It’s Not Your Fault!


It’s not your fault.

You may not always use those exact words when you whisper to yourself.
It may not even be a whisper, only a feeling.

But that feeling has passed through you, so many times.

We look at ourselves, and we don’t always like what we see.

But we hate to feel small. We hate to feel bad about messing up.
It takes us back to our time as children, and being told by those we love that we don’t measure up.

Guilt is all about that.
It’s about feeling that you’re not good enough, and that you’ve screwed up.

In Why Do You Hate Selling, we spoke about five powerful ways of influencing others.
The second of those ways is telling others that their failures are not their fault.

It’s so comforting when someone gets rid of our guilt, and tells us that we couldn’t help what we did.

Oh No! What did I do?
We feel bad about mistakes that we have made, and the ways that we’ve been mistreated.

But that’s all in the past.
We can focus, on the past, the present, or the future.

Seems like we spend a lot of time thinking about the past.
We’ve been unintentionally trained to focus on what we’ve done wrong, and how others have wronged us, all in the past.

And when we turn all of our hearts, and all of our minds to focus on the past, we live in a closed world.

The past is done, fixed. It will never change.

And when something can’t change, and when we can’t change it, we feel closed in.
We feel trapped.

As children, there were many things that we needed to learn.
As we learn, we make mistakes.
That’s always the way it works.
There’s no learning without mistakes.

Those who helped us learn and grow, such as our parents, wanted us to learn from our mistakes.

But more often then not, they focused too much on what we had done wrong, and not enough on what we could become.
Enter guilt.
Most of our parents truly wanted what’s best for us, but they trained us to focus too much on the past. And these habits of heart and mind that turn us toward the past, make us feel small, trapped, and enslaved.

We’re thrilled when someone comes along and says that what we did in the past doesn’t really matter.

It’s not your fault.

Feel the weight drop away when you hear those words?
It’s the weight of carrying the past, and living in a small, closed, dead world.

Back to the Future
But is it so wonderful when someone frees us from the past and responsibility?

It’s true that the past is gone. We can’t change it.

And the future is open, and potentially limitless, and the future can be free of the past.

But, do those who excuse our past, encourage us to act and build a limitless future?
There are wonderful people like that.

But in my experience, they are few.
Many of the people who tell us to forget the past are trying to manipulate us.
They’re really saying:

It’s not your fault.
There’s nothing else you could have done.

And there’s nothing you can do.
There’s nothing you ever really do.
You need me to tell you what to do

These people are encouraging us to think of ourselves as helpless, and follow them in the direction of their choice.

We can’t totally ignore the past if we want to change habits of mind and feeling that turn us in directions that we don’t want to go.

But we have to give the past only a little bit of attention, and use it as a springboard into the future, and be powerful people who want to choose our own future.

One Sentence Persuasion<< Previous in Series                     Next in Series >>
  1. Why Do You Hate Selling?
  2. Are You Afraid to Dream?
  3. It’s Not Your Fault!
  4. Why Do People Use Fear to Influence You?
  5. What’s Your Secret?
  6. Who Are Your Enemies?

6 comments to It’s Not Your Fault!

  • Guilt is a tricky thing…sometimes we are guilty while at other times we are not…and people use the “guilt” trip to try to control and/or manipulate us. The key to getting “out” of this game is to take refuge in God and let Him deal with individuals who try to control using guilt. When your refuge is in God, then you become guilt free. This has been my personal experience of leading a life with minimal guilt-control by others, and also allowing me to freely love and serve through work, friend, family, and prayers.

    Keith Johnson
    Hallandale, FL, USA

  • Years ago, a very wise man instructed me that “Guilt is the compulsion to repeat the act correctly, to set things right”.

    If we are able to correct mistakes (large or small), then guilt is supposed to nudge us to do so. If there is no possibility to correct an error, learn from the pain of guilt to avoid the same mistake in the future, then let it go . . .

    Unfortunately, we cling to guilt and sabotage ourselves as unworthy, long past the time when those guilty feelings could have spurred us to improvement.

    I agree with your previous commentor that the healthiest action is to “Let Go and Let God” handle things, so we can stay strong to accomplish whatever our mission in life is.

  • Yes, I agree.But when you are doing the right things with the right intention then you don’t have to worry about what people say..
    I agree with Keith words:
    …’When your refuge is in God, then you become guilt free…’
    A good post.Thanks for sharing.
    God bless.

  • Very well said, Brennan…

    Guilt is the protective force that keeps as in balance with everyone and everything else we hold so dear.

  • Great Post! Thanks for inspiring me. I really enjoy the content of your blog.

    Love & Gratitude,
    Think Simple. Be Decisive.
    ~ Productivity, Motivation & Happiness

  • Thanks for inspiring me…sometimes we easily feel guilty even though sometimes we should not feel that way…Great Post it can help reader who are experiencing guilt.

    Love & Gratitude,
    Think Simple Now
    ~ Clarity & Happiness

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