How to Overcome Self-Blame

Masterclass with Insights from Leanne Cameron (Counselor, MEd, RCT, CCC)

It’s common to experience self-blame after narcissistic abuse.

Self-blame is a psychological phenomenon where an individual holds themselves personally responsible for events or situations, often in a negative or punitive way. 

Some common thoughts you might have if you’re experiencing this are:

  • “It’s my fault this happened.”
  • “I must have done something to deserve this.”
  • “If I had been different, they wouldn’t have treated me this way.”
  • “I should have known better than to trust them.”
  • “I’m to blame for not leaving the situation sooner.”

If you can relate to those thoughts, this masterclass could be for you.

Meet Leanne Cameron.

She is a Counselor from Nova Scotia, Canada.

Today, she will guide you through five strategies to help you overcome the challenges associated with self-blame.

Watch Now

  • Warning: This content discusses narcissism and narcissistic abuse. This subject may be triggering for some people. If you find yourself feeling triggered, please click here to watch our Trigger/Flashback Protocol.

If you struggle to stay focused when consuming long-form content, you’re not alone. We’ve found that listening to our content as you read the transcript is the easiest way to stay focused because the audio will keep you on pace with the text. In addition, when you do this, the information is processed by two different parts of your brain, which can give you a more comprehensive understanding and memory of the material.

Leanne Cameron’s Strategies

We recommend using If/When-Then Plans to implement Leanne Cameron’s advice effectively. Please click here to learn more about this research-backed approach.

First Strategy: Set Boundaries

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [0:15] and rewatch Leanne Cameron’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Deeper dive

Leanne Cameron highlighted the importance of setting boundaries while explaining this strategy. Here’s a course that will help you do this.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Second Strategy: Discernment

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [11:28] and rewatch Leanne Cameron’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created a writing activity. Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

Prompt:

Choose a recent situation that has caused feelings of self-blame and begin your free-write while following these guidelines.

1.) Stick to the Facts & Aim for Sequential Recounting

Describe this situation as if you were a court reporter. 

Do this by factually presenting the sequence of actions and words without adding emotional interpretations or personal judgments.

The goal here is to create a step-by-step outline of the situation.

Start with what initiated the situation, followed by what was said and done by both you and the other person. 

When you finish, you want this free-write to have a clear, back-and-forth flow to help you accurately track the situation’s progression.

2.) Challenge Self-Blame

With the factual sequence of events clear in your mind, reflect on the self-blame you’re feeling.

Ask yourself, “Is this self-blame appropriate? Am I to blame, or are these feelings of self-blame a result of conditioned thinking?”

In this context, “conditioned thinking” refers to thought patterns and beliefs that you may have developed due to the consistent and repetitive damaging experiences or teachings from the narcissist in your life.

Pro Tip: If you need help determining if you’re truly to blame for the situation, click here to share this free-write with the community (under your name or anonymously). We’d be more than happy to support you.


Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Third Strategy: Grieve

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [23:26] and rewatch Leanne Cameron’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Deeper Dive

Leanne Cameron highlighted the importance of grieving while explaining this strategy. Here’s a masterclass that will help you do this.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fourth Strategy: Differentiating 

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [30:35] and rewatch Leanne Cameron’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

Resource Alert

To help you put this strategy into practice, we’ve created a writing activity. Give it a try – it’s designed to support your journey.

Step 1: Embrace the CEO Mindset

Visualize yourself as the CEO of your life, sitting at a table with different versions of yourself from various ages and experiences.

Step 2: Recognize the Past’s Influence

Please take a moment to acknowledge that these versions of yourself may still be reacting to past events, and their fears or beliefs may not apply to your present situation.

Step 3: Identify the Source of Self-Blame

Identify from which version your feelings of self-blame are originating.

Step 4: Acknowledge and Comfort Your Past Self

Acknowledge that while you, as the present and whole Self, are not to blame, this version of you is blaming themselves and needs to be addressed compassionately.

Step 5: Engage in an Internal Dialogue

Have a conversation with the version of you that is feeling the blame. Ask why it feels the way it does, and listen to its concerns. 

Remember to approach this dialogue with patience and understanding. This process helps in understanding the root of the self-blame.

Step 6: Write a Self-Compassionate Letter

Challenge the self-blame by writing a compassionate letter to yourself. 

This letter is an opportunity to communicate with the version of yourself carrying the burden of self-blame.

In your letter, you can include the following elements:

  • A Gentle Correction of Misconceptions

    Address any negative or unfounded beliefs that this version of yourself holds. Write with kindness and understanding, as if you were speaking to a dear friend who needs guidance.
  • A Reminder of Your Strengths and Growth

    Highlight the strengths, resources, and knowledge you now possess to reflect on how you have grown and changed since the past events. This serves to differentiate your current Self from who you were in the past.
  • Reassurance About the Present

    Reassure this part of yourself that the fears or feelings from the past are not an accurate reflection of your current reality. Emphasize that you are now in a different, safer, and more empowered place in your life.
  • Direct Challenge to Self-Blame

    Explicitly address the self-blame. Question its validity by asking yourself, “Is it fair or accurate to blame myself for these past events or feelings?” 

    Encourage yourself to see the situation from a more balanced and forgiving viewpoint. Remind yourself that blame is not a burden you need to carry forward, especially when it’s based on past circumstances that were beyond your control.

    Pro Tip: Write with empathy, understanding that the version of you that feels blame most likely comes from a place of past hurt or misunderstanding. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and honest in your letter. This is a safe space for you to express and reconcile your feelings.

Final Thoughts

By following these steps, you create a nurturing and understanding space for all parts of yourself, helping to overcome conditioned self-blame and fostering a healthier, more empowered sense of self.


Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Fifth Strategy: Reclamation of Self

Attention

We strongly recommend you visit [41:19] and rewatch Leanne Cameron’s advice to get the information you need to implement this strategy effectively.

DEEPER dive

Leanne Cameron touched on the importance of core values and beliefs while explaining this strategy. Here are two masterclasses that you may find helpful.

Get Support

If you need help with this strategy, click here to join our community discussion. You don’t have to go through this alone; we’re here to support you.

Closing Remarks

Thank you for watching this masterclass!

We hope you found it informative and empowering.

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Take care and see you next time.

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