Monday, 26 October 2015

Positive Thinking Series - Are you a victim or a survivor?

Over the past six weeks, I’ve shared my Positive Thinking Series.  Last week we talked about how failure was a good thing, you can read that post HERE. 

In the final post of this series, I want to discuss ways of moving forward and not letting your past hold you back.

We’ve all experienced a setback or two in our lives.  Sometimes they are small inconveniences, and other times they are life altering situations.  How you react to these events frames the way your future self copes with other circumstances.

Have you ever listened to someone as they grumble about a physical ailment, knowing that you, or a friend, suffer from the same problem?  We all learn to cope with our setbacks in different ways. However, some people are unable to do this and live a ‘victims’ life instead.  Which would you rather be, a victim or a survivor?

As we discussed in last week’s post, it is perfectly okay to sit back and have a sulk about whatever we are struggling with.  But, it is equally as important to move on from this point with determination. Survivor mentality,

Dwelling on your past, be it thoughts, emotions or issues, is a waste of time and drains our energy.  One of the tools I use to combat this is my vision board.  A vision board is a way to visualise your ideal future.  You can read one of my posts on the subject HERE.  Successful entrepreneurs and athletes use the art of visualisation to ‘see’ what they want to achieve.

If you don’t have time to create a board for yourself, then try daydreaming.  Yes, that thing we used to do as children, but our teachers or parents would tell us off and make us concentrate.  Daydreaming is essential to our wellbeing, and it is the ideal way to visualise your ideal future.  Drift off in your mind and picture yourself in the job role you desire, at the weight you want to reach, or living the lifestyle you crave.

Always look forward, never back.  Our past has been and gone, we’ve learnt from it, cried over it, and maybe miss parts of it, but now we need to concentrate our energies on the future. 

In August 2004 I walked out of a violent marriage; I didn't look back.  In April this year I had to close my holistic health business because of a health issue; I'm still working on looking forward.

My body reacted severely to an insect bite, leaving me with pains in my legs, arms and groin.  I am overwhelmingly lethargic and an emotional wreck.  Following MRI scans, numerous blood tests and a horrific lumbar puncture procedure, I am no closer to finding the solution.  I did slip into victim mode for a time.

Then I had an interesting conversation with my doctor; she told me that I may never know the why or how of what has happened, but to readjust my life to fit the symptoms.  I remembered how strong I felt when I left my marriage.  Somewhere deep inside me I knew that my life would be better if I left and so I switched from victim mode and began to think about my future as a survivor.  My health issue is no different. 

I may never return to working in the holistic field again, but I have been able to look beyond the past and visualise my future.

I write books and I am a blogger, two things that can be done at my pace to fit my new lifestyle.  I visualised myself writing full time and making a living doing what I love.  If I hold this image in my mind (daydreams) then I will keep on creating the brightest future.

Start today; what do you daydream about that you could begin to build into your future?  Embed your good intentions in your mind and you won’t fail.

I hope you have enjoyed reading the Positive Thinking Series, and you were able to take away something useful.

If you would like to read the other posts, then I’ve added the links to each one below.

Week 1 – You are not alone.

Week 2 – Believe in yourself.


  1. How wise your doctor sounds. I agree: stuff happens; this is where I am; now it's time to move on.

    1. Moving on is a wise move, Julia. Unfortunately it wasn't my doctor who suggested it, in fact, she was surprised that I arrived at this conclusion so quickly. She told me that some of her patients are still looking for answers ten years on and to be able to accept my un-diagnosis was a brave step. I chose the survivor route :-)

  2. You are a total inspiration Shelley. May you find all the fulfillment you need in your writing and blogging. And I wish with all my heart a way will be found so you can return to full health. xxx