My grandfather believed that if something bad happened to you or your family that you simply carry on. It happened. It is a fact. Furthermore, he never thought for a moment that you should stop and wallow in what happened. You do need to process what has happened as moving on without working through the issue can be harmful. However, you can’t let the bad things in life define you if you want to be a survivor.
Being A Victim
The negative situation could be a circumstance, an event, etc. You may have been born very poor, you may have been attacked, been adopted, or may have been verbally abused. In the moment, it is reasonable to consider yourself a victim of the situation. However, you don’t have to remain a victim.
It is all about where you focus your energy. If you focus your energy on being a victim, you have no chance to move forward. You are guaranteed to remain a victim.
Anything Is Possible
On the other hand, you can make the choice to focus your energy on surviving and moving forward. In some circumstances, a positive focus can be extremely challenging. However, a positive focus is always an option.
Part of a positive focus is simply starting from the perspective of what you can do instead of what you cannot do. Be willing to take steps forward. Then, surround yourself, as much as possible, with strong people that support you.
Dr. Ben Carson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development and retired neurosurgeon, is an excellent role model for survivors. After his mother found out her husband was a bigamist, she raised him and his brother alone. They were poor and she only had a third grade education to rely on.
Despite those limitations, she knew education was important and she believed in her sons. She insisted Ben spend time reading and learning. He found over time that he enjoyed learning. His focus on education paid off. Ben showed that if you focus your energy on surviving and moving forward, anything is possible.
So, if someone tells you fractions are hard, you have a choice. You can unconsciously comply with their statement or you can show you are a survivor by conquering them.
Likewise, if you are told you can’t do something because you are a girl. Realize that being a girl is simply a fact. Some limitations do exist based on societal norms or physical limitations. However, for the most part, your gender does limit your possibilities.
Don’t fall victim to other people’s “rules.” If you want to do something, stand up and say, “I can do it.”
The same is true when faced with a medical issue. If you find out that you have a disease, you can become a victim and assume that you have no chance to overcome it. On the other hand, you can fight it with your heart and soul.
Similarly, some people just know that they are going to get the common cold, the flu, or COVID-19. They are “victims” before they are ever exposed. This belief actually makes these people more susceptible the virus. On the other hand, if you are strong and take a survivor mindset, you stay safer from the virus.
Although anyone can be victimized, having a mindset of a victim can make a person more vulnerable to negative events. Similarly, those events can control the person’s life if they continue to have that mindset.
However, if the person has the mindset of a survivor, they will have a much greater chance of moving past the event – no matter how awful the event was. This doesn’t mean that there is no pain. It simply means that the pain does not control the person’s life. It is with survivor attitude that nearly everything can be conquered.
Be A Survivor
The theme song to the show Reba says, “My roots are planted in the past.” This is true for each person. You can’t escape facts and it is no use trying. You can’t change who you are or what you have experienced.
However, the song goes on to say, “Who I am is who I want to be.” Again, this is true for each person. You have choices and you can decide what defines you.
In the end, if, like Reba, you have “the heart of a fighter,” you will be able to say, “I’m a survivor!”