Letting Go of Self-Blame
“Refuse to blame yourself for not being ‘good enough”
– John Mark Green
Human beings have this terrible habit of taking self-blame into the realms of self-pity. They use their weaknesses as an excuse for their actions, and really self-blame doesn’t actually mean that anything has changed, except perhaps your state of mind. Everyone in the world makes mistakes. There are several ways that you can use mistakes during the course of your life.
- You can regret them and live with that regret
- You can learn from them and become more compassionate
If I slam the door behind me in a restaurant and it hits a woman in her face, I am of course remorseful. There may be several reasons why it happened. Perhaps I did not anticipate the swing of the door. Perhaps I was unaware of the woman being so close behind me. The fact is that I didn’t do it on purpose, and of course, I will apologise and do whatever I can to help the woman. However, when the woman is okay, I will walk away from the situation unscathed because I know:
- I made a mistake
- I did all I could to rectify it and learn from it
There are no leftovers because I am not going to be thinking of this for the next ten years and blaming myself for it. It was an accident.
However, people do things in their lives that they seem unable to move on from. They blame themselves to the extent that they do not grow emotionally and put themselves down all the time reminding themselves that they don’t live up to the standards expected from others. Look at the phrases below; these may be familiar to you:
- I am not a very nice person
- I am clumsy and always make a mess of things
- I cannot succeed in life because I am not good enough
All of these thoughts come from something that has happened in your life that you can’t let go of. You need to examine these situations and write two sentences for each:
- What happened?
- What I did to try and make the situation better.
There is one little part of the equation missing and that is:
- What did I learn from it?
Instead of making all the bad things that happen to you in your life BECOME who you are, work out the logic. If you did something wrong and learned from it, then you have nothing to hold onto in the way of negativity. It’s done. It’s finished with. Stop all of the bitterness, self-blame, and let regret go. It has no purpose in your life if you know what the solution to the problem was and did all that you could to solve it.
Letting go of self-blame isn’t that hard. You may have been to blame for something, but as long as you took the necessary actions and you were able to learn from what you did, there should be no self-blame left for your negative emotions to grab hold of when things go wrong. Stop tarring yourself with the same brush all the time. Things happen, and forgiving yourself is a necessary part of getting past the blame game. Self-blame serves no purpose once an event is over and done with. It is merely a reminder to learn something new and, once it has done that, it serves no purpose at all. Passing the buck for the outcome of your life isn’t something that you would consciously do. It is your feet that take you through the corridors of time, and whether you choose them to be shackled by bitterness is a conscious choice that you have the authority to make. When you unshackle the past, you allow yourself to see things in a totally different way – one that allows you to grow compassionate and happy.