Are you like me and blame yourself whenever ANYTHING goes wrong?
This confused me as I am not known as a people pleaser, nor do I suffer from low self-esteem.
So I went looking for the answer to why I was throwing so much blame my way, when whammo: it hit me. And it was a total surprise.
Tune in to learn more.
EPISODE 186 TRANSCRIPTION
Welcome, welcome to another episode of From Hostage to Hero with Sari de la Motte. I am here with you today talking about here's why you blame yourself for every damn thing if in fact you do. And if you're like me, you of course do. I do want to say Happy Thanksgiving to those of you who celebrate, which was yesterday. And we don't celebrate because of the whole narrative of Pilgrims and Indians and they're all having this grand old time and that's actually not what happened. Google it. But for those of you who do celebrate, Happy Thanksgiving. I do love the gratitude piece of it, but I have a gratitude practice that I do every day and I'm very grateful for you, so I'll take any opportunity to tell you that. But you might be thinking that I have some issues with holidays, especially if you're getting my love notes that I send you every Thursday.
If you're not getting my love notes, go to sariswears.com and get on the newsletter list because it's really not a newsletter, it's just I send you these things about me and wanting to know about you and all the things. But I talked about how I don't like 4th of July. I mean, I have no problems with 4th of July, I just don't love fireworks and how loud they are and I don't love that we picked that for our anniversary, which y'all have heard about. And I don't love Halloween and I love Halloween, but I don't dress up for it. So no, I am not one of those people who hates every holiday.
I love Christmas, I'll tell you that much. And Christmas is a big thing in Scandinavia, in Finland, and gnomes have always been around in Scandinavian full culture, but now they're like everywhere, which my husband's not really excited about because I'm buying all of the gnomes. If you come to my house at Christmas, it's like gnome village everywhere. All right. I've gone off topic.
Today we're talking about here's why you blame yourself. So I blame myself for everything apparently. I didn't know this until my husband continually pointed it out most recently. And I realized that he's right, I do that. I blame myself if the cancer comes back, right? Maybe I'm not eating healthfully enough or I'm not exercising enough, or maybe I'm drinking too much, even though I rarely drink these days. But in my mind, it's like if it comes back, it's my fault. I had that thought when I got the cancer. It was like, okay, well it's because I was too stressed or I was working too much or all of the things. I used the chemicals, I got my hair done, I got my nails done, that must be the reason why I got the cancer. It's my fault.
If I have an issue with friends or with family, it's like, well, maybe I'm not seeing this clearly. Maybe I did something wrong. Maybe I'm at fault. And this is probably true for you as well. I know it's true for many of you in terms of a trial. If you lose trial you think, well, I should have done that or I shouldn't have done this and you blame yourself for the outcome that you get. And I know that you do it and obviously, I do it as well.
Now, when Kevin pointed this out to me, I thought, well, this is very interesting because this doesn't sound like me. I'm the farthest thing from a victim, for example. I am not a people pleaser on any level. I don't have low self-esteem as y'all know. I think I'm pretty damn amazing. I think y'all are pretty amazing too. But not that I'm saying that if you have a problem blaming yourself that you are a victim or a people pleaser or you have low self-esteem. But particularly for me, those were the places that I go and look to go, well, why am I blaming myself because none of those things apply to me?
And so I really wanted to figure this out and I had a session with my therapist, and I believe I figured it out, and I, of course, wanted to share this with you because I think y'all do this too. Here's what it all comes down to.
Here is the reason why you are blaming yourself if you're like me for every damn thing. It comes down to one thing and here it is.
If I blame myself, what I'm saying is, I had an opportunity to do something different to fix this and therefore, I have control.
So if I was the reason that I got cancer, I can make sure it never comes back, right? If I blame myself for that, then on some crazy-ass level, I think, well, then I have this control over it so that it never comes back. If I'm the problem in a relationship, then that means that I can fix it. If you stop doing X, Y, or Z at trial, you tell yourself that's how you can end up winning cases. But here's the problem. When and if the cancer does come back, when my relationship doesn't change with said person, when you lose trial again, it starts this nasty cycle yet again of blame because we keep beating ourselves up for getting the same results, and rinse and repeat.
This is very similar, I was thinking about this, to defensive attribution. Is it not? I mean, when we think about why jurors want to believe that our plaintiff has done something wrong, it's a psychological thing. It's a way that they protect themselves. They have to think the plaintiff did something wrong; they didn't look where they were walking; they didn't get the second opinion because if they had this wouldn't have happened. And what they're really saying is, if I was in that situation, I would've done those things and this thing wouldn't have happened.
I mean, we know as plaintiff trial attorneys and as plaintiff trial attorney consultants, that bad shit happens all the time and has nothing to do with anything that the plaintiff did or did not do and yet, we do the same thing to ourselves.
We blame ourselves because we think on a certain level that we have control.
I don't know if you've been watching the season five of The Crown. We've been watching all seasons and we started season five recently and I'd say spoiler alert, but these are all historical events, so if you don't know our history, then that's your problem for the spoiler alert that I'm about to give you, which is they were talking about a five-year-old that ended up dying of cancer in one of the episodes. And Prince Phillip, at that time, he had said, I mean, who knows if he actually said this, but in The Crown, the actual TV show, he said, "There is a group of people who believe that when you get cancer, it's something that you bring on yourself, that it's a wrong thinking that you can fix." And he said, "But when a five-year-old gets cancer and dies, it really does throw that right out the window."
Here's what I want to really have you get from today's episode, and that is that control is an illusion.
We blame ourselves to feel in control. We try to trick our brains because we don't want to believe that cancer can happen to us, to our loved ones, to fucking five-year-olds. We don't want to believe that the people who are supposed to love us don't actually love us. We don't want to believe that we don't have control in the courtroom and over what happens in that verdict room. That's scary as fuck. But until and unless we surrender our illusion of control, because we don't have to surrender control because we never fucking had it in the first place, we are not going to have fulfilling lives because we're going to consistently be in this thinking that there's something else we could have done, there's something else we can do to control the crazy-ass shit that happens in life.
It's not until we embrace the uncertainty of life, the good, the bad, all of it, that we find freedom. Freedom is not found in control. Freedom is found in surrender, which is what I am having to learn every single fucking day since my cancer diagnosis. You would think that once you're NED, no evidence of disease, that you go on and live your merry life. But now every ache, every lump, every bump, all of it creates all of that fear all over again that the cancer is back. And what I'm having to learn is that I'm going to have to surrender the illusion of control.
That doesn't mean that I'm not going to eat better and watch my alcohol intake and exercise because all of those things are great. And even if the cancer does come back, I'll be in a better position to meet it when I'm healthier and eating well and exercising. It doesn't mean we'd throw it all to the wind and say, well, fuck everything. Why do anything? This is life. This is how it works. We cannot control.
So the next time that you blame yourself for anything, right, I want you to ask yourself, what am I trying to control? Because amazing as you are, amazing as I am, in reality, we control very little in this thing called Life. Talk to you next week.
While you wait for next week's episode, how would you like instant access to exclusive trial skills training on my H2H Funnel Method for voir dire? Grab a pen and paper so you can jot down the website address for a 16-minute video that will help you win more cases. The free training is called Let the Jury Solve Your Problems in Three Easy Steps. And I'm even going to send you a workbook to go with it. Now, are you ready for the address? Visit sariswears.com/training. You'll see me there. Enjoy.
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