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How To Stop Blaming Yourself For Everything

To conclude this year’s series of posts on ‘the blame game’, we target those of you unfortunate enough to take the blame for everything, habitually and automatically blaming yourself for all that goes wrong. Pisces is the zenith of this, but everyone sometimes succumbs to this invidious tendency.

Self-blaming is shameful and horrendous, an odious habit to develop. It’s at it’s worst if you are prone to or suffering from depression. Some of you will take blame just to keep the peace or to get others to perceive you as a ‘good’ person. This never works – people label you as false or think that everything is actually your fault. Self-fulfilling prophecy, you might say.

You may even come to this false belief yourself. So you need to nuke this tendency asap and regain your natural equilibrium and composure.

Firstly, accept that not everything is your fault. You’re blaming yourself as you’re too fixated on what you think you’ve done wrong and can’t focus on what others have done wrong. Sit down, take a few deep breaths, still your mind and look at the situation analytically. Writing helps focus your mind and label your feelings, gaining clarity. Note everything the other party has done wrong. This will be a real game changer and pattern interrupt for you as you are now the blamer, not the subject of blame. Soon you’ll see that problems may have been joint efforts, not something for which you have to suffer exclusive responsibility.

This is your first step towards regaining control, so go for it.

The only responsibility you can accept is for things you’ve done, not for things you haven’t. If you can put any past mistakes right, awesome, just do it. If you can’t, accept the fact, commit to yourself that you won’t do it again. And move on. You can’t change the past so there’s no benefit to reliving it.

Many people who blame themselves suffer from low self-esteem and lack confidence. If that’s you, you need to learn how to love yourself and improve your quota of self-confidence and self-esteem. You could start by writing down all the things that are awesome about yourself. Focus on the positive and your brain will easily come up with more things that are great about you. Ask a friend or family member for some additional ideas, or even introductory ones if you are finding it tricky to get started.

Home in on any compliments from your friends and embed them in your mind. Feel great about them – commit them to long-term memory and return to them when you need a confidence boost. You may choose to learn a new activity – this will show you are valuable and also can learn new talents and make new friends. This will encourage and reinforce your new feelings of confidence. Supportive friends won’t let you take the blame for everything. New activities help form new mental patterns and can lessen and eventually destroy any patterns of negative self-talk that have built up over the years.

Clearly you don’t want to become someone who never accepts responsibility. Some things will be your fault – nobody’s immune from making mistakes (it’s how we learn and grow, right?).

Refusing to let go of the past can trap you in a negative headspace and keep you blaming yourself with no good reason. You can’t change it anyway. So it’s pointless thinking ‘oh, if only I’d done that’, and so on. Lean from the event and forgive yourself. Then move on.

If you have a tendency to overthink a situation, check out the following ideas.

Quieten your mind by deep breathing or meditation, or if that doesn’t do it for you, try some vigorous cardiovascular exercise, say focus on a game of squash. Maybe hook up with a friend. You are looking to shift focus from what is distracting you to something more positive and constructive. Keep doing this and the negative thoughts and tendency to self-blame will recede until they no longer exist.

Helping others, joyous altruism, is a great way to help you like yourself and uncover the many dormant likeable qualities you undoubtedly have. Volunteer for something or just do a good deed every day. A smile can brighten up someone’s day, so polish your teeth and get out there. It will also make you feel great, so win-win situation, right? Making a positive difference to others is an amazing tonic and boosts your self-esteem no end.

If you really find it impossible to change the way you think, consider consulting a professional who specialises in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. They’ll help you change the way your mind works and processes information and experience, though you obviously need a genuine desire for change and must be prepared to act.

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