“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.” …Ralph Marston
Blame can render you powerless; wreak havoc in relationships, and eat away at your ability to change, to let go, and to get on with life. So, what makes us fall into the blame trap and how can we free ourselves from it?
By answering these questions, you will better understand blame’s role in your life…Allowing you to eliminate blame from your feelings.
Like any new discovery, raising your awareness of where blame is at play is the first step in ridding yourself of it. Do you blame your partner or others…do you repeatedly blame yourself when things don’t go exactly as planned? Are you fearful of making mistakes? Did your parents routinely use blame to shame you as a way of manipulating your behavior?
Often the reasons we feel blame are unconscious. Have you gotten into a pattern of blaming everyone for failures, mistakes, or disappointments in life? Blame can become a way to vent anger and frustration; it can help you skirt around the truth, while dumping responsibility away from yourself when the burden feels too heavy.
The good news is you can escape the blame cycle with the following three steps.
Get in touch with your inner feelings and responses. If anger and then blame are your reaction in a relationship or in a challenging situation, take a moment and breathe. Look at other options – identify your feelings first – (hurt, sadness, disappointment, fear, guilt) and remember most people are muddling through with their own set of challenges.
Make a plan – “Today I am not going to judge or blame others.” When you establish a new pattern response, a positive one, you are teaching your mind to untangle its thinking from the trap of blaming and shaming.
Begin to love all of yourself, even the imperfect, for it teaches us humility, empathy, and inner beauty. Author Sonya Parker once said, “Stop comparing yourself to other people, you’re supposed to be unique.” Learn to love what you consider to be your shortcomings and find ways to navigate through them.
Having compassion for your limitations allows you to see the silver lining in the lesson learned and gives you permission to move on. Use humor and put your imperfections into a positive perspective. Trying to be perfect is exhausting and accomplishes nothing more than anxiety over making a mistake, which can lead to a fear of trying anything at all. As babies we learn to walk by bumbling around like drunken soldiers, so it is in life, stop being afraid to fall. It is the getting back up that counts.
Take ownership of your life and let blame fall by the wayside. Often the faults we see in people around us are mirror images of our own. Rather than harboring anger over your spouse, your parents, your boss, take action, free up your energy with positive affirmations and move onward. If you feel yourself sliding back into the judging and blaming trap, simply stop and gently remind yourself, “I don’t need to that any longer.” Celebrate your successes, no matter how large or small they are. If there is something in your life you want to accomplish, rather than brooding over why opportunity has not knocked on your door yet, explore ways to begin the new journey towards what you want. Go back to school, spend time with people who honor your dreams, read inspirational books, let go of toxic relationships.
As you treat yourself with kindness, and take ownership of your life, blame will disappear.