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Optimism - Part III

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In dealing with cancer, we must be careful of not falling into what is called the "victim role"
Some of our thoughts in the victim role may be: "It will never get better. Things will never change. My cancer illness will get worse. A disaster is going to occur. I’m unlucky."
Along with these thoughts are some possible related beliefs.

Possible related beliefs

"The best part of my life is over. I’m unhappy. I can’t help it. Life is hard."

Life choices


There are some life choices that we make as a result of these beliefs. We may stay with the status quo. We may make small changes or take small risks.

Ego advantage


Some thoughts about life as a victim may include: "I know about life. I'm realistic. I have a special tragic role. I'm different. Poor me."

Judgment of others

In our relationship with others, as a victim, we may think: "They are unrealistic (my family regarding the cancer treatment). They are living an illusion. They'll soon find out." In the victim role, we may also "select evidence from the present."

Selective evidence from the present

We may see all the aspects of life that are unchanged. We may ignore everything that has changed for the better. We may focus on one small aspect of a change that does not go so well.

Beware of the victim role. Battle against these negative thoughts. It is crucial to do so.


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About the Author


BA, MPH

Steve shares what he learned from his personal experience with cancer.

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