“No one is coming to rescue you… your inner demons, your lack of confidence, your dissatisfaction with yourself and life. Only self-love and good decisions will rescue you.” - Jennifer Young
Rescue fantasies make up the story line of almost every chick flick. It’s a comforting idea and we all dabble in these dreams. We win the lotto, find the perfect mate who helps us blossom or get a hyperactive thyroid that strips away 15 effortless pounds.
But this nonsense belongs in movie theaters only and cannot take permanent residence in your head. Rescue fantasies rob you of your power and you must take it back. They make you a victim. Being a victim pays off because it let’s you be righteous, gain attention and wait around for magic and change.
Here in the real world, however, you make the magic and waiting is just procrastinating. Self respect and personal agency are the only things that will rescue your life. Unfortunately, this also means you must adult, which means fixing your own problems and working for the things you want.
Here’s 4 ways to get honest with yourself, so you can reclaim and redeem your own life ASAP.
Stop Blaming Yourself and Others - A huge part of not being a victim is about putting an end to blaming. Marcus Aurelius once said, “Reject your sense of injury and the injury itself disappears.” We often think of the victim mindset as the blaming others -- they blame their parents, boss, the economy, politics, etc. But we often become victims when we blame ourselves and give our flaws too much power.
“Here I go again, I always…” Stop. You don’t always. You don’t have to “always.” Get self compassion and then embrace personal agency. Just do it differently one time, whatever it is, and see what comes.
Let Go of Bitterness - Forgive but don’t forget. People wronged you. You were misled. You made poor choices or others made them for you. It can be a terrible world. Forgiveness isn’t a get-out-of-jail-free pass for injustice for the wrongdoers as you may fear. But it does get you out of victim jail. You get to move on when you let go. You’re not tethering those who wronged you to accountability by staying angry. You’re tethering yourself to the wrongdoing of the world.
Become a Survivor and Advocate - Help others to get outside yourself. Write your own redemption story. This is key especially if you feel alone. While you are the only one who can change your life, that doesn’t mean you must exist as some kind of lone warrior and wolf. Go out and help others and accept help. Just remember that no one can take action for you.
Challenge Yourself - Courage is not comfy. Acting through personal agency towards positive change requires skills your parents hopefully taught you. Things like impulse control, a willingness to be uncomfortable, and the gumption to do occasionally boring and unpleasant things. If your parents failed at this, then it’s time to parent yourself. You don’t have to turn to self loathing or blame to motivate. That’s been proven a poor choice. Just work one step at a time toward a more disciplined life and create lasting change.