• briantohana

4 Steps to Stop Blaming Yourself for Reactions - How to Decouple Fault from Responsibility

What I'm referring to are all of those times you react and then regret it.

The most common example I hear is parents with their children.

Your kids push enough buttons that you finally snap and yell at them.

The "mom-guilt" is strong.

This quote is meant to decouple fault from responsibility.

By that I mean, you don't have to blame or shame yourself in order to change.

“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.” - Carl Rogers

Coaching many parents, I've seen that self-acceptance and self-compassion actually bring about change much faster.

But accepting our reactions seems risky. Won't that mean that it'll keep happening? Acceptance feels like being negligent or letting yourself off the hook.

4 Key Steps to Shift from Fault to Responsibility:

1) Acknowledge the aspect of you who wants to be better and is trying their best. This one seems to be seriously hard for a lot of people because they believe that they could do better but they're not. You have to be willing to see and believe that you're actually doing the best that you can.

2) Acknowledge the situation that contributed to your reaction, not as an excuse but as a means of bringing understanding to oneself. A bunch of things added up and you're at capacity. You're human. Everyone has their limits.

3) Work at communicating clear boundaries. We often reach capacity because we feel uncomfortable saying no. No is a complete sentence that does not need justification or explanation. "Kind of saying no" in more or less words is not the same thing as saying no.

4) Commit to a strategy for change. It's easier to accept your reactions if you're actively trying to change your behaviour. When x happens, instead of z I'm going to y. Acknowledge that habit building takes time and conscious effort. What's the smallest change that would make the biggest difference? Commit to focusing on that for 30 days.

Also check out my blog "Eliminating Judgment with Discernment" that outlines what discernment is. It explains how we can still have boundaries based on values and preferences without guilting, shaming, blaming, complaining or putting down anyone else.