When you catch yourself asking bad questions, turn them around by asking questions that increase your personal accountability. Instead of asking questions like “Why don’t my children listen to me?” change the question to a more responsible one. Begin with “what” or “how” and then add an “I” to it. Ask yourself questions like “What can I do to be a more effective parent?” When you change the questions you ask, you accept personal responsibility for whatever role you had in causing the problem. You switch your focus to what to do about it rather than deflecting blame on others.
You don’t stop playing the blame game overnight. If you’ve played the role of victim for a lifetime, you may be challenged to accept your new position of personal accountability. If you want help, a coach or counselor can speed your progress working through the issues from your past. The most important step is the first—learning to identify when you are blaming. Once you become more aware of your finger pointing, you can begin to confront it.
Let go of resentment. One of the biggest problems with resentment is that it feels good in the short run. The anger that stems from resentment energizes and can provide you with a temporary sense of purpose and drive.
The challenge is that the problems that resentment can cause usually show up later, after resentment has changed from a short-term emotional reaction into a real or imagined injustice. After a while, resentment can take on a life of its own. For some people, resentment can become the central focus of life. Because resentment points away from you and toward someone or something else, it can reinforce the false belief that your emotions are caused by outside circumstances and individuals and are not your personal responsibility.
This article is excerpted from Breakthrough Living, A Journey of Hope & Healing, a new book by Dr. Mark Sanna. Telephone 1-800-723-8423 to purchase your copy and to learn more about Breakthrough Coaching.