits of Highly Successful People to share with her readers:

  • Don’t use an alarm clock. Jeff Bezos, Oprah Winfrey, and Arianna Huffington have all ditched this rude start to their mornings. Instead, they’ve trained their bodies to wake up naturally.
  • Drink water, not coffee, in the morning. You may initially miss the boost of caffeine, but, after eight hours of sleep, what your body really needs is hydration. Cameron Diaz follows this ritual.
  • Exercise in the morning. Gwyneth Paltrow, Bill Gates, and CorePower Yoga CEO Niki Leondakis are only a few of the many successful people who make moving in the morning their routine.
  • Create your day’s to-do list the night before. This habit means you can eliminate the time it takes to ramp up in the morning, and, instead, start your day knowing exactly what you need to do. Chairman and managing director of General Catalyst Kenneth Chenault and Shark Tank entrepreneur Barbara Corcoran use this tactic to make their mornings more efficient.
  • Practice self-awareness. Steve Jobs would ask himself one question every morning: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?”

Follow these leaders

Christina DesMarais has written extensively about the habits of successful people and organizations. Having chronicled the 23 Daily Habits Practiced by Highly Successful People for Inc.com, she notes that rituals help to ensure productivity and that discipline is likely to be the one trait most often associated with high achievement.

Among the habits she describes are:

  • Check your email only a few times a day. You’ll encounter opposing opinions, from equally reasonable people, about how often to respond to emails. Entrepreneur Steve Newman isn’t a fan of interrupting his day to check his communications. His advice? “Don’t get in the habit of constantly interrupting your work flow [sic] to check communications. Set the expectation that you’ll respond once or twice per day, and stick to that. Being responsive means destroying your attention span and letting happenstance drive your priorities.”
  • Learn and read. Tara Chklovski, CEO of Technovation, enjoys the challenge of learning something new, including learning information and skills that may only be tangentially related to her industry. We would suggest you read—a lot. And while there is no reason to restrict yourself to genre, topic, or author, you should focus on quality writing and worthwhile subjects.
  • Get sufficient sleep. Sleep is critical to good health, and it’s hard to be at your peak if you’re always tired. And it’s just not about the quantity of sleep—it’s also about the quality. Early in the evening, Helpshift founder and CSO Abinash Tripathy starts to prepare for a good night’s rest by winding down. He recommends turning off all electronics and listening to calming music or reading a book.

Speaking of sleep, this next list of daily habits for success especially appealed to our show notes writer, Gabrielle. She claims that among her favorite things to do are “sleep, snooze, nap, and rest my eyes.” She hates waking up early, so this list is for all our podcast listeners (and Gabrielle) who think early risers just like to brag.

Sleep in (if that’s what works for you)

Carol Roth is a business owner and entrepreneur who wears many hats, and she prefers to sleep in. In her article, “Sleep In and Make Millions: Why You Don’t Need to Wake Up at 5 A.M.,” she talks to several wealthy businesspeople who prefer to start their day long after the sun has risen. Here’s what they, and she, have to say:

  • Make a schedule to keep on track. Carol attributes her own millionaire success to scheduling. She’ll sleep in until 8:00 or 9:00 a.m., but she writes that her schedule is “pristine.” “I use my calendar to schedule everything and set alarms for moving from one task to the next, always prioritizing important tasks that move my business forward and revenue-producing activities over busywork.”
  • Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not. Bryan Clayton, another entrepreneur, tried for six months to rise with the rooster, but it wasn’t working for him. Getting the sleep he needed, rather than waking up at an arbitrary early hour, allowed him to be more productive. He decided that “It’s better to accept the fact that you need a good night’s sleep to be the best at what you do than forcing yourself to be something that you’re not.”

Ross Andrew Paquette of Canada’s Maropost is worth nine figures. He starts his day between 9:00 and 9:30 a.m. In solidarity with all night owls, he says, “I go to bed when my ideas are exhausted, not when I am. The early morning is overdone. If your best ideas come at night, work at night. Take sleepless nights as a sign you have something worth working on, then take those sleepless nights to work on it.”

  • Create solid systems. Michele Scism Mere is the founder of Decisive Minds and another millionaire who believes earlier is not necessarily better. She relies on strong systems to do their work, saying “With systems and a great team you can sleep in and know things are being taken care of.”

If you have a habit or routine that has helped you to succeed, don’t be stingy—share it with our listeners. Write a review and post your tip on Apple Podcasts.


Connect | Resources

Ep. 215: Activate Your Prey Drive with Michael Burt

Blog from Addicted2Success: “Are You A Victor or Victim? 12 Signs You Have The Victim Mentality.”

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