If things go bad for you
And make you a bit ashamed,
Often you will find out that
You have yourself to blame …
Swiftly we ran to mischief
And then the bad luck came.
Why do we fault others?
We have ourselves to blame …
Whatever happens to us,
Here are the words to say,
“Had it not been for so-and-so
Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”
And if you are short of friends,
I’ll tell you what to do —
Make an examination,
You’ll find that fault’s in you …
You’re the captain of your ship,
So agree with the same
If you travel downward,
You have yourself to blame.
-Culled from Gifted Hands by Ben Carson
Most times, human beings find it easier to blame themselves for failure in anything they do.
Students blame their colleagues and teachers for their failure in any exam, morally bankrupt individuals blame their parents for their disgusting behaviours, workers blame their colleagues and bosses for failure to perform their duties well, etc.
But, if only they can think a little bit deeper, they’ll discover that they have no other person but themselves to blame. They’ll find out that they’re not the first person to be in whatever situation they might have been, which led to their failure.
It is easy to blame others for our problems. It is always someone else’s fault. But, if you are going to get on with your life and achieve more than you are now, then you need to stop blaming others for your problems.
You have to realize that it is your job to be successful, no one else’s. Then you have to take responsibility for your happiness.
Why do we blame others?
Because it makes us feel better about ourselves. It gives us a sense of control over our lives, which helps us deal with stress and anxiety (and other negative emotions). But the truth is, when we blame others for our problems, we lose this sense of control and often end up feeling even more stressed out than before.
People who blame others for their problems are self-indulgent, irresponsible, and lazy. The core problems of the world are the core problems of personal lives: health, finances, and relationships.
If we have bad children or lose our fortune or get sick, we have only ourselves to blame. Problems, obstacles, and failures can be revealing and valuable. The challenge is not to get stuck blaming others for our troubles.
To be happy and successful you will have to adopt new ways of thinking and talking about things. Then you can improve and progress in the direction of the goals you know will make you happy.
Be honest with yourself. Don’t make excuses. Accept that the only person who can change your life is you. Here are seven ways to stop becoming mired in yourself and start moving forward constructively.
1. Stop Dumbing Down Your Thoughts and Dialogue
You can’t keep blaming others for your problems if you are not willing to look at them yourself. You need to stop dumbing down your thoughts so that they are not as negative and destructive.
You might also want to take a look at the way you are speaking to yourself. Are you using insults or put-downs? If so, it is time to change that. As much as you might hate to admit it, you are probably not thinking too highly of yourself.
You might even have a habit of belittling your thoughts and ideas. This is a very detrimental habit that leads to low self-esteem, depression, and other mental health issues. It is time to stop lowering your expectations of yourself by constantly downplaying your own opinions and ideas.
While you may be feeling down on yourself, it is important to remember that you can’t fix your problems if you don’t even acknowledge that they exist.
You can’t change anything if you are not even aware of it. You need to stop being so hard on yourself and start seeing your mistakes as learning opportunities because that’s what they are.
2. Stop Dissing Yourself While You are Doing It
It is hard enough when things are going well, but when things are bad or going wrong, it is even worse. When this happens, it is easy to start dissing yourself and thinking less of yourself.
It is also important not to use other people as an excuse for feeling bad about yourself, because they may not deserve it at all.
While it is important to be critical of others, it is equally important, to be honest with yourself about what makes you happy and what doesn’t. If you feel like something is wrong with you but don’t know exactly why. Take some time off from blaming others for your problems and look inward instead.
3. Change the story
It is easy to tell yourself that someone else caused your problem or made you feel bad about yourself—but that story is rarely true!
Instead of telling yourself that someone else did something wrong or bad things happened because of them (and therefore making it their fault), change how you think about things so that it becomes less important.
4. Take responsibility for your feelings and behaviours
It is easy to blame other people for our problems. It is also easy to point fingers at others when we encounter a problem. But the truth is, you are responsible for the way you feel, think and behave.
You can’t change anyone else but yourself. So take responsibility for your feelings and behaviours. When you blame others, you are taking on their feelings. You are saying: “I’m not responsible for the way I feel.” This is a huge mistake.
Blaming others can also mean you are telling yourself that you don’t deserve the good things in life. It also means that you believe that you are not capable of doing something on your own.
You have the power to change this pattern by taking responsibility for your emotions, feelings and behaviours. You can choose to stop blaming others for your problems and start working on yourself instead.
5. Learn to say “no” when you need to
People often don’t mean to hurt others when they do things that make others feel bad. However, they do it because they want others to like them or because they think they are entitled to something they haven’t earned yet (like love or money).
Sometimes saying NO is hard but sometimes, saying no will help keep your relationships healthy and will ensure that everyone gets what he or she deserves in life instead of being taken advantage of.
6. Don’t expect perfection from anyone or anything
No one is perfect. We all make mistakes, and we all wish we were better at certain things. But when you constantly blame your problems on other people, you are not just wasting your energy, you are also making yourself miserable.
We all have bad days, even the best of us. When it happens, don’t be so hard on yourself. Just keep trying. You can’t make anyone else perfect. You might get mad at someone who’s not doing what you want them to do, but if they are not doing it, it is not their fault.
They are just being themselves and doing their best. Be willing to accept that everyone makes mistakes and that everyone is struggling with something at every given time. Give them a break. They are only human too.
7. Don’t keep a score of how much better someone else is doing than you
Everyone has flaws and everyone is working on improving their lives in some way such as emotional intelligence — but that doesn’t mean you should compare yourself to them, because that’s just going to make you feel bad about yourself.
If someone does something great, be grateful for what you have learned from them and thankful for all the things they have taught you about life and love.
Instead of getting caught up in the daily drama of life, try to look for something positive about every experience. It could be a small win like having a positive conversation with a co-worker or even just getting through the day without making any major mistakes at work.
Most people have an unconscious tendency to blame their problems on others. However, it is just not true that the problems of your life are caused by others. You are the problem.
So, as you must have seen above, if you want to be free of problems and have a better life, you need to take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming others for your problems and unhappiness.
It can be difficult to take responsibility for our feelings and behaviours — especially when we are blaming others for our problems. It is very easy to blame someone else for things that are happening in our lives, and it can be even more difficult to admit that we are having these problems.
But taking responsibility for your feelings and behaviours is the first step towards making changes in your life. By taking responsibility for your feelings and behaviours, you will begin to understand how they affect you and what needs to change for you to feel better about yourself.
You are not the first, and will never be the last to be in such a dilemma, so why don’t you consult those who have been in such kind of situation but still managed to scale through and try to learn from their experience?
I strongly believe that a unique power common to everyone, including the most powerless of all homo sapiens, is the power of choice.
You can choose to take the bull by the horn, by accepting and acknowledging the fact that you have yourself to blame for your failure. By so doing, you acknowledge the fact that you made some mistakes you won’t want to repeat again.
At the same time, you also have the choice to remain stagnant, and regressive, by choosing to blame anyone “blamable” for even the minutest of failures. But remember the only determinant for your success in all your endeavours is YOU.