Recently I visited some good friends who have young children. If I had a dollar for every time I heard one of them say something wasn’t their fault, I probably could have financed my entire trip.
Children struggle to take responsibility for their life.
But then again, so do I.
When something in my life isn’t going the way I would like, my tendency is to blame others or outside circumstances. My friends aren’t reaching out to me enough. There aren’t any good dating partners around here. 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.
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 are to blame 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 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. You could make different choices, you could perform different behaviors, and you could change your ways of thinking.
There is power in that perspective. And power leads to hope and change.
But you have to start by taking responsibility for where you are at, and the choices you made that led you to the place you are today.
It IS your fault… And thank goodness for that.
Discussion: 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?
Disclaimer: There are 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.