From Blame to Gratitude

Love him or hate him, you can’t deny that Tony Robbins knows a thing or two about the power of a positive mindset. Recently, he blew our minds with a really simple, but powerful shift in perspective that involves finding the growth and gratitude in your hurt. Very few people in this world are evil to the core. It’s possible for someone to betray you in an unforgivable way, but to have also added value to your life. That’s where “blaming effectively” comes in.

We’ve all had a wide spectrum of people hurting us to varying degrees. Maybe your manager took credit for your work? Or a family member was disrespectful? Or a partner was unfaithful? Whatever it is, you’ve likely reached a breaking point where you got good and angry at the person for overstepping your boundaries and/or disregarding your feelings. Even if you received an apology, you might still harbor a little resentment. If you’re having trouble finding closure, maybe it’s time to not only claim the anger you feel for the person who wronged you, but also to claim the power in the lesson that wrong taught you.

First of all, it’s okay to feel angry. It’s okay to hold people accountable for their actions, sometimes even to the point of cutting them off – but be thoughtful and fair with your blame. The other side of blaming someone for your troubles, is the acknowledgment that their actions were a catalyst for your growth. It’s also so important to blame others for the specific things they did to betray you, being careful not to romanticize the situation and hold a grudge about a fantasy future that may not have happened with or without the betrayal. 

Not only does blaming effectively help you to avoid the toxicity of villainizing someone, but it helps you to recognize the value in the lessons their negative actions taught you, and how you’ve grown as a result. For example, when talking about his abusive mother, Robbins said, “If she had been the mother I wanted, I would not be the man I am proud to be.”

Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying it’s necessary to allow others to walk all over you in the spirit of personal growth, nor are we suggesting that you should be thankful for a betrayal. What we’re talking about is honoring the entirety of a relationship, instead of focusing only on the negative – allowing you to embrace your boundaries, as well as gratitude, growth and forgiveness.

This amazing shift in perspective makes it easier to forgive and move on – for your own sake. By allowing you to see the positive change in yourself (or the opportunity for growth), it allows you to let go of resentment. Because let’s be real, hanging on to resentment hurts you a lot more than the person you’re angry with.

By finding gratitude in the lessons we learn while navigating our relationship problems, they don’t have to be a source of ongoing pain. As Robbins said, “Problems are what make us grow. Problems are what sculpt our soul. Problems are what make us become more.”