Thursday, July 25, 2024
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Paul Abraham: Don’t fall victim to the “everything is my fault” approach

By Paul Abraham of

When things go wrong, we sometimes start a list of ways we failed, ways we caused the problem. 

This kind of thinking not only can upset us, it can also keep us from being able to function. The truth is that any situation is the result of some things that are in your control and some things that are out of our control. 

Don’t delude yourself into thinking a bad situation is completely of your making.  Remember, it makes more sense to deal with outcomes than with fault.

Imagine you have friends coming for a meal, and the dishwasher is spurting out water. 

The flood is spreading across the kitchen floor, heading for the living room.  You instantly think to yourself “why did I have to do the dishes right now? Or, if I had washed the plates by hand, this wouldn’t be happening. 

If I had waited to use the dishwasher tomorrow, it wouldn’t be ruining the evening right now. It’s obvious, if only I had more sense enough to see the facts, why did I ever buy the dishwasher? I bet if I’d bought a different model, it wouldn’t be flooding my kitchen”

When things go wrong we look to lay blame, and often look in the mirror.  Psychologists have found that many of us fall victim to the “everything is my fault” approach to life. 

Two things we often overlook is how little we directly control a situation and how little value there is in spending our time blaming ourselves.  These thoughts do not fix the problem.  These thoughts do not make anything better. 

Blame is about the past; a plan of action to fix a problem is about is about the future. 

See the problem as a challenge and congratulate yourself when you have accomplished a successful outcome.


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