Ep. 85: BLAME

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In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re taking the lid off the concept of BLAME and revealing what’s really inside.

Do you ever find yourself playing the “BLAME GAME” by pointing your finger👉 at your scale, your boss, your relatives, etc. for things that are happening in your life?  You’re not alone😘!

In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re taking the lid🍲 off the concept of BLAME and revealing what’s really inside. We’re chatting about:

📌  The idea of “blaming” energy: what it is and what it does to us

📌  How to tap into your inner Spiderman (did I really bring up Toby McGuire in this episode?)

📌  Three practical tasks to keep yourself moving forward

Also in this episode: washing dishes🥛 the right way, Doris Day🌼, and how my mother is driving me crazy😜 (plus what I’m doing about it!).

And, yes, these things are all related to BLAME.  Wanna know how? Let’s GO!

(Don’t wanna listen? Access the transcript here)

Find this episode on YouTube (video below) or on iTunes, SoundCloud, Stitcher, and Spotify.


Can’t see the video? Click here to watch it on YouTube: https://youtu.be/IzbuIh5-Xg4

Ep. 040: Stop Thinking POSITIVELY
Ep. 009: Facts vs Opinions

Join the Get Your GOAL Coaching + Accountability Facebook group:  https://pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal/

If you enjoyed this podcast and want to SHARE it with your friends, I wouldn’t BLAME😜 you at all!  See you in the next podcast! 

Blame (Full Transcript) 

You’re listening to the Fitness Matters Podcast with Pahla B, and this is episode number 85, “Blame.”

Hello, hello, my friends. Welcome to another episode of the Fitness Matters Podcast, where every single week we talk about the fitness matters that matter to you. And this one might not seem like it matters to you, and frankly, at this point in my research and getting ready for this topic, the word itself has actually ceased to have any meaning. Have you ever done that thing where you say the same word over and over and then all of a sudden, it just sounds weird and it doesn’t make any sense anymore and it doesn’t have anything to do with what you were originally thinking about? Yes, “blame” now has that for me. But I’m going to get through this because I think that whether or not you understand that this is a topic that affects you, it really, really does.

And I would love to talk to you about blame today, even though that word has no meaning. You know what has some meaning? (I’m just trying to do a little segue here.) I wanted to remind you that when you rate and review the podcast, it’s really helpful. And I wanted to say thank you for not blaming me, or I don’t even know. I don’t even know how I was going to tie that in. So, I’m not even going to try anymore. Thank you for rating and reviewing the podcast. I appreciate it. It helps me find an audience. It helps the audience, maybe more importantly, who doesn’t even know they need me, find me. So, thank you, thank you, thank you for doing that. Really specifically, if you are on iTunes, iTunes is the one that I have access to.

If Spotify has ratings, they never share it with me, even though I log in there frequently. SoundCloud has comments. Other places, I think you can leave comments, I don’t know about ratings. But I mean you and I both know, Apple kinda rules the world. Whether you have an iPhone or not, Apple Podcasts are like the measure of success. So, thank you for helping me measure my success with a rating and a review. Anyway, let’s talk about blame. You guys, here’s what I did. I went to the dictionary for this one because I was thinking I actually had so many thoughts about blame. I’m going to tell you right now, this might be one of those podcasts where we go a little bit far off field because I had a lot to say about a couple of different parts of this topic. So, just buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Anyway, we’re starting with a definition of blame: to assign responsibility for a fault or a wrong. And I love this so much because it, right there in the definition, is very clear to me why I wanted to talk to you about blame. Because, you guys, when we give responsibility away from ourselves, that can be problematic. I don’t always like to label something as a problem because problem is a judgment word, and we’re actually going to talk about judgment words quite a bit today. I already know this. So, however you want to think about judgment or problems or whatever, you get to define that for yourself. But here’s what I am talking about really specifically when I’m talking about blaming. Here’s the behavior that I notice a lot in myself and in others, in comments and over in The Killer B Hive Facebook group, literally every place that I read really specifically.

