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Using Blame for Gain

“It’s not my fault.”

Such a simple statement. Repeated by thousands of people a day. An indicator of some kind of guilty conscience?

We deny ourselves the feeling of guilt by blaming others. The inescapable, gnawing sensation of knowing we might have to take responsibility for doing something bad builds up. Eventually only finding something, anything, anyone else to blame will reduce the pressure.

You can only escape by blaming others for so long, however, until the guilt returns. Thus, an endless cycle between the two continues on and on…

Maybe you’ll remember getting caught cheating on a test, stolen snacks from the kitchen or lied to get out of an important commitment?

In each case, time passes, you realise your mistakes and you feel a sense of remorse taking over you. Guilt will weigh you down, like a heavy lock chained around your heart. It’s all-encompassing and only builds up after time.

But still, you know that once you’ve made amends, once you’ve asked for forgiveness, the guilt can dissipate and you are free to move on. It doesn’t have to be prolonged, as long as you remain open-minded.

Letting guilt fester, however, can lead you down a darker path.

It gnaws on you, growing constantly, diminishing you, until maybe you even start to feel unworthy and lose sight of what is truly important.

The pressure that others put on you can contribute to this. When your family, friends or co-workers have an expectation of you, and an added pressure for you to succeed without any sense of failure, it can lead to an added sense of guilt and feeling of not being valued.

Everyone has been there. It takes the strength to push back from that feeling, conquer that inner demon inside your head saying, “You aren’t good enough,” and keep going in order to succeed.

Don’t get bogged down in this guilt. It’s important to be able to find blame in other things, at least temporarily, until you can find the desire claw yourself out of the feeling completely.

Transforming the anger that drives you to blame others into a passion to make change in yourself is then your next step. The want and need to avoid the actions that made you feel guilty in the first place is a gradual journey, but one not to be ashamed of taking.

This kind of self-reflection, seeing the bad before getting to the good, can help you develop powerfully.

This blog is one of a series of reflections on “The Spiral Staircase” a personal emotional tracking and management tool which is part of “The Key to Business and Personal Success” by Martyn Pentecost. Find out more here.

The Key: To Business and Personal Success