Sometimes we are all victims of circumstance. That’s just the way life is. Naomi Judd said, "You get to be a victim once and after that, you're a volunteer". That quote really got me thinking. How can a person accomplish the opposite behavior...becoming an "agent"; taking responsibility for positive and powerful thoughts and actions?
The power and responsibility to direct ourselves in within each of us. “It is not meet that I should command in all things,” saith the Lord. “Men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” 
When you have been harmed, suffered a loss, been tricked or swindled, become sick, been abused or attacked, or have noticed a person who has something you don't have, YOU ARE A VICTIM ...once...when it happened.
If you still feel like a victim a year later (or fifty years later) YOU HAVE VOLUNTEERED for the position. It sounds harsh, but look at the behavior and thinking of a person with a victim mentality, and then look at it’s opposite ~ being an agent for yourself ~ taking control of your behavior and thinking.
What is a VICTIM? A victim is
that when you hold on to the feeling of being a victim after the harm is over, you are nurturing, coddling and loving the role of being a victim like you would if you were holding and petting a cute puppy. It's a comfortable feeling and we often don't want to let it go.
To be clear, I'm not talking about grief. Grief is an important, and often beautiful part of loss. Feelings of grief can return unexpectedly for years, and can be a blessing to us if we allow ourselves to feel those emotions which can help us heal. In addition to grief, what a gift we give ourselves if we also learn to act as an agent of our circumstances, rather than a victim.
Emotionally speaking, a VICTIM:
Says, "I can't"
Says, "Why me?"
Notices SCARCITY, "I don't have..."
Is a CONSUMER/energy sucker
Experiences feelings of captivity & misery
What is an AGENT? An agent is someone who is authorized to ACT and MAKE DECISIONS on behalf of another person ~ yourself included (on behalf of YOURSELF). An agent is someone whose job it is to observe something and then act on its finding.
Emotionally speaking, an AGENT:
Is accountable for their own actions
Says, "I can. How?"
Says, "Why NOT me?"
Notices ABUNDANCE in relationships, shelter and sustenance, etc
Is a PRODUCER of events, things, ideas
Experiences feelings of LIBERTY & HAPPINESS
Hire Yourself To Be An AGENT! If you're tired of volunteering for the exhausting job of having a victim mentality, you can quit! Get another 'job'. Again, how about hiring yourself to be an AGENT? Write up the Agent characteristics on a piece of paper and tape it to your mirror. Pray for the desire and ability to let go of a victim mentality. Pray for understanding to know how to become an agent for yourself.
I truly believe that we can let go of our old 'victim' job. Letting go might feel strange, because the old job of blaming others for our unhappiness, or thinking we are not capable, is so familiar and comfortable ~ even if it is a terrible job. Sure, it’s comfortable, in a weird sort of way, but is it really easier to blame others, saying, or thinking, “I can’t”, “why me?” or "Why is their life so much better?". If someone else made your life miserable once-upon-a-time, they are probably not doing it anymore. If you are miserable you may creating your own misery.
Maybe, JUST maybe, it is easier to say “I CAN!”, “How can I accomplish this?”, "Look how blessed I am!" or “What positive thing can I create from this experience?” Whether or not it is easier to think and act this way, it is certainly more liberating, empowering and exciting! Your life will be so much better when you adopt the mentality and behavior of an agent. You begin to have some control over the things that happen in your life. You begin to have control over your thoughts, and they become much more positive.
Find a role model, or hero, who creates the great life they live (a friend, relative, athlete, prophet or other religious figure, political figure, artist, musician, actor) who is an agent, and pattern your actions after them. Figure out what they do to find peace and joy, and what they do to get the ball rolling in their own life. Make a little book or collage about them to remind you of their qualities. Please remember though, their lives aren't perfect either, but they have found positive ways to cope and get through the rough times.
So, you may have to learn some new thinking patterns through counseling, and some healthy physical habits like deep breathing, going on daily walks, learning to laugh more, and starting yoga. In addition it is important to have some spiritual practices like praying daily (and praying to have compassion for those who offended you) and studying the scriptures. It IS worth it to change your attitude and have more control of your life!
Who doesn't want to feel happier, more capable and free? You can do it!
 Doctrine & Covenants 58:26-28
[This post by Gwendolyn Soper originally posteded February 08, 2008]