Self-blame is one of those emotions that can be very crippling. It can prevent us from moving forward from the experience because of fear of what may happen in the future. Yet, how do we learn to get over feelings of self-blame and move forward to success and accomplishment?
I’ve included five tips that will help in removing feelings and thoughts self-blame in the hopes that when they are implemented, you will take action on your goals rather than remain stuck with the same thought patterns. Reflect on how each tip will drive your future success and what you need to do to get there.
1. Determine whether your feelings are valid
One day someone accused me of stealing money. I know! I hit you with a hard one on the first go around! But, I have to admit that although it is embarrassing, it is true. I was accused…blamed for stealing money. Did I steal it? No! However, the accuser thought I did. In fact, I was blamed for stealing this large amount of money so often that I began to question my actions. Did I actually steal the money? Did I mistakenly take it, using it for something else? Then, I realized that it was not me, but that the person misplaced it, which turned out to be true. The person found it several weeks later, stuffed between some clothing. Now, this does not take away from the fact that I began to take on feelings of self-blame. I wondered what I could do to help. Maybe I could change my actions or say the right words to get this person to believe me. However, I had to ultimately accept that it was not my fault and eventually trust that the person would find the missing money. If I were to blame, however, I would definitely have reason to do so. But if your feelings of blame are not valid, stop pointing the finger at yourself. It may be the other person’s fault – or no one’s at all!
2. Determine whether your actions were to blame
I have a friend who loves to buy shoes. In fact, she sets aside money each week for this habit. One weekend she decided to go on a shopping splurge with intended money in hand, forgetting that she promised to treat her spouse a night out. When she returned home, her mate was obviously disappointed but knowing her habit, he was understanding. Yet, she continued to blame herself as they already had limited time as a couple. In this situation, she absolutely admitted fault. She blamed herself for not having the will to avoid her temptation over enjoying quality time with her spouse. Therefore, she accepted that she needed to change her behavior patterns to make her relationship with her partner more enjoyable, which was much more fulfilling than her shoe addiction.
3. Look at the experience from all sides
When we blame ourselves, we fail to look at the experience from all sides. Instead, we give ourselves thousands of questions as to what we could have done or said differently. Yet, we fail to look at what may have been the fault of someone else. Don’t constantly blame yourself. This is where the negative behavior patterns and thoughts of influence begin to seep into all areas of your life. Look at the experience from multiple viewpoints. Ask others what their take on the situation would be. Go to a neutral party for advice. Remember, it’s not always your fault.
4. Understand that everyone makes mistakes
Sometimes, experiences are our fault and we have to take the blame. However, if it was unintentional learn to accept it as a mistake and determine how you can change it in the future. Don’t spend unnecessary time dwelling on the mistake. Ask others how you can make it different. Or, write a list of habits to practice in the future.
5. Everyone needs to be accountable
If I haven’t gotten this message across during this post, I want to make it clear now that everyone needs to be accountable for an error or fault. We must learn to accept the error, evaluate the issue, and make a plan of action to prevent the error in the future. Don’t continue to ponder constantly about what you could have done or should have done. The action already took place. Instead, focus on what you can do in the future to make things change.
I hope you enjoyed reading this post about handling feelings of self-blame. I would love to hear your thoughts on the topic. Leave a comment below!
Koryne C. Nnoli is an author, blogger, speaker, and life coach. She works with women to help build their confidence so they can take their happiness to the next level. For more information about her and The Shy Diva Society, visit her website at www.theshydiva.com.