Ever catch yourself in that cycle of blame, resentment and good old-fashioned feeling sorry for yourself and how hard you’ve got it? I catch myself there. I don’t like admitting that. And I don’t like being all blame-y. 

Dr Brene Brown’s research says that ‘blame is simply a discharging of discomfort and pain’.

For those of us in caring professions, whose job it is to serve and to give to others, it’s easy to find ourselves in that cycle of resentment and blame. Often it’s linked to a lack of self care. When we don’t consider ourselves, when we put everyone before us, our tanks get empty and we get resentful. When we don’t put boundaries in place for ourselves and for others, our tanks get empty, our discomfort and our pain builds and we get blame-y.

But here’s another finding from Dr Brown’s research: ‘People who blame a lot seldom have the tenacity and grit to hold people accountable’.

Ouch, that’s uncomfortable for us as leaders intent on showing up as the best version of ourselves every day. 

It means that when we catch ourselves in pain and discomfort, before we get to blame someone else, we get to look at our role and our responsibility:

  1. Have I established clear boundaries as to what I could do and when?
  2. Have I been realistic with myself about what I could achieve? Or did I say yes because I thought I ‘should’?
  3. Have I asked for help or talked to someone about how I’m going?
  4. Have I been bravely honest with myself and others? When I heard my inner voice tell me ‘No way, you do not have time to get this done properly’ Did I listen? Or did I say yes to please others?
  5. Have I set realistic expectations for myself or am I letting perfection get in the way?

And of course, as leaders who know the value of self compassion, we ask these questions and reflect on the answers with generosity and kindness to ourselves



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