Are you victimizing yourself with the question, "Why me?" Is your pity pot overflowing these days? So often we focus on lamenting why "so and so" did "such and such" or why we're in such a quandery, and we forget that the only person we have control over is ourselves.

I'm just as guilty of this as you. I remember spending countless hours going over and over a particularly difficult job search years ago and complaining, day in and day out, about how I just couldn't land the job I wanted. I had all the credentials but I was never first choice. (Hey, sometimes I wasn't even on the list!) Rejected yet again, I would grab some comforting Hagen Daaz, curl up in a wingback and lament, "Why me?"

I felt like a victim, I walked like a victim, I talked like a victim, hey, I even thought about getting "Victim" tatooed on my left calf. (Okay, I'm kidding on the last one but you get the point.) I was addicted to victimhood.

There really should be a 12-step program, VA (Victims Anonymous) or MA (Martyrs Anonymous) for those of us who think drama isn't just for soap operas. We could find, like so many folks involved in 12-step programs, that we are addicted to negativity and drama.

This is an expensive addiction. It costs you friends, it costs you fun, it costs you freedom and happiness.

Wouldn't it be a lot more productive and fulfilling to change the channel of your life? Okay, hold up your hand, would you? Imagine that you've got a remote control in your hand. (Yes, YOU'VE got it, not your irritating channel-changing spouse!) Let's check together. Do you have your channel set to "Woe is me?" Are you addicted to negative thinking and hashing out over and over all the things that THEY did to you or THEY said to you or THEY caused in your life?

I don't know about you but if I had sued "THEY" for all I thought "THEY" did to me in my life, I would surely be a millionaire. I'd be bankrupt in happiness though.

Please note: I am not ignoring the fact that there are victimizers aplenty in our world, people who commit heinous crimes, betray us, cause us pain and misery, and try to quell our creative spirits. But after all is said and done, how often do we let them take up residence in our brains? How long will you let your focus be on what was “done” to you instead of what you can do?

Let's give a couple of examples. If your boss is verbally abusive, you cannot change her behavior nor can you change the [ast infidelity of a straying spouse. Yet you do have the opportunity to ask a different question other than “Why me?”

What if you asked, “Where can I look for a new job?” or “How can I maintain my equanimity and do my job well even when my boss is ranting?” Or you considered, “How can I improve my relationship with my husband?” or “What steps do I need to take to leave this relationship and find someone who values fidelity as much as I do?”

In either case, you are only paralyzed by victim thinking as long as you focus on the “Woe Is Me” channel. And why should you focus on “Victim am I” when you can affirm, “Victor am I”??!!

I always feel inspired when I think about Immaculee Ilibagiza, the young woman who lost most of her family in the 1994 Rwandan genocide and yet has focused her efforts on working for the United Nations and writing her moving autobiography, Left to Tell: Discovering God Amidst the Rwandan Holocaust. She’s had every reason to be bitter, but instead has chosen the path of personal accountability, asking, “What can I do to improve this situation?” “What is in my power here?” “How can I forgive those who killed my family and spread a message of survival and hope?”

Or think of the Dalai Lama whose people have been persecuted by the Chinese for decades and yet he refers to the Chinese with the same love and compassion as he does native Tibetans. One of his basic tenets is that we all want happiness and do not want suffering. Though exiled from his country, the Dalai Lama chooses to affirm the essential sameness and goodness of all people in spite of appearances or what "THEY" did to him and his people.

Listen, you have choices every moment of your life. You can take responsibility for what is in your power and be response-able, able to respond proactively to whatever or whoever threatens to undermine your peace of mind or security. Or you can turn our channel to “Woe is me,” curl up in a corner somewhere, and lament/whine/complain/judge who or what is wreaking havoc in your life.

What choice do you think will get the results YOU want? Which channel do you need to change in YOUR life? And how long will you victimize YOURSELF with "Why me?"

Jettison the "why me woes," and I guarantee you'll find yourself happier, healthier, and wealthier!

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Barnsley Brown is a professional speaker and coach who loves helping busy professionals create balance and prosperity. Want to have 2+ more hours every day for who and what you love? Find out how with Dr. Brown’s fun, info-packed report, “How to Overcome Overwhelm in Seven Easy Steps” at