Loving Yourself Means You Take Responsibility for Your Actions

People with high self-esteem self-reflect, apologize, and are constantly growing into better versions of themselves.

All illustrations are by the author.

Loving yourself radically means you know you are not defined by your mistakes.

For some people, the shame and pain of taking responsibility for missteps, mistakes, or hurtful actions is too intense; they can’t hold it, so they offload it by blaming other people. Really loving yourself isn’t the same as deifying yourself or trying to convince the rest of the world that you have never been wrong. Loving is accepting the parts of something that still need to grow. No one is “finished.”

Loving yourself means you are not reflexively defensive or automatically apologetic when you make a mistake.

When you realize you’ve done something wrong (and everyone does things wrong sometimes; and what’s more, most people realize it), you have a few choices.

  1. You can find justifications as to why the wrong thing happened so you can release yourself from responsibility. “This plate was way too high up. When Leonard put it up here, he should have known that anyone who grabbed it would break it. God, Leonard is such a fucking moron. This is not my fault.”
  2. You can accept that you’ve done the wrong thing and treat it as a growth opportunity. “Wow. I was really rushing to get these plates to the table. When I rush, there’s a greater potential that I’ll break things. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time.”
  1. Maybe you get defensive. You explain to the person whose plate it is how this is not your fault. You get into an argument with them; you come up with more and more aggressive ways of convincing the other person that you are not to blame. OR, because it’s not your fault anyway, you hide the broken plate; you lie about knowing how it broke.
  2. You apologize to the person whose plate it is, and offer to replace the plate if you can. If the person whose plate it is gets angry at you, you understand that they’re entitled to their feelings, but that they’re having their feelings because of them; not because of you. You made a mistake and you’ve owned it. You will try to be more careful in the future.

A person who writes and draws and eats her feelings.