You Are Not a Victim

We’ve all had bad things happen to us. It’s part of the human experience.

  • Maybe you’ve experienced the death of a loved one.
  • Maybe you’ve suffered a violent attack or accident.
  • Maybe you’ve been accused of something you did not do.
  • Maybe you’ve had your heart broken too many times to count.
  • Maybe you were humiliated at work and subsequently fired.

It’s a wonder we even get out of bed in the mornings!

With all the hurt, anger, helplessness, hopelessness, and despair we face in our lives, it’s easy to feel sorry for ourselves.

I hate to break it to you, but I’m serving up a big ol’ bowl of tough love today.

Here’s the truth: you are not a victim.

Did you get that? How ‘bout one more time?

You are not a victim.

It doesn’t matter what’s happened to you. You could be sitting on the witness stand right now pointing to the person who hurt you, and I’d still say the same thing—you are not a victim!

The problem with people who have been hurt (and that’s everyone on the planet) is that we think we’re special. We think our hurt is bigger than everyone else’s hurt.

They didn’t go through what I’ve been through! They have no idea how it feels!

And you’re right, of course. No one knows exactly how you’re feeling…the exact level of betrayal, anger, or misery.

But we all ARE hurting, just in our own way.

It’s easier to go through life holding on to our hurt like a security blanket. We wrap ourselves with the label “VICTIM” and go to great lengths to make sure everyone else knows it.

But you’re not a victim.

Victims are weak.

Victims have given up.

Victims relive the hurt over and over again like a broken record.

Victims let the hurt define them for the rest of their lives.

That’s no way to live—fuck, that’s not even living!

You’ve got to erase the term victim from your vocabulary. It’s time to choose a new label; something empowering and strong!

Think about it. What’s a better label? Keep saying it until it sounds true.

You are a survivor! You are a thriver!

You are a fighter, and you need to fight for the person you were before you labeled yourself as a victim.

Who was she? What did she believe in? Was she hopeful? Was there a light inside her?

Hell yes!

And I bet she’d be disappointed in how you’re behaving now. Who do you think you are?

Only you can decide that, but one thing is certain:

You are not a victim. So stop acting like one.

When have you fallen into the trap of calling yourself a victim? How did you drop the label and start building yourself up again? Let me know in the comments!

3 Simple Steps to Become a Productivity Superstar

Dump your excuses, transform your habits, and become the most productive person you know.


  1. Glutenfreehappytummy on August 14, 2012 at 7:52 pm

    i like that — a thriver, not a victim! Thanks for the beautiful perspective!

  2. xvavaveganx on August 14, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    OMG Sage this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time! Today has been an absolutely nightmare because of something that I found out. I started off really upset about it but then I sprang into action to correct the MASSIVE mistake made by the other person (company) which has left me in a very bad position. I have to wait a few days to see where it stands but I’m proud that I did what I had to do in order to make sure THEIR mistake doesn’t completely screw me over.

    I think that it is pretty much an instinct for me to panic and get very upset when I feel I’ve been wronged. I eventually come around but you are right, I’m doing myself an injustice by causing stress and anxiety. It is so much more effective and healthy to fight through and carry on!

  3. Cara on August 14, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    Such a strong post today, Sage! I love the line, “That’s no way to live—fuck, that’s not even living!” I definitely felt the victim at work recently but rather than complain about I’m just digging deeper and trying harder to be efficient and effective since that’s what we need right now!

    • Sage Grayson on August 14, 2012 at 8:10 pm

      Thanks, Cara! I’m getting better about using “selective swearing” in my posts. I don’t drop many of f-bombs in real life, but I think them a lot. 🙂

      Sorry you’re having work problems. I used to have a terrible job years ago and the people there always made me feel bad about myself. Then I realized it was ME who was making me feel bad. I’m glad you’re making a conscious effort not to complain–it really does help. *hugs*

  4. Tinfoil Tiaras on August 14, 2012 at 9:05 am

    I completely agree- this is the terminology that is empowering! I volunteer for a non-profit called Victim Services which labels our clients as ‘victims’ so many have advocated for a change to survive. Just like you’re a survivor of cancer, you can be a survivor of many negative experiences in your life, doesn’t shape who you are!

    • Sage Grayson on August 14, 2012 at 8:12 pm

      That’s such a good point! Why continue to label ourselves or others as victims? It’s so disempowering and we’re better than that.

  5. Jennifer Delle Fave on August 14, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    These are the exact words my husband taught me through all of his "learning" via self-help cassette tapes back in the day! I would be trapped in the 'oh woe is me' category and he really helped do something about it! It's so easy to sit back and look at all that is wrong and complain about it, but much more meaningful if you change the bad behaviors and work on all that is good. LOVE this post Sage! Keep em coming. All of us need reminders every now and then, because none of us are perfect.

  6. H&K Style Journey on August 14, 2012 at 4:34 am

    When something bad happens to us in our lives it’s the worse thing at the time. Then, you always think that someone has it much worse than you and you realize whatever happened will pass.

    • Sage Grayson on August 14, 2012 at 8:13 pm

      That’s so true, Heather. I sometimes get sad thinking about how abusive and terrible my childhood was, but there are people out there who had much, much worse experiences. Besides, reliving my past pain isn’t helping me in the present.