Overcome a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner in 6 steps

Victim mindset as a nurse practitioner

Have you experienced a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner?

I hope everyone raised their hands because we are all human and I can guarantee we have all had a victim mindset at some point.

It is normal to feel like you are going through harder challenges than your peers. It is our human nature to think about yourself first. It is normal to need to meet your own needs first.

But it is not helpful to constantly think that you are the victim. To be stuck in a negative mindset. To feel like you don’t have any control. 

What is a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner?

A victim mindset is a pattern of thinking where an individual perceives themselves as being powerless, helpless, and at the mercy of external circumstances or other people. It is a state of mind that often leads to feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and low self-esteem.

This kind of mindset is unhealthy, as it can negatively impact an individual’s emotional well-being and prevent them from achieving their goals. Nurse practitioners with a victim mindset tend to blame external circumstances or other people for their problems instead of taking responsibility for their actions and decisions.

This victim mindset can prevent us from overcoming nurse practitioner burnout and keep us from finding happiness. 

I was definitely in a victim mindset when I experienced healthcare burnout. I felt like everyone and everything was out to get me. That I was the only one who was suffering. I was unhappy and yet did not take accountability for my circumstances. I didn’t think there was a way out. I didn’t know I was in control of my life and could overcome the burnout.

Do any nurse practitioners reading this feel the same? 

Negative effects of a victim mindset

A victim mindset can have various negative effects on a nurse practitioner’s emotional well-being and their ability to achieve their goals.

Here are some of the most common effects of a victim mindset:

  1. Low self-esteem: Nurse practitioners with a victim mindset tend to have low self-esteem as they believe that they are powerless to change their circumstances, which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and inadequacy.
  2. Lack of control: A victim mindset can lead to feelings of overwhelm by the current circumstances and believe that there is no control over their lives.
  3. Lack of motivation: Nurse practitioners with a victim mindset often lack motivation as they believe that their efforts will not make a difference, and they are unlikely to succeed.
  4. Failure to take responsibility: Individuals with a victim mindset tend to blame external circumstances or other people for their problems instead of taking responsibility for their actions and decisions.
  5. Inability to learn from mistakes: Nurse practitioners with a victim mindset often fail to learn from their mistakes as they believe that their circumstances prevent them from doing so.

Overcome a victim mindset

Overcoming a victim mindset requires a conscious effort to change one’s thinking patterns and beliefs.

Here are six steps to overcome a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner:

Practice self-awareness.

The first step in overcoming a victim mindset is to practice self-awareness. This involves recognizing when you are blaming others, feeling helpless, engaging in negative self-talk, and refusing to take responsibility for your actions. Once you are aware of these patterns of thinking, you can begin to challenge them and make changes to overcome the victim mindset as a nurse practitioner.

Take responsibility for your actions.

Taking responsibility for your actions is essential in overcoming a victim mindset. Rather than blaming others, take ownership of your mistakes and learn from them. This will help you feel more in control of your circumstances and empower you to make positive changes in your life as a nurse practitioner.

Burnout Resolution for Nurse Practitioners.

Focus on what you can control.

Instead of dwelling on your problems, focus on finding solutions. This involves taking a proactive approach to problem-solving and looking for ways to improve your situation. By focusing on solutions, you will feel more empowered and in control of your circumstances.

Maybe you need to ask your employer for more admin time to catch up on charting. Or maybe you need to focus on nurse practitioner contract negotiation.  Discover what ways you can improve the situations rather than complaining about the current conditions.

Practice gratitude.

Practicing gratitude is an effective way to shift your mindset from one of victimhood to one of abundance. Take time each day to reflect on the things you are grateful for, no matter how small. This will help you cultivate a positive outlook and appreciate the good things in your life.

A daily gratitude practice was something that helped me overcome burnout. I took 5-10 minutes each morning to write out the small things for which I was thankful. A warm cup of coffee on a cold day. A friendly chat with a patient. Getting out of work by 5:00pm. A silly joke my son told me. Finding the things you are grateful for helps to improve your overall outlook as a nurse practitioner.  

Challenge negative self-talk

Negative self-talk can be a significant barrier to overcoming a victim mindset. Imposter syndrome is prominent in so many new and experienced nurse practitioners and people in general. I know I have struggled with imposter syndrome in the past. But it is something that we need to work on as nurse practitioners!

**For more tips check out Control the Imposter Syndrome for NPs

To challenge negative self-talk, start by identifying the negative thoughts that arise in your mind. Then, ask yourself whether these thoughts are true, and whether they are helping or hindering you. Finally, reframe these thoughts into more positive, empowering ones.

Surround yourself with positive people. 

Jim Rohn once said “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.”

How true is that statement! Think about the people around you. Are they always negative? Are they always complaining? Are they in a victim mindset?

Surrounding yourself with positive people who support and encourage you will help you overcome a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner. This means avoiding negative people who bring you down.

If you have a hard time finding new, positive people then consume encouraging content! I have read tons of self-improvement books, listened to podcasts, and even watched YouTube videos. I try to consume some kind of positive content on a daily basis so I can ensure I surround myself with positive “people.”

**Make sure to join The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner’s Facebook Group to get support from equally burned-out nurse practitioners! 

Use these tips to overcome the victim mindset as a nurse practitioner. Make it a point to slowly work towards changing your mindset and implementing healthy habits. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. Prioritize time for self-care. Find ways to create a better work-life balance. Set a goal to overcome the nurse practitioner burnout. 

It’s amazing how your life can change when you shift your thoughts and overcome a victim mindset as a nurse practitioner!

Erica D the NP is a family nurse practitioner and burnout coach. Erica created The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner to help overwhelmed APRNs create work-life balance, overcome nurse practitioner burnout, and advocate for themselves. The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner offers online courses, coaching, and support. Learn more at www.burnedoutnp.com

For time management and charting tips, check out The Nurse Practitioner Charting School– The one stop for all documentation resources created specifically for nurse practitioners. Learn more at www.npchartingschool.com

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**Full disclosure, this blog post may include affiliate links. I do receive a commission if any of the affiliate programs/services/supplies are purchased. This is at no extra cost to you but does allow me to continue to provide content as The Burned-out Nurse Practitioner! Thank you!

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