Differences between Taking Responsibility and Blaming

Learning the differences between taking responsibility and blaming was one of the most powerful tools I’ve learned to live a fulfilling life. Now, I’ve been getting lessons on this one since I was a teenager. I think my mom’s favorite lines were, “I can’t make you do anything.” Along with, “I can’t make you feel anything.” She helped me to see (while fighting, dragging, and clawing to hold onto blame) that I have more power than I was giving myself. What took me a lot longer to figure out was the difference between taking responsibility versus self-blaming. I would self-blame relentlessly to the point of suicide attempts. 

For someone in the stage of contemplating suicide knowing the difference can mean life or death. For someone who is so full of rage over someone else’s poor choices, it can be what gives them the power to rise above and take care of their own energy, so that they are not dragged down to respond with violence. 

We can’t MAKE anyone do anything to serve the highest good, but we can choose to be responsible for what we are doing. Our thoughts, beliefs, actions, and reactions matter, so taking care of those can and will make a difference in how we CHOOSE to live our lives. Being able practice this tool means first understanding the differences between responsibility and blaming.

Here are some of the differences:

  • Taking responsibility opens our minds to possibilities of solutions and change. Blaming creates wars both internally and externally while focusing on the problem instead of the solution.
  • Taking responsibility takes down defensive walls, while blaming builds them.
  • Taking responsibility empowers us to be human while celebrating it and learning from it. Blaming disempowers us.
  • Taking responsibility is healthy, which includes healthy self-talk and healthy communications with others.  Blaming is unhealthy and can include abusive thinking and/or actions towards ourselves and others. 
  • Taking responsibility involves aligning with positive energy. Blaming buries us in our own darkness.
  • Taking responsibility focuses on what we want. Blaming focuses on what we don’t want.

Taking personal responsibility involves being aware of how our thoughts, feelings, actions, and reactions affect our choices. Once we become aware of our part in any choices that had a negative outcome, we open ourselves up to make better choices in the future. We give others a tool on how to work with us better in the future, even if the future is within minutes away. Taking responsibility takes the toxic weight of blame and shame out of the room. 

Blaming is the foundation of toxic problem-solving. When we use the negative energy of blame to come up with solutions, our energy is working against us. Our focus is in the problem, which tends to create more problems. This works the same inside us as it does outside of us. When we hold onto negative energy of someone else’s choices, we are responsible for that energy. We are responsible for feeding the beast.

Taking responsibility doesn’t mean it’s all your fault, it just mean you see where you can do better. There is no self-abuse. 

Sometimes we just have to ask ourselves

  • What perspectives, thoughts, and beliefs am I holding that are contributing towards and energy I don’t want?
  • How can I change what isn’t working?
  • What actions can I take to remove myself from unhealthy people making unhealthy choices?
  • How do I stand up for what I believe without putting my energy into what I’m against?
  • What did I do to confuse this situation? What can I do to fix my part?
  • What can I contribute to a positive solution?
  • What choice in actions will make me feel better about what happened?
  • How do I keep my side of the street clean?

What other people do is there business. You only have to consider the energy flowing through you and what you want that to look like. Nobody else’s poor choices are worth us going down internally with them. Our minds, bodies, outlooks, and beliefs can be empowered or disempowered and the choice is ALWAYS ours. 

With Love and Gratitude, 

Rachael Wolff ©2020

38 More Day Until the Release of Letters from A Better Me!

90-Day A Better Me Series: Day 15 – Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

Part I: A Journey of Awareness

What Holds Us Back: The Unstable Foundation


Day 15: Buying and Selling Blame in the Media

“People spend too much time finding other people to blame, too much energy finding excuses for not being what they are capable of being, and not enough energy putting themselves on the line, growing out of the past, and getting on with their lives.”

-J. Michael Straczynski

Blame is one of those things society supports us doing. Mass and social media thrive on the blame, shame, fear, judgment, and hate in the world. Here’s the tricky part—If we are engaging in it, we are supporting it. Watch the news and see how you react to the stories they are telling. If the media says we should shame a person, do we? If we are told to blame this politician, government, or school system, do we? If we are told to hate a hate group, do we? If we are, we are contributing to the very energy that got us to where we are in the first place. How has this tactic worked for us so far?

We can’t get sucked into blaming the media for doing this. If we are blaming, we are contributing to the vicious cycle. I know, it’s not easy! Believe me, I KNOW! Here’s our responsibility in the matter. We’ve trained the media and entertainment to be this way. They wouldn’t survive if this way of delivering news, campaigning, and entertaining didn’t work. I watched candidates in elections try to run a clean campaign and because they didn’t bash the other opponents, while the opponents were bashing them, the majority didn’t follow them. It doesn’t even matter that most of the mudslinging is us being manipulated—We fall for it. We don’t want to spend the time searching for the truth, so we like to believe what people tell us. If we buy into this method, they are going to keep selling it to us. Otherwise, they wouldn’t succeed at their business.