I notice it when we’re talking sometimes, but I notice it especially when I’m reading. Well, I do know what that is, it’s a brain connection sort of a thing. But I notice that we will casually say things like, “The scale isn’t cooperating with me this week. It went up 0.2 pounds since the last time I weighed in.” Or, “Work has been really stressful lately.” Or true story, this one came out of my own mouth really recently, “My mother is driving me crazy” (sorry, Mom). Have you ever said that? No. No, my mom actually doesn’t listen to the podcast, so I’m not super worried about that one. But Mom, if you are listening, you know you do sometimes. And also, we’re going to talk about why it has nothing to do with you, my mom, really specifically.

So, here’s the thing about blaming other people or other things or other situations or anything outside of ourselves for a wrong or a fault. There are actually two parts of this that are problematic, and the one that I’m going to start with is “emotional childhood.” This is something that my mentor, Brooke Castillo (who runs the Life Coach School where I’m a certified life coach) calls this situation, this blaming situation, emotional childhood. And she explains it like everything is somebody else’s fault. How we feel or how we think or what we’re doing is the fault of something outside of us. And while I totally agree with her definition, I actually don’t love what she calls it. And this is where I was going to tell you about how it’s totally okay with me if you agree with everything I say. I love that, it’s awesome, it’s super easy, but it’s also totally okay with me if you disagree with me.

And this is something that I have really enjoyed about following somebody so closely and really absorbing what she has to teach and liking most of what she has to say. I find myself thinking very critically about her message. And that’s what I want for you. I want you to disagree with me sometimes. I want you to listen to what I have to say and be like, “You know what? It needs this really specific tweak for me to fit that into my own thought model of how the world works.” There is something about the language of emotional childhood that I don’t care for. And I understand why she uses that phrase because she is essentially equating it with being a child who does not have much power in the world. And that is how we perceive things when we are children. Things are happening to us. Adults have power. Other people have power. Other things have power.

And then she doesn’t equate. She says that what you were aiming for in any given situation is emotional adulthood, where you claim your own power, where you have your own responsibility, where you have your own back, where you understand that your thoughts are in control of your feelings, your feelings drive your actions. So, therefore, you are in control of your actions. You are in control of your results. You are able to manage your thoughts, your feelings, your actions, and your results. I totally agree with every definition that she has; I just don’t love the terminology. And that’s so interesting to me. And so I spent some time, actually quite a bit of time, where the word “blame” lost all of its meaning. But I spent some time thinking about what it is that I think about this situation, this giving away of our responsibility, giving away of our autonomy, our agency in the world. By giving other things or people or places the power to allegedly – because they don’t – but allegedly create our emotions or cause us to do something or cause us to think something or cause us to get some kind of result.

When we give away or blame other people or places or things, I like to think of it as being in a “blaming energy.”’ Now, here’s where you might disagree with me. Maybe that word or that phrase doesn’t really land with you, but I’m going to explain to you why it really resonated with me personally when I came up with it. I’m pretty sure it’s because I’m a fitness trainer. I spend a lot of my time thinking about energy just in general because of my vocation, because of my habits, because of the things that I like to do, because I like to think of myself, frankly, as an energetic person. I’m extremely aware of my energy. I’m aware of my energy level, really specifically with my ability to do something, my physical energy, how I feel physically, as well as how I feel energetically, emotionally.

I think about food energy. It’s one of those things that when I talk to people about counting calories in terms of losing weight, one of the first things I like to do is explain that another word for calories is actually energy. When we think of calories as being the bad guy, “Calories are bad, and I’m trying to get as few of them as possible” – that energy, frankly, is very, I’m going to say harmful, even though it’s a really dramatic word to use. But it’s certainly not helpful to think of energy from calories as being the enemy. When you take in energy from food, it gives you energy to do things. Thinking about it that way has been incredibly helpful and calming for me personally. I like thinking about energy rather than food or exercise or some of those words, again, that have an energy about them, that have an intonation or a connotation for how we think about them.

