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Is your ‘victim mentality’ holding you back from true health and success?

Having a “victim mentality” is essentially when you feel powerless to affect what happens to you in life.

We all have known people who have this mentality. They feel that they have had no control over the things that have happened to them in the past or anything that will ever happen to them in the future. They feel that life just happens to them. When it comes to health and well being I have seen this mentality all too often over the years unfortunately. Too often I have heard thing like;

“Hard training? I can’t do anything like that, I have a bad back”.

Bad back? Well have you thought about addressing your mobility issues so that your hips can work properly thereby taking strain off your back? How about losing weight so that your stomach muscles can support your pelvis and lower back because the muscle around your stomach whose job it is to support your spine cannot do their job properly if they have to fire around a protruding gut? How about getting a standing station at work instead of sitting all day?

“I am overweight because of bad genetics, my parents were overweight too”.

Genetics? A very tiny minority of people may have a significantly greater predisposition toward body fat gain. However what is far more likely is that you are overweight because you operate in a similar lifestyle environment to them. Have you considered that you may have issues with body fat because you simply have the same sleep hygiene patterns as them such as watching TV late at night thereby affecting how deep a sleep you can get into which massively affects hormonal regulation? How about the fact that you make similar food choices to them, or that you that you have similar exercise habits as them?

I cannot help but get both upset and annoyed when I hear people say things like this. The reason being is I have worked with a lot of inspirational clients with issues that most people would see as too severe to deal with and who never showed this victim mentality.

There was one client who had a pretty serious hip surgery coming up and came in to train with us as she wanted to pack on as much strength and muscle mass around the hips and legs as possible before the op as well as make the necessary dietary changes to maximise her recovery post-op.

There was another lady who had been in a few serious accidents, including a major car accident, that had left her with some serious orthopaedic issues but who wanted to strength train so as to improve her quality of life. We worked with her to design her strength training to work around her issues and she put in the hard work which resulted having some fantastic breakthroughs like being able get up and down unassisted off a very low couch in a friend’s house for the first time since she could remember.

I could go on and on listing examples but that’s not the point. The point is that they all had one thing in common; not one of them had a victim mentality.

All these people took control of their situation. They accepted that they had certain limitations but they never accepted that they were helpless with regards to changing their situation for the better.

Do not be one of those people with a victim mentality who spends their life making horrible lifestyle decisions then one day breaking your body and hoping that some drug or medical treatment can manage the issues that resulted from your bad choices.

Lose the victim mentality, take control of your situation, and change your life for the better.


This Article is By Ciarán O Regan, BSc | Head Coach at ACLAÍ Health and Performance

Ciarán is Head Coach at ACLAÍ Health and Performance. Ciaran has served as Strength and Conditioning Coach for Limerick Minor Football for the 2012 and 2013 seasons as well as the Limerick U21 Footballers for the 2013 season. He also has experience with Rugby having coached with Young Munster RFC during the 2011/12 season and having interned with Munster Rugby for the 2010/11 season. He has also coached on an individual basis with people as varied as those simply wanting to get healthier and lose weight all the way to high level runners returning to the track after injury.



  1. Bríd Ó Gallchoir on said:

    Excellent article, tough love and great advice. Victim mentality in all areas of life is the real handicap. My bad back issues are always improved by exercise. Keep them coming, Aclaí, I don’t live in Cork so can’t attend your training programmes but find the advice posted on social media invaluable and inspirational. Míle buíochas!

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