Here is a writing exercise that I use in my writing and caregiving classes. It’s a great daily practice and it works well when I feel self-pity coming on, or whenever I want to blame someone else for my feelings. It is called “Don’t Be a Victim” and it goes like this:
First, you complete each sentence below on a piece of paper or in your journal. Fill in each blank with the first thought that comes to mind.
I HAVE TO____________________________
After you have completed those sentences do this:
Go back and cross out the word “Have” in the first sentence and replace it with “Choose”, and then:
Go back and cross out the word “Can’t” in the second sentence and replace it with “Don’t want to. ”
You might be shocked and you might even debate those new sentences, but give it some thought. These really are your choices. For example you might have first written, “I have to be at work by 8.” But you change that to say; “I choose to be at work by 8.” And you argue that, but I have to or I’ll be in trouble. But that IS your choice. You don’t want trouble or a reprimand and so you CHOOSE to get there by 8. It's your choice.
It is always your choice.
If you don’t like your life fix it.
Don’t feel sorry for yourself; it will destroy you.
Accept responsibility for your own life.
Stop lying to yourself.
Teach yourself not to be a victim.
Bonus points: Do this exercise with kids. Teach them young.