So, they may feel like they are stuck just as much as we might feel we are. Some media blames the people watching because they are driving the sales and the people watching sometimes will choose to blame the media for not being better. Both sides are caught up in the blame, so we feed that energy and we attract worse and worse. We have people who are extremely sick looking for their 15 minutes of fame, and they don’t care how they get it. We are focused on the worst in society so we perpetuate the cycle of fear and create more of it. If the majority of a nation focuses on blaming, shaming, and fear, we can manifest leaders who project our vision out to the world. Scary, right?

I took a course on media and society in college. One of the most eye opening segments was about how our views are skewed by the media using racism and sexism even in crisis situations. For a compassionate and empathetic person like me, it put me in tears and just thinking about it makes me tear up right now. They showed us pictures and news stories after Hurricane Katrina had devastated areas of Louisiana and Mississippi. One news story had a black man carrying supplies over his head through waste deep waters and the news sources sold it as looting. Tell me that doesn’t stir up some blame cycles on both sides of the situation. Then a white woman doing the same thing is sold as surviving. Once again, the media plays to what sells. At the time I saw this, I’m not going to lie, my blame cycle went into full swing. It broke my heart how the value of people’s lives can be judged against each other. I really had to recognize what that energy was doing to me. For a while after taking that course, I couldn’t watch the news AT ALL. Now, I only watch in very small doses and I do my best to research any part of the news that doesn’t feel right. If a news story is focused on the sick individuals causing the pain, I research the people who are showing love and support to the communities involved. I follow the stream of good Samaritans who step up to fulfill what they feel is their calling to serve. I focus on what people are doing to support the victims of violent acts and natural disasters. This helps me to stay out of the energy of blame and focus on love

When I hear stories of natural disasters, terrorists, mass shootings, and overall violence, I have to REALLY be AWARE of where my mind is going. If I go into the fear, shame, blame, judgment, and hate, I feel helpless. I feel victimized by what I’m seeing. I feel scared to adventure because the fear of others. I’m scared to use my voice in fear of what might come back at me. All I know is that I’m not at peace when I choose to live my life there. I have to make a conscious CHOICE to take my mind somewhere that lifts me above all the darkness. That is why I ALWAYS go to seeking out the loving and compassionate acts of others. I still cry my eyes out, but the energy of those tears feed my soul. They inspire me to be and do better. They remind me of my humanity. So, I will support the stories that encourage the best in humanity. I will give them views, likes, shares, and comments on social media, because that is the energy I want to feed.

I’m not saying anyone who wants to watch the news should stop. All I’m saying is make sure you know where your mind goes while you’re watching it. If you want a better life for yourself and others stay away from the finger pointing and start to investigate your thoughts. If you think something shouldn’t be the way it is, what can you do about it? What is your part in not feeding that energy? Doing that is what led me to writing a blog. I needed to focus my energy on what I wanted in my life and that was to come From A Loving Place. I know I’m accountable for the energy I put out into the world. From A Loving Place is a reminder for me to live life from a loving energy and spread it the best way I know how, which for me is through my words.

Side note

I will talk about that A LOT more in Part III of the series, because it’s not about following someone else’s path but figuring out your own. Part III will give you tools to do that.

We do have choices in what we buy into. There are magazines and shows that support us invading people’s lives that keep the blaming and shaming cycles in overdrive, we can choose not to buy them or buy into them. There are magazines and shows that support the best in us, we can choose to buy them and into them. Just remember that we will continue to get more of whatever we focus on. You get to decide where your head goes. No one has control over where you put your attention. Where we go on the inside will create our reality. If we focus on the evils and fears in humanity, we find ourselves surrounded by them over and over with no focus on anything good. If we want to focus on the loving actions of others, we will see them over and over!

Just for Today

Watch media sources with full of awareness of where your mind goes. Where is your focus?

Remember Part I is all about AWARENESS. This is heavy stuff and my promise to you is that if you stick with the 90-Day A Better Me Series, by the end, you will feel shifts you never saw coming and they are nothing compared to what happens if you do the work in the 35-DAY A BETTER ME BOOT CAMP. The transformative power that comes from shifting our perspectives is life changing.

Thank you for joining me today.

With Love and Gratitude,


Rachael Wolff © 2019

A Better Me


Don’t forget to check out the companion letter from the 90-Day A Better Me Letters Series (click here to go there now)

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If you are ready to commit to the transforming your perspective to live the life you want:

Check out the 35-Day A Better Me Boot Camp HERE!