When something goes wrong, blame is a natural human impulse. Having someone or something to blame allows us to avoid being vulnerable and feel like we have more control than we really do. However, blaming never works, and it causes inevitable suffering. Instead of allowing yourself to ruminate on guilt, shame, and blame, what if you changed your thoughts? Here are 5 ways that you can get out of the vicious cycle of blame and step into your power:
Take responsibility for your own actions
You have the authority to make decisions for yourself. Blaming others instead of taking ownership only makes you a victim. You can’t live in the past and you can’t change the past. What you can do, however, is prevent the past from impacting your present and future by owning up to your mistakes, recognizing where you went wrong, and taking the necessary steps to change your behavior. If you never take responsibility, you will never take action.
Shift from blaming to learning
The only thing you have control over is your own behaviors and emotional responses. Instead of worrying about others and putting the blame on them for what goes on in your life, focus on yourself and what you can do differently. When you heal, learn, and grow, others will follow your example. You don’t have to force anyone to change, you just have to show through your actions how good it feels to change. When you put blame on others or yourself rather than seeing the situation as a learning opportunity, you’re doing yourself a disservice. Replace self-blame with self-acceptance and watch how your life improves.
Righteous ownership over blame
This is about taking responsibility for your actions without blaming yourself for it and feeling guilty. For example, if you made a decision that caused harm to your body, instead of beating yourself up for it, you would say to yourself “I see I did not listen to my intuition here. That is on me. Next time, I will listen to myself, because when I don’t I end up harming myself.”
Allow yourself to change–and stick to it!
Changing your behavior can be scary, and it requires a lot of discipline. If your actions don’t align with your values, it’s time to make a change. It requires courage and hard work, but it can be done, and it will be incredibly rewarding. In order to change, you need to look inside yourself. The answer you seek to any problem can always be found whenever you look within yourself, get centered, and allow yourself to feel your feelings. We often distract ourselves from what our bodies are trying to tell us because it’s uncomfortable. This causes us to act in ways that aren’t aligned with our authentic selves. Allow yourself to see the discomfort as a teacher, showing you what it is you need to change.
Take control of your life
Blaming yourself and others is unhealthy because it makes you a victim. You are in the driver seat of your life, and you have the power to control where you go. When you find yourself blaming, intercept these thoughts and instead focus on yourself and what you can actually control. Forgive yourself and others, creating more peace in your life. Holding onto grudges only weighs you down and causes you unnecessary suffering. When you take control of your life, inner peace will follow.
Feeling stuck in a rut due to blame? Click here to send our office manager, Alli, an email. She’ll help you get matched to your perfect therapist.
Alli Cravener is a social media coordinator and writer who is passionate about connecting people through words. Alli studied English at Arizona State University and has found her niche uniting concept and content in the realm of mental health and the expressive arts. Alli’s interests include painting, history, learning about other people, and wearing the color pink. She likens herself to a “mouse in a palm tree”, and she loves it that way.