Monday, January 23, 2012

The Fine Line Between Blame and Responsibility

Day 23 of Your Year to Wellness
Blamers quit but responbile people move forward


Whenever we set out to do the work that is required for self-improvement there is the potential to wallow in guilt. We begin to see things in ourselves that have been there all along and we feel guilty and shameful for not noticing them before.

It may seem ironic, but after I began to lose weight, I suddenly saw myself as fat. Now don’t get me wrong, I knew I was big, but when I began to lose weight and actually get on a scale, I suddenly realized how much work I had to do.

This sudden rush of awareness and seeing things that have been there all along is a sign that you are truly making strides, but what happens now determines whether you quit or keep going.

I’m going to get right to it; people who wallow in blame will quit, but those who take responsibility keep working; it is that simple.

There is a very thin line between blame and taking responsibility. A person who blames others is looking for retribution and revenge. When you blame yourself you will wallow in guilt and the shame of whatever it is that occurred. But a person who seeks to find out who was responsible for something is trying to determine how to fix it. When they hold themselves responsible they are saying, I caused this and I can change it.

So while the blamer sees no way out, the person who sees themselves as responsible knows there is one, and they know that they are their own way out.

This very subtle difference has kept folks in that vicious cycle of gaining and losing and gaining and losing. We often find ourselves in a funk over how hard the journey is and how we have “self-sabbotaged.”

If I still belived the way I did when I was younger I’d probably have to tell you that this is the Devil, but now I see that we have been blessed with the faculties to see our own way clear. However, it is a great subterfuge, a ruse a plot and a ploy; that you blame yourself and not the products gimmicks and junk that has promised to make you well. They promise to do the work, but when the work fails, they say that you are to blame and saddly, we belive.

Yes, you believed the hype but now you can take responsibility to make a clear change from what you’ve done in the past.

·         A person who takes responsibility sees their patterns while a person who takes the blame asks “Why does this keep happening to me? Which are you?

·         A person who takes responsibility gets up over and over again and tries to find new ways and solutions. A person who blames themselves wallows in their pain and tries to find others who will commiserate. Which are you?

·         A responsible person looks for entertainment, information and ideas that are uplifting. A blamer sifts through gossip magazines, reality shoes and negative talk looking for something that is worse than they are. Which are you?

·         A responsible person sees their wrong and acknowledges the rights of others to do the same, but will not allow themselves to be “beaten up” over the mistake. While a person who takes the blame invites and encourages others to punish them because like all martyrs they believe that it is their cross to bear. Which are you?

·          Decide today that you are responsible for your own outcomes. Acknowledge that what you cause you can change (your own behaviors.) Then acknowledge that you are already better.



We all play a part in our own story. Take responsibility for how you act and let the change begin.

Be well, be you, be Whole

Bertice Berry, PhD


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