The Important Difference Between Blame And Responsibility

We all make mistakes. It’s inevitable that we will sometimes make decisions and take actions that end up having negative outcomes.

When we assign blame – whether that’s to ourselves or others – we are dwelling on the problem. We risk staying in the past, and reliving the mistake over and over. [And getting progressively more bitter and resentful].

Responsibility is about looking forwards. We acknowledge the mistake, apologise for it, and work hard to put things right. And we shift our focus to the future – to not repeating the same mistake. To doing – and being – better next time round.

This is hardly a new idea. As Epictetus said 2000 years ago: “It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.”

However, we sometimes find ourselves unable to see the wood for the trees, and at times like that, a little reminder can help …

[NB This is adapted from my book, ‘The Self Help Summary‘ – a short guide to the key ideas and thinkers from the world of personal development. You can find it on Amazon.]

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