Here's What to Do When Things Don't Go RightNone By Homaira Kabir
You didn't get movie tickets to the latest blockbuster and now you're furious yourself. “The stupid cinema is too small”, “Trust her to buy tickets on time”, “I’ll never depend on him again” and on and on, until you have blamed the entire world for your woes. And yet, the tickets being sold out could hardly be a universal effort to destroy your life. It is your response to the event that has led to your misery.
This could be because of the way our brains are wired. You see, we generally don't respond in life. We react instead. It's a good energy-saving strategy of the brain and works well to ensure our survival. However, these subconscious reactions don't always help us thrive. Worse yet, we're often unaware of them, and fail to see our role in the outcome.
Imagine offering a sincere suggestion to a friend, but they're offended and react with anger. You think they have no reason to be upset and decide to never approach them again. Both of you blame the other and a friendship is needlessly destroyed. Your subconscious minds were in charge and reacted with their ancient survival instinct.
Conscious responding is about opening up in empathy, about taking perspective, and about taking full responsibility for our part in the outcome. It's only then that we learn to think through our behaviors, arrive at wiser decisions and respond in ways that bring out the best in us.
On this road to accepting blame, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Be On Your Own Side
Accepting blame is not about beating down on ourselves. It's about taking responsibility for our behaviors while maintaining inner trust in our capacity to create change. This courage to do the right things begins from a place of self-compassion, of knowing that we accept ourselves no matter what. It begins by forgiving ourselves, by recognizing the humanness in us so that we can rise to our humanity.
See the Learning Curve
Dr. Carol Dweck talks about the importance of developing a "growth mindset", one that sees learning as a plant that grows and blossoms with the right nourishment. A growth mindset allows us to see our mistakes as life lessons that help us refine our behaviors and become better versions of ourselves every time. A fixed mindset, on the other hand, makes us defensive of our actions and quick to lay the blame on others.
Develop Compassionate Empathy
Empathy allows us to change our "me"-centered perspective and see the situation from the mind of another person. However, sometime