Again, the emotional childhood versus blaming energy, one of those just makes more sense to me. It resonates with me. The word and the feeling and the concept of energy is something that I am very in tune with in my life. Honestly, no matter how you think about it, maybe energy doesn’t really land with you. Maybe emotional childhood does land with you, or maybe some other phrase that you come up with yourself while you’re listening to this, because you’re thinking about it critically. You’re thinking about what I’m telling you. Whatever word or phrase you come up with is the way that I want you to think about it. I’m going to continue explaining myself with the phrase blaming energy, again, because it lands with me, and I really like it. So, hopefully, this will be a helpful thought model for you as well.

When I think about energy, like I said, I think about food energy. I think about exercise or physical energy. I think about the energy or aura or vibe. And yes, I’m getting a little woo woo here with this. Honestly, one of my favorite compliments in the world is when somebody tells me that I seem so positive or cheerful or energetic. Those are really nice words for me. I want to cultivate in myself a positive energy. And I know that the way to feel positive is to think positive things and not just for the sake of thinking positive things. I have a whole podcast about that, (Ep. 040 Stop Thinking Positively https://getyourgoal.com/podcasts/40-stop-thinking-positively/), which is not entirely related to this topic. But you might find it interesting because just thinking positively – trying to pretend to be positive – is very different from having and embodying a positive energy.

The thing that I really think about with energy is that energy is power. When we talk about having energy in your home, having power in your home, like electricity or gas or whatever, whatever kind of power that we have that makes things go in our world. That chemical or biological power that we have, we call it energy. So, for me, thinking about having an energy and having a power and then associating that word with blame really creates a very clear vision in my mind of what the problem is with blaming. When we say something like “The scale isn’t cooperating,” we are actually taking all of our energy, all of our power, and giving it to something outside of ourselves. “The scale isn’t cooperating” means that we don’t have any power to think or feel or do anything different other than what the scale dictates for us.

It’s abdicating power and giving it to the scale. When I say that work has been really stressful lately, that means that if work exists, that work is going to be responsible for my feelings, for my results, for my energy. Because I have given it the responsibility and the power of telling me how to feel, what to do, how to think, what kind of results I’m going to get in my life. When I say my mother is driving me crazy. Well, my goodness, that means that as long as my mother is being the person that she is, I am going to be crazy. I am going to be feeling crazy about what she says, what she does. I don’t want anything to do with that. I would love to have the power for myself.

Now, if you’ve ever watched any of the Spider-Man movies, really specifically the one with Tobey Maguire (which I do still think is the best, even though Tom Holland was good too) . . .   Anyway, where I’m going with that is not movie reviews, but with great power comes great responsibility. Here’s why we give away our power. We don’t really want to be responsible sometimes. Being responsible feels a little bit responsible. Am I right? It can feel like it has the energy of . . .  What word would you use here? The word that’s coming to me is “burden.” And it’s very interesting how we think of responsibility as a burden.

I’m going to offer you that rather than being a burden, having responsibility actually offers you freedom. When we give our responsibility or the responsibility of our feelings, our actions, our results, our thoughts, all of those things to something, for example, like the scale, have you noticed that it feels very burdensome to take that on?  It feels burdensome to notice that the scale can demand that you feel terrible. It can demand that it ruins your whole day. It can demand that you feel awful about yourself. And it can demand that you criticize yourself. And then, because you feel so bad, you go and eat more. And then there’s the scale again, demanding that you’re going to feel terrible. Doesn’t that actually feel like a burden?

And yet, if you take that responsibility off of the scale and put it on your own shoulders and realize that you can think anything you want about the number on the scale, doesn’t that actually feel like freedom? If the scale dictates your feelings and the scale goes up, for example, and you don’t want it to go up then, oh my gosh, you don’t have any other choice than to feel terrible. But how about if the scale goes up and you’re not feeling terrible about that at all? You could feel terrible. You could feel awesome. You could feel neutral. You could feel curious. You could feel excited. You could feel whatever, whatever. I couldn’t come up with another word. I’ll tell you a funny story.

