21/04/2013 11:11 BST | Updated 20/06/2013 06:12 BST

Four Steps to Move From Being a Victim to Your Power

Are you aware of when you are in the victim or the empowerment cycle? Are you able to distinguish what it feels like to be in one or the other?

When I work with women to overcome heartbreak, most of the time they find themselves in the victim cycle. Well at least that is where I found myself at the time of my divorce and break ups.

The truth is that the victim cycle is triggered when the relationship breakdown happens because we need to protect ourselves. It is an automatic unconscious response to a painful situation. The pain occurs because of the thinking that comes with the relationship breakdown.

The question is how do you know you are there, what do you need to look out for and why is it important to move to the empowerment cycle if you are stuck being a victim after a relationship breakdown with an ex?

Being stuck in the victim cycle looks something like this - my clients may shame, blame and complain about their ex - this then puts them in their very own persecutor role, externalizing their problem, rendering them powerless, which keeps them in their story, which adds to the frustration as nothing changes, which highlights their negative feelings.

In short they feel stuck, angry and frustrated. In addition, women who are stuck here after the relationship with their ex breaks down, often find that they are living in survival mode; fearful, want instant gratification, believe that it is everybody elses fault and are usually broke. Why would you want to live here when you don't have to?

And you don't there are some simple steps you can take that will move you through and have you living in a place of healthy self responsibility in no time.

1) Ask a powerful question

A powerful question can change everything. In my book Goodbye Mr Ex, A Woman's Guide To Moving On - I illustrate how our minds can keep going around and around in circles. Just like a tractor that ploughs in the same place in the same field over and over to create a deep trench, you will be doing the same with your story.

Just like with a tractor, that needs new co-ordinates to plough in a different field, you will need your very own GPS system to get yourself out of your pattern of victim thinking which then has you feeling worse. To get yourself out of this way of thinking, which will change how you feel; ask a powerful question. The question may look something like this "Where am I not taking 100% healthy self responsibility for my feelings of anger and sorrow and how can I turn my thinking around so that I can?"

2) Inquire internally about your emotions and ex relationship situation

Once you have the powerful question you want to ask, its now important to connect with yourself and focus on the emotion - feel it - squeeze every last drop of it so that you can then inquire into what your emotions are letting you know. Some questions of inquiry can be, "what is it you wish to tell me right now?" "What is wanting to emerge?"

It is important to do this because emotions are energy in motion and they need to be embraced, felt, and acknowledged. If they are not, they get pushed down and suppressed, which then can lead to ill health and lack of energy.

3) Learn something enlightening from both

You can always learn something about yourself or from the relationship break down with your ex, but you need to listen to your inner voice. Too much of the time when we are in victim, we spend a lot of time blocking out the noise with distraction, however if you want to find the true you, its key to take some quiet time to go inside and meditate on what it is your body is telling you.

We often think that our mind comes first and our body after, when in fact we can learn a lot from our own body if we give ourselves time to listen to what it wants to share. In this place we can experience insights from a non-judgmental place, trust and therefore access the truth from within.

4) Move through into healthy self responsibility

Once you have asked the powerful question, inquired about the emotions and learned from them, its time to move into healthy self-responsibility., which of course you will naturally do if you take the steps that I have outlined before.

How do you know you have arrived? You have more energy, you feel inspired and you feel unstoppable.

In short, if you blame, shame and complain about your ex, you will ensure the negative energy comes back to you. If you take responsibility you not only will be reclaiming back your power but you will also be transforming the negative energy into something positive.

Marina Pearson is a best-selling author, speaker and heartbreak expert. To download your free chapters from her book