I remember visiting some good friends who have young children. If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of the kids say “It’s not my fault!” I probably could have paid for my entire trip.
Struggling to Take Responsibility
Children struggle to take responsibility for their lives.
But then again, so do I.
When something in my life isn’t going my way, my tendency is to blame others or outside circumstances. For example, my friends aren’t reaching out to me enough. My job requires too much of me. My parents raised me this way. I have a set of genes that predispose me toward these sorts of problems. The list goes on and on.
The Blame Game
You probably have your own list of reasons why something in your life isn’t the way you want it to be. Take out a piece of paper and write down all the people and outside circumstances that could be blamed for your problems. (It might take awhile.)
Here’s a deep truth: If you blame your problems on other people or outside circumstances, if you say “It’s Not My Fault” about the bad things that happen in your life… You’re pretty much screwed. You have zero power to improve your life and make things better.
It’s a Good Thing if It’s Your Fault
It is actually a good thing if it IS your fault.
Take a look at whatever thing in your life you are unhappy about. If that thing is due to your choices, your behaviors, your patterns of thinking, if it IS your fault… Then you have power. You could do something different. For example, you could make different choices, do different behaviors, or change your ways of thinking.
There is power in that perspective. Power leads to hope and change.
But you have to start by taking responsibility for where you are at and the choices you make.
What is one area of your life where you struggle to take responsibility? When you blame others for your situation, do you feel more or less powerful? What would it look like to take responsibility for your situation?
There are some situations, such as being the victim of abuse, where it is NOT your fault. If you are in this kind of situation, this post doesn’t apply to you. The work for you is to reach out and get the help and support you need to get out of a dangerous situation.