Here’s what happens sometimes when I’m trying to come up with examples quickly that don’t make it to my notes. The word that I was coming up with was “nauseated,” which is obviously a physical sensation and not an emotional feeling at all and is not related to the scale. And I have no idea, but that word got stuck in my head, which is why there was a pause. And then I said, whatever you want to feel. Yeah, it’s my brain. My brain offers me some funny thoughts sometimes. But here’s the thing about taking responsibility, you can think about responsibility any way you want to. Responsibility can have any kind of energy that you want to give it. For me, personally, when I think about responsibility, I actually think that it is freedom. Taking responsibility for myself, it’s like taking over the dishes.

I used to really want other people in my house to do the dishes. I really did. I thought that I didn’t like doing the dishes, but I had a very particular way that I want the dishes to be done. And I have found that taking responsibility for doing the dishes offers me the freedom of never again wondering if somebody else did them wrong, which of course, there’s no wrong way to do dishes. They get done, and they’re either clean or they’re not clean. But I have strong opinions about how dishes should be done and therefore taking the responsibility of simply doing it myself has given me the freedom to always feel good about the dishes.

When you take responsibility for your thoughts about the scale, about your job, about my mother – not your mother, mine – you can look at that as freedom. Now, here’s the thing. I know that a lot of this is landing with you intellectually, but it still feels very, very true when you say the scale isn’t cooperating or work has been really stressful, or my mother is driving me crazy. And I want to offer you that those thoughts might seem true in your own mind. This is the part where I’m going to refer you to another episode (Ep. 009 Facts Versus Opinions https://pahlabfitness.com/facts-vs-opinions). They are opinions, they are thoughts, but I understand how truthful they can feel. And here’s where I want you to really tap into what I’m calling blaming energy. When we blame the energy that it creates for us, what happens is that it actually doesn’t create energy for you. It drains your energy to blame someone or something outside of you for your feelings.

And I know you notice that. When you say the scale isn’t cooperating, do you feel how the power in your body just floods right out? It belongs to the scale now. When you say work has been really stressful lately, and it feels like you don’t have the power to change that, your power, your energy is drained out of you and given to work. When I say my mother is driving me crazy, that drains me of my power. It gives my mother all the power to create thoughts in my head, feelings in my body, actions that I do, results in my life. It drains you of your power. It drains you of your energy to blame somebody else. When you think the thought – because it is a thought, even though it feels really truthful – like the scale isn’t cooperating, what feeling does that create for you?

When I think the scale isn’t cooperating, well, I feel helpless or defeated. Those are pretty similar in my mind. When I think that work has been really stressful lately, well, I mean, one of the first feelings that comes up is stress because I’m talking about stress. But when I’m thinking about work being stressful, I feel very, well, for me, the word that came up was hopeless. And it’s funny because I love my job. I love my job. I never ever, ever described my current job as being stressful. But the last job that I had where I worked for somebody else, I felt stress in that job constantly. Actually, what I really felt was unhappiness, which is why the word that came to me was hopeless because I didn’t at the time feel like I had any other options. I didn’t feel like there was anything else that I could do.

And so, every time I thought about work, it drained me of my energy and I felt very hopeless. When I think my mother is driving me crazy, the first word that comes to my mind, the first feeling that comes directly into my body is frustrated. And here’s where I want to go with the other part of why blaming energy can be problematic. When we blame something outside of ourselves, we are very subtly arguing with what is. We are arguing with reality and I’m pretty sure . . .  Don’t quote me on this one because I haven’t done a lot of reading from Byron Katie. Actually, most of what I know about Byron Katie comes from other people. I’m a very secondhand Byron Katie fan. I love the work that she’s done, and I think she even calls it The Work, but I’m not a firsthand consumer of her work.

So, when I talk about Byron Katie, I’m talking about my perception of her work as viewed from the lens of how I have heard it from other people. I know that Brooke Castillo has talked about Byron Katie, and I’m pretty sure that there’s somebody else that I know. I want to say it’s Jensen Cherrelle but now I can’t decide if that’s true or not. I’ve heard about Byron Katie several times, but in any event, I’m pretty sure that one of her famous things that she talks about is when you argue with reality, you’re going to lose 100% of the time. Reality exists. Facts exist. Things have happened. People have said words. Things have gone on. And when we blame, we are very subtly arguing with reality.

