Derek Sivers

from the book “”:

Everything is my fault


I hardly ever get mad, but I spent a few years being really mad at my ex-employees. They corrupted the culture of my company. They tried to stage a mutiny. They focused on their benefits instead of our clients.

Do you hear the pattern? “They this. They that.”

When someone upsets you, it’s human nature to feel it’s entirely their fault. But one day I tried thinking of everything as my fault.

I created the environment that let that happen. I ignored problems instead of addressing them early. I was aloof and away instead of managing or training managers.

It felt so good to think it was all my fault! Instead of feeling angry at someone else, I look only at myself and what I can learn from this.

This is way better than forgiving. When you forgive, you’re still assuming they’re wrong and you’re the victim. You’re just charitably pardoning their horrible deeds.

But to decide it’s your fault feels amazing! Now you weren’t wronged. They were just playing their part in the situation you created.

What power! Now you’re the person that made things happen, made a mistake, and can learn from it. Now you’re in control and there’s nothing to complain about.

This philosophy feels so good that I’ve playfully decided to apply this “everything is my fault” rule to the rest of my life. As soon as I catch myself blaming anyone for anything, I remember it’s my fault.

Doesn’t that feel more powerful? Try it. Maybe instead of “fault” you prefer the word “responsibility”, but the idea is the same. Think of every bad thing that happened to you, and imagine you happened to it.
(Photo by Nathan Rupert.)