You are the only one

Hand with Dandelion. This image is CC0!

It may sound like a cliché. It will be true, nevertheless: The responsibility for self-improvement is our own. We may need help from others. Unless we actively request that help or at least accept help if offered, we cannot blame anyone but ourselves. This is the third Lean Self principle:



The first step towards sustainable self-improvement is to accept that responsibility. As long as you blame others for things going wrong in your life instead of acting, improvement will be minor.

What if you think blaming is just the only option? We can discuss this with an example: Maybe you have been fired. You can blame your former employer for that. Maybe this is correct. An unjust decision of your ex-employer is the cause for you being out of the job. Go on, blame them. But will this blaming help you in your new situation? No. It may be good for your emotional balance, but is directed at the past. Self-improvement is about the future, not about the past.

You could blame somebody else: Yourself. As a matter of fact, blaming yourself may be even worse, because it corrupts your self-confidence and, again, is directed at the past. Remember the first rule of Lean Self:


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