top of page

I was the victim

It was always someone else’s fault.

In my reflections of how life has led me to where I am today, one of the deepest revelations has also proven to be something I’ve previously never had the courage to face. It’s funny how we take meandering paths in life, experience so much but yet know so little until we sit back, watch the world go by and reflect on how small we are in the larger scheme of things.

As I sat and reflected after a particularly long session of training, I chanced upon the beginnings of my journey through photos and a much older post from a previous attempt to articulate my thoughts. With each word, line and paragraph, I realised how fast toxicity sneaks up on you and has this insane ability to change the very core of who we are. I attribute this to many things, negativity, pessimism, self-doubt etc but it all comes down to one fundamental issue…. the victim mentality.

All of this pre-dates my triathlon journey and has roots since I was a child athlete aspiring to turn professional in the sport of tennis. I was never a talented player by any means and my rise through the junior ranks was fuelled by a tremendous amount of hard work. Hours and hours spent on court hitting balls and refining my technique resulted in some tangible results but something was always missing. In my reflections, I realised that I never did resolve the issue that plagued me and always wanted to blame something else or worse still, someone else.

When I decided against everyone’s wishes to stop pursuing a competitive career and become more social instead of pushing myself further, I remember how I blamed the sport for being so unforgiving and why it could not be easier for younger players such as myself for making headway. I remember blaming my coach for not being good enough to break me through the ranks and I definitely remember blaming my sponsors for not giving me the necessary assistance. I was the victim and the only one I ever fooled for so many years was myself.

The funny thing about the victim mentality is that it truly eats into our heads and I can now safely attribute my weight gain and health issues till 2013 to no one else’s wrong doing but my own. Sounds intuitive right? I mean, how in the world could I possibly blame someone else for the state I had brought myself to? In my reflections, I realise that simply holding ourselves accountable is sometimes the hardest thing to do and this explains why the victim mentality still exists. So many of us still choose to blame someone else or something else of bad performances or for something not quite going our way. Let’s not look too far but instead at the relationship we have with our own parents and children. How many times have we been guilty of blaming our parents for something that was actually our fault? How many times have we held ourselves accountable?

In my meditations, I now ask myself these four questions:

1) How else can I hold myself accountable for what is happening in my life?

2) What would it take for me to get to where I want to be?

3) Am I willing to bleed for what I believe in?

4) How do I help the next person?

While I’m sure these four questions are not the only ones that shape our thoughts and actions, I have found the first one particularly useful in ensuring that the victim mentality does not strike again. Let’s be clear about one thing which is that we cannot eradicate the victim mentality but we can certainly take proactive steps to reduce its occurrence and its effect on us when it does happen. This is why we are human and that in itself is the true beauty of it all. We strive for success and most times we stumble and fall, we sweat, bleed, cry but at the end of it all, we must be able to smile through all of that and hold ourselves accountable for everything that has happened. We must be able to power through all of it because we truly believed in something so much that nothing will derail us from our dreams. We must stay positive in times of impending negativity and keep the faith when the cards are against us.

There are two facts that I ponder about all the time. First is that we are limited and second is that maybe we are unlimited beyond our current potential. The first one is locked by what we face in our daily lives, the pressures of society, the limitations others and ourselves put in our minds. The latter of unlimited potential is liberation. Liberation of negative chatter that only serves to distract us. Liberation of that voice in your head asking you to slow down when the going gets tough and liberation of fear when the competition gets too tough and the cards are against you. We won’t win all the time that’s for sure but we definitely can go out all guns blazing knowing that this very effort, this time, its all that we’ve got. And when we fall and stumble? Pick ourselves up again, hold ourselves accountable for the next opportunity to do better rather than seek to hold a grievance against everything else that was not within our control.

The next time you fall, bleed and find it hard to get up, remember that we owe it to ourselves to climb back up and keep moving forward. Hold ourselves accountable for where we want to get to and keep the faith in everything we do. Choose to be positive, optimistic and hold faith close to your heart because life has its strange ways of testing us every step of the way.



bottom of page