When we say the scale isn’t cooperating, what we mean is that the scale should have shown me whatever it is that you want it to show you, a loss I’m assuming. I mean, I think anybody who’s losing weight wants to have a loss. So, when you say the scale isn’t cooperating, what you are also saying is it should have done something that it didn’t do. You were arguing with the reality of what the scale is showing you. When you say work has been really stressful lately, there’s a little parenthetical in that too, that it shouldn’t be, that work should be easy or lovely or calm or peaceful or energizing or whatever it is that you subtly think you want from your job – fulfilling, maybe. That’s actually the first word that popped into my head, which is a great word because that’s exactly how I feel about my job.

Anyway, when you say work has been really stressful lately and blame the work, you are arguing with the way that work is. Work is busy. Work exists the way it does. People at work say things. People at work do things. And it has created for you a feeling of stress. Not the work, but your thought about the way it should be. My mother is driving me crazy. I mean, clearly that is because I think she should be doing or saying something different than she is. I’m arguing with the reality of my mother, of who she is as a human being. And here’s something that is super, super, super important to understand. Other people, things that happen, other places, other situations, every single thing in the world outside of our brain is neutral until we give them energy with our thoughts.

Your thoughts are energy, and they create energy from them. When you have a thought about the scale, about your job, about my mother (yes, we’re still talking about my mother here). Your mother is lovely. Your mother is a fantastic woman. My mother is who she is, and arguing with the reality of her because she, as she exists in the world, is completely neutral. She exists. My thoughts about her are what give her energy, not like handing it to her and saying, “Okay, now you can come to life.” Not in that exact sense, but in the sense of what she says and what she does are completely neutral. And the reason they’re neutral is because they’re factual. She might say words and somebody else hearing those exact same words can and will have a completely different opinion of those words than I can and do.

That’s how I know that my thoughts are opinions, and the fact of my mother is simply that she exists. The things that she says and the things that she does get their energy inside of me from my thoughts. And those thoughts are technically electricity. It’s an electric spark in your brain, neurons firing doing their thing. That energy creates vibrational energy in your body, your feelings. The energy of your thoughts creates the energy of your feelings. All of this – the thought, the feeling – is an inside job. It’s a closed system. It’s you inside of you. Now when we think about that, really specifically, with that visual, I literally put my hands over my head like I was in some giant bubble, and it’s really funny when you think about it like that.

When we try to give away our energy and our responsibility to something or somebody else by blaming them for doing what they do – existing, being who they are, not giving us the feelings that we wanted for ourselves – the fact is, inside of our little bubble we actually can’t. I mean, there’s almost a physical barrier from this bubble. And yet, that’s how we think about it pretty frequently. When you realize that you are a closed system, that your thoughts create your feelings, your energy is all yours. And here’s where we get to the slightly more practical part of this. Because I know that this is landing with you, at least on some level intellectually. I know that you are understanding what I am saying and yet you are putting yourself in that situation.

I am putting myself in that situation where I’m thinking my mother’s driving me crazy. And I know that you want to know, what do I do with this? What do I do with this information that my mother is not actually driving me crazy, that the crazy is an inside job, that the crazy is my thought, which creates my feelings, which produces my actions and gives me my result? Frankly, by the way, let’s follow that all the way through. Okay, the thought – my mother is driving me crazy – creates for me a feeling of frustration, just hands down, very easily. That frustration has me performing actions like being really short and snippy with her, not being patient, not being loving, not calling her when I think about her or texting her when I think about her, not behaving in a way that I would consider, for lack of a better way of putting it, normal.

And in fact, the result that I get in my life from that thought – my mother is driving me crazy – is that (and I should have offered this warning quite some time ago that obviously this is a colloquialism, and I do not mean it as anything other than truly a poorly worded colloquialism) I create for myself a situation in which I am crazy because I’m not being myself. I’m not being the best version of myself that I would love to be in the world. When I think that my mother is driving me crazy, I actually just am because of that thought. When we take that power and that responsibility back upon ourselves, it becomes very obvious that those thoughts are really optional. I don’t have to think anything about my mother. Truly, I know that sounds funny, but my mother existing in the world is neutral. It is a fact that she exists.

