NLP technique to stop being a victim

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One topic that fascinates me as an NLP and personal development trainer is how to turn a victim into a survivor.

One of my favorite books is written by Dr. Viktor Frankl. In his book, “Man’s Search for Meaning,” Viktor Frankl discusses his experiences as a concentration camp inmate during World War II. He talks about how he and other inmates were able to find meaning in their lives even in the most horrific of circumstances.

Frankl’s book is an important reminder that no matter what life throws our way, we always have the power to choose how we respond. Even when faced with the most terrible situations, we can find a way to maintain our sense of dignity and integrity if we are willing to look for it.

The “victim” thinking is easy to notice, there is a sense of:

  • There is no end to being a victim.
  • Often they assign blame to themselves or others.
  • There is a sense of having no control, neither at the time or in the present moment when the victimization is over.
  • Solution-based thinking is rejected, and problem-based thinking is embraced.
  • It affects all areas of someone’s life.

Survivor thinking is also easy to notice:

  • They talk about the event that victimized them in the past tense and are not prone to bringing this up.
  • They look at learnings, the good that came out of the situation, and give it meaning.
  • They do not push back when you offer this person a personal growth tool.
  • They look for solutions and places where they can establish control.
  • They take personal responsibility for their healing and evolution forward.

It is interesting how few coaches ever reference the topic.

There are a few reasons why:

  • Very few coaches are trained well enough know how to turn a victim into a survivor, as most coaching training programs lack a methodology to do so.
  • The coach hasn’t deepened their knowledge about topics such as resilience, post-traumatic growth, or grit.
  • They do not know how to navigate the secondary gain a person has by holding on to being a victim.

In this article, I’m offering a few tools that may help you out as a coach, or if you are a person who struggles to step into the role of survivor:

1 The future you

If you were to step into yourself a year from now, how specifically will you have navigated from being a victim into a survivor? To have experienced growth from the place where you are now. What would this you, see, hear or feel?

2 Dissociate

Imagine seeing a movie of yourself after the moment that victimized you, what did this teach you? Change you for the positive? What are the strengths you developed? Are you able to do something now, that you weren’t before?

3 Continue to play the movie

Keep playing this movie into the future. See yourself turning that event into personal growth.

4 Rewind the movie

Rewind the movie back to where we started in tool number 2. Imagine someone you admire for their ability to be a survivor and replace yourself in the movie with this person. What is this person doing, believing, and thinking? Rewind the movie, and then see yourself doing the same. The moment that your movie is in the present time, step into yourself inside the movie. And see what you would see, hear what you would hear, and feel what you would feel.

5 Discovery of the positive intent

If you were to close your eyes and asked your intuition, rather than your logical thoughts this question:

“What positive intent motivates me to hold on to being a victim?”

You need to find ways to honor this positive intent in some other way than being a victim.

6 Giving your hardship meaning

How specifically can you give this horrible event meaning? Reflect.

Viktor Frankl, in addition to being an author, is best known for his logotherapy and existential analysis. Logotherapy is a form of psychotherapy that emphasizes the meaning of life as well as one’s search for meaning. Existential analysis is the examination of the fundamental issues of human existence, such as death, freedom, and responsibility. Frankl’s logotherapy is a method that helps people find meaning in their lives.
You may notice that the teachings of Dr. Frankl are sprinkled inside the above 6 NLP tools in many ways. This is why I am one of the few NLP trainers out there who teaches her students how to design their own NLP patterns. It allows them to read a book, or take another methodology and piece of learning and combine it with NLP.

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