Have you ever assumed accountability for something that went wrong, even if you were not directly at fault?
Sometimes, we may put the blame on ourselves when it is not necessarily deserved. For example, managers often believe that underperforming and not meeting their targets are a reflection of their management skills, while overlooking the role of the rest of the company in attempting to reach those collective goals. Personalizing such negative outcomes can leave us feeling guilty, stressed, and anxious.
If you experience these feelings, write down a list of all the possible causes of the event in question. Then attach a % score to the likelihood of each one happening. When reflecting on the context affecting the situation and causation, to what degree did it directly depend on yourself? The answer will most likely be that the outcome was more out-of-your-control than you originally thought. We can build our self confidence by focusing on what we can do, not what we could have done.
Return to this exercise anytime you may find yourself unfairly taking responsibility for a negative outcome in any aspect of your life.
Written by Alejandro Serrano Saunders
Alejandro is the Chief-Scientific Officer of uMore, the AI-powered mental well-being tracker.