WHO Can I BLAME For This?

My name is Sarah, and I am a recovering blamer.

I have a long history with blaming. Growing up, our family went to church on Sundays. My father was a warden, my mother sang in the choir and my brother and I served at the alter. We couldn’t be late. We would all eat breakfast,  get showered, and put on our best outfits.

We wouldn’t be rushing until the last few minutes where all of a sudden my dad would go into overdrive and we’d all realize we were  running late…and then he’d be in the car, my brother and I close behind, and we’d all be waiting while my mom put on the final coat of nail polish. She’d get in the car, fanning her hands, and she’d see the look on my dad’s face and she’d say “What? I was waiting for YOU. I only did my nails because I was waiting for you!” He would respond, “Uh, I’m in the car, the engine’s running. I was waiting for YOU!”, and we’d speed out of the driveway.

I learned early on that the way to deal with problems was to point fingers, and so whenever things go wrong, my knee-jerk reaction has always been to blame.  It has taken me a long time and a lot of work to realize that being a “blamer” is one of the most inauthentic ways of living.

Brené Brown explains that blaming has an inverse relationship with accountability. Accountability is a vulnerable process. Blaming is a way that we discharge anger.

In this short video, Brené shares a personal example that explains how blaming showed up in her life. If you struggle with blame, I hope you take the 3 1/2 minutes to watch it.

Taking Blame vs Taking Responsibility

When I got sober, I went through a period where I swung the pendulum too far and took the blame for everything as a way to make up for all the things I refused to take responsibility for when I was drinking.

I thought I was growing.

I was wrong.

I was being a martyr.

It was passive aggressive behaviour and I wasn’t actually taking responsibility. I was saying “Fine. Sure. I can say that’s my fault…even though we all really know it isn’t…but look how amazing I am…taking the fall for it. Put that in the bank for later, people.”

What I’ve learned is there is a huge difference between taking the blame and taking responsibility.

In fact, they couldn’t be farther apart on the spectrum. One is weak and one is powerful.

In my work, I meet so many people who struggle with their weight. They blame themselves for their situation. They hate what has happened to them and they have become victims in their own lives.

They feel they have failed. They believe they are too far gone, and so they are stuck; mired in depression, frustrated with their lives, feeling hopeless about the future. They don’t believe things can change and they blame people and circumstances for their present state.

But when we take responsibility for our lives, we can see that although we may not be happy with where we are, we realize it was our own doing that got us there, and so we realize that it will be our own doing to get us out. We are in a positive mindset because we have hope; we know that with determination, we can set and achieve our goals.

We have The Power

When I quit drinking, I changed every single aspect of my life; everything was different, and instead of blaming people and circumstances, for the first time in my life, I took responsibility for all aspects of my life. Although I could see that people and circumstances played a role in my behaviour, I no longer blamed them.

When I started working out and eating better, I started to notice a shift in my attitudes and beliefs. I started to realize that the only person who can can take responsibility for my health is me. I have so much control over it. I can affect it in profound ways. And although things may happen in my life that are out of my control, I will be able to know that I did so much good.

If something happens, there won’t be anyone to blame…

I am healthy at 43 years old, and knock on wood, I will continue to be healthy at 83. I believe that when I am handed more challenges, I will able to handle those challenges as they come; without blaming others for them.

WE have the POWER.

When we stop blaming people and circumstances, we can truly create the lives we want to live. It is all up to US!

And it feels like peace.

Instead of blaming our spouses or our kids for our lack of time to exercise and our inability to eat healthy, we realize it is our choice to work out and prepare nourishing meals. Instead of blaming genetics for our Type 2 diabetes, our weight problems and our health issues, we take steps to reverse the damage by doing everything we can to improve our situation. Instead of blaming our boss or our job for our finances, our crummy job, or our crappy car, we look for ways to improve our financial situation by setting goals and taking steps to get there.

If you are a chronic blamer like I used to be, I have some homework for you. It won’t take more than a minute, and it could really help.

All you need to do is think of one area in your life where you want to make a change. Then, think of ONE thing, one small step, you can take today to get you closer to your goal.

For example, if you want to improve your financial situation, consider one of these small steps:

  • Skip the latté today
  • Tell your spouse you want to save $_____ by a certain date
  • Prepare to speak with your boss about a raise or perhaps take on another assignment
  • Call the bank or debt repayment company and make an appointment to discuss your options

If your goal is health-related, perhaps you might:

  • Skip one coffee or pop today
  • Drink one more glass of water
  • Eat one more serving of vegetables
  • Walk for 5 minutes
  • Start using a Food Journal (try this one)

When we realize our own power, everything changes, When we stop blaming others and, instead, take responsibility for our lives, we can begin to make changes that get us closer to what we want.

We can become the people we want to be. 

And isn’t that empowering?!

I think so.

Because I want you to love yourself!

Because I want you to live your dreams!

Because I want you to love your life one bite at a time.


P.S. Remember, if you’d like to sign up for the next round of the Kick The Sugar Challenge, click here and join the Wait List! The next round starts  as soon as the book is finished and I am almost there!

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