Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Self-Blame Or Personal Responsibility?

Grafitti with social statementImage via WikipediaBy Janet Hilts

We're encouraged to take personal responsibility to empower ourselves. It does feel good, doesn't it? I admit it can be scary, but the strength of it feels great. When I'm taking responsibility for my life and there's a problem, I'm in charge of the solution. It's my choice. Since I like being in charge, that's good news to me.

Plus I don't have to wait for somebody else to change, or for a circumstance to change - none of which I can control. So I vote YES on taking personal responsibility.

But in the process of doing that, self-blame can creep in. Without me even noticing. So what? you might ask. Isn't that part of taking responsibility? Isn't that a good thing? My answer to both questions is a large NO. Because it's just not constructive to blame yourself. In fact, it can keep you seriously stuck.

Self-blame says:
  • I need to fix myself
  • I need to punish myself in some way
  • I need to regret what I did
Since I'm not sure how long these things take, or when I'm finished, I could stay here a long time. I keep telling myself, "I should know better. I shouldn't have done that. If I scold myself enough, maybe it won't happen again", etc. And while I'm blaming myself, it keeps me in a looking-back position - focused on the past. Also an unhelpful place to hang out. I'm speaking from plenty of personal experience here.

On the other hand, taking responsibility simply requires me to see my part in what's going on. I can do that honestly AND without self-blame. So first I take a close look. Then I just ask myself: Do I want to change something? If so, what are some options? What action do I need to take to change things? This keeps me in a looking-forward position - focused on the future - instead of looking back with regret, remorse or self-blame. And that looking forward draws me ahead in the direction I want to go.

And here are some unexpected bonuses: When you let go of the whole self-blame thing, your creativity has some room to breathe. It's really liberating! With creativity freed up, you can see so many more possibilities when you're not bogged down in the heaviness, the negative energy, and thought-spinning of self-blame. Your intuition and insights are stronger, too - all contributing to more ideas and productivity.

And to help dissolve your everyday stress, claim your free tapping audio Stress Relief On Tap when you go to http://JanetHilts.com/free-gifts. Just fill in your name and best email to get your free audio recording and simple EFT instructions. From Janet Hilts, EFT coach, specializing in helping motivated people like you get unstuck and moving forward again. Find out more at http://www.JanetHilts.com.

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