Survivor Mentality

According to Psychology Today, the survivor mentality has a list of traits: Hope, True Grit, the ability to Soldier On, the ability to Grow after Trauma and a Spiritual Component. There have been hundreds if not thousands of books analyzing the subject. You see and read about survival all around you every day: Cancer survivors, terror survivors, storm survivors and drug abuse survivors just to name a few.

The field is called “human factors in survival” basically the study of why some people die and others survive. Everyone goes through trials and adversity in their lives, some are ground down, others come out the other side stronger and more capable. Victim or survivor; what’s the difference? Well, for starters, accountability! Being a victim is easy, whenever something happens or goes wrong, a victim can always blame someone else, a situation or society in general. The problem with being a victim is that you aren’t in charge of your own destiny. A victim always looks to someone else to save them, care for them or validate them. In other words, in a crisis victims are the bodies that get cleaned up afterward.

There is nothing physically different about a survivor, no special training is required. In fact, no matter what training you’ve had there is no guarantee that you will be a survivor! Wait Dave! What about members of the Special Forces? SEALs, Green Berets, Rangers; they’re all survivors! Yes, you’re right they are, but their training didn’t make them survivors, only the survivors made it through training! 29 years ago this month, I graduated from bootcamp in San Diego. While I was going through training, several of my fellow recruits would say, “I don’t know how much more I can take”, my response was always the same, “it’s almost over just hold on, it’s all in your head!”.

That ladies and gentlemen, is the secret to survival, attitude! Easy huh?!? Don’t you believe it, being a survivor is hard! There’s no one to blame, it’s all you! No matter what you’re going through, you will triumph you will come out on top. I will die someday, but it won’t be today and not by your hand! I will get through this, there is no way I die here, or like this, not this way! It’s easy to say, the problem is meaning it when it counts.

However you have to start somewhere!

I issue this challenge: Take control of your own destiny! Adopt the philosophy that you will not be a victim!


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