Counsellor & Psychotherapist
Masters of Counselling & Psychotherapy UofA
Member of the ACA College of Supervisors
Level 3 Member Australian Counselling Association
We really start to grow into our true potential when we stop looking "out there" for the quality of our personal lives. How many times have you heard people saying he/she made me feel dumb/ugly/fat etc? How many times have you heard someone lament they could have been richer/happier/thinner if someone hadn't done something wrong to them?
Blaming others for our lot is tempting. After all it does seem a lot easier than owning our contribution to the course of events doesn't it? We are human after all. We need other humans, we are not islands. So why shouldn't we take the credit for what is working well and hang the blame on others for what isn't working?
At first it does seem the easy way out, but like most illusions the opposite turns out to be true. It can't be working out that well because if it was the world would be full of well rounded, happy people. Maybe it is my line of work that gives me a different perspective on this, but it just doesn't appear to be the case at all.
The truth is when we blame or point the finger to the offending party we are actually giving our power away. We are saying I don't have the means to control my emotional experience. Therefore anyone that comes into my circle of influence will define the quality of my experience. If they are positive and agree with me than I am going to be happy. If they change their mind then i am destined to be miserable. Sounds like a pretty unsettled way to live, after all your ability to be happy is always going to be determined by how others are feeling on the day.
Too often we ignore what we need to make ourselves happy and we hold others accountable. We need to start checking in with ourselves more often to find out exactly what you really need in this moment. It might be that you are overtired and need a rest. and that is why you are letting somebody get under your skin. When we become more responsive to our needs we don't need others to fill our cup.
When things go wrong rather than say "see here it goes again". Check in and see what is it that I can learn from this situation. If you are singing the "this always happens to me song", than take the time to reflect and identify what it is that you can do to stop it happening in the future. You can't control others behaviour but you can become more selective about the people you spend your time with.
Review what you are signing up for. If you want peace and harmony in your life have you picked people to spend time with that make that happen? if you want adventure and unpredictability is your job in the library providing that?
What are you resisting? What you resist persists. If you hate being overweight, spending all your time focusing on hating being overweight will only create more of hating being overweight. What are you attached to? Have you got relationships in your life out of habit which have become stale? If we let go of resistance and attachment we create space for new experiences. So your job is to make sure that you bring in the experiences that you want.
Are you being the best you that you can be? Have you identified your talents and discovered ways to share them with the world? Many of us are in jobs because the pay packet provides the quality of life that we want, but our free time can be put to good use. Volunteer, take a class, whatever it is , let it be an expression of your authentic self.
Let's face it life is pretty good, we just need to look for the good that is going on. Human nature is naturally negative it is far easier for us to identify what is not working than to pick out what is great. The great thing might be happening right next to the negative thing, it might be bigger, brighter and more impressive but we will see the negative. Get up today and make a decision that you will actively seek out what is good in the world. Personally I think any morning that I wake up and draw breath is a gift! Having that mind set makes it easier for me to see what other great things are happening in the world.
So I get back to my original question "Do you know who you are?" When we know who we are we become better at creating the life that we want. We start to own the quality of our life and we don't bother with pointing the finger of blame at others. We use our energy where we can make a difference and that is with ourselves.
Start with you, look in the mirror and listen to the self talk and chatter that is triggered by truly looking into your own eyes.
What are your values, what is it that you truly believe in? Which ones are non-negotiable?
What do I regret? What are my mistakes? If we own them, identify them as stepping stones to self knowledge, we can learn and grow from them. The good news is if we own the mistake we have the power to change our relationship to the mistake.
What is it that you want to achieve in life? Rather than saying "I can't" look at it from the perspective of "I can." If I had all the skills and attributes I needed what would I be doing with my time?
When we start to reflect on ourselves and give up finger pointing and blaming there is a real shift that takes place. You move from victim to personal empowerment. The marvelous thing is that once you do that everything improves. Worth at try? That is up to you to decide but I personally recommend it.