When I think of victim mentality, I find myself recalling scenarios, be it from different people, which all share a common problem. That is, people feeling oppressed or subjugated to their environment or surroundings as if they don’t have a choice to make their way out.

Here is a question I’ve wrestled with myself recently about a victim mentality: Whether it’s a choice. Many times we face hardships that truly have an impact on our lives – sadly, they can even be irreversible scenarios.

Should a victim be pitied for what they experience, or is it the right approach to encourage ‘taking it off the chin’ and continue forward. It seems to depend on the situation, scenario, environment, circumstance, and the person too.

Yet, it seems the status quo typically prevails. It’s easier, it’s faster, it’s less painful and less authentic. So where does personal choice fit into this?

It’s easy to say ‘take 100% responsibility’. Why don’t we always tend to choose to? Why are we not always inclined to do so?

Start like this. Own it. Take that responsibility. You’re free to live on your terms and make decisions for yourself this way.

Choices are internal, events are external. People can simply alter what is in their direct control, hoping to be consistently putting themselves in the best situations, and avoiding the worst. In essence, choosing to live a life that attracts positive outcomes, dispelling negative ones.

I was inspired by my Uber driver this week. A young Afghan network engineer drove me to my destination, hungry to make some money and hungry to become accredited in his new home. It’s people like this who turn setbacks on their heads and make them into opportunities.

It’s not important to be perfect in every situation. It’s inevitable to feel a struggle. It’s human and natural. The default, however, needs to be ownership and accountability of the situation. Working hard will make anything previously difficult, that much easier.

Build the strength in the direction of making choices over your circumstances. Just be less of your previous victim every day, and you are golden.