I don’t have to think anything ever, but I can choose to think whatever I want. And coming back to being a fitness trainer and thinking about my energy and thinking about being energetic, thinking about wanting to be confident and cheerful and happy – not all the time, but as an expression of myself that I want to put out into the world – I’m fully okay with feeling angry and sad and all kinds of other feelings. Once again, I’m not having any of them come to mind right now. This time “nauseated” didn’t come to the fore, but I was drawing a complete blank there. I should have a list of feelings in front of me maybe while I’m doing these podcasts. But when I choose my energy, when I choose what I want to feel like energetically, I choose to feel good. I choose to feel positive. I choose to feel cheerful, confident, energetic. Those are things that I choose on purpose quite a bit of the time.

Not all the time. I wouldn’t even necessarily say most of the time, but at least half the time. I can choose to think that I weigh exactly what I want to weigh. I weigh exactly what the scale says. It’s true. I can choose to think my job is exactly what it is supposed to be because my job is a job. There is work to be done here. I can choose to think that this is exactly who my mother is. Do you notice how much more calm all of those feel?  We’re calm when we stop arguing with reality, when we accept that what is, is, when we are – is it Doris Day? “Que sera sera.” It might be. That’s what’s coming to me. We can choose to accept that what is happening is happening. And if you’d like to, you can choose to think something else other than complete neutrality about facts that are happening or that have happened.

Other people, things that happen, places, situations, everything in the world is neutral. We give them energy with our thoughts. So, really practically, what can you do? I told you I was going to tell you something practical and then we still talked about theory. Okay, here’s what you do. Number one, you notice the thought/feeling combo. And the way to do this – you probably see this coming – is to make some sort of a list, do some sort of journaling, write it down somehow. The way to notice what you are thinking is to get it out of your head. I prefer to get it onto paper. That is my preferred method of journaling. You can examine your thoughts in your own head. It’s more helpful than not examining your thoughts in your own head, absolutely, but it’s not quite as effective as getting it out.

When you get it out by either speaking about it or writing it down longhand or typing it out on a computer, something like that, getting it out of your head and into the world is my suggestion. When you do that, you can notice the thought/feeling combo. You will notice that you are having thoughts and those thoughts are creating feelings. The very act of noticing the thought/feeling combo will already help neutralize the situation and help you claim your own power, understand your own power with these situations, these people, these things that are happening, places, everything. So, that is step two. Step one was the notice-without-feeling combo. Step two is to understand the energy that it’s creating for you and understand that that is optional.

When you really sink into the understanding that you are essentially an internal combustion engine, that you are a closed system that has energy and creates energy and then has energy and creates energy, that you can keep yourself moving forward through your own energy processes, then it’s all you. You will, I’m going to say automatically – it might not feel automatic and it might not feel easy – but you will create different thoughts, which will create different feelings, which will create different actions, which will drive different results in your life. When you simply notice your thought/feeling combo and understand what that is creating for you and that you are the creator of it, things will change for you without you having to find a different thought and practice it.

I don’t discourage you from brainstorming new thoughts. Brainstorming new thoughts is a great way to open up your mind and to understand how much power your thoughts have. But again, coming back to my suggestion, don’t just think positively. Don’t just brainstorm positive thoughts and then try to practice them without making the connection between what feeling that thought is creating for you and what it is creating as far as results in your life. You have to go through the whole process versus just, “I’m going to think a happy thought and then I’m going to practice that happy thought.” Okay. That was a lot, as I warned you. There were some side trails on this one, and it’s a lot to take in.

Here’s what I hope you take away from today’s episode. Everything is neutral. You have all the power. The energy is yours. And I’d love to know what you think about that. You guys, thank you so much for listening. I’ll talk to you again soon.

So, are you totally loving this mindset work and you really want to do it every day in order to get your goal? Then, my friend, you need to join the Get Your Goal group. It is my personal and private, very interactive coaching and accountability group where every day we talk about your mindset and we get your goal. You can learn all about it at pahlabfitness.com/get-your-goal. I’ll see in the goal group.

Listen to the full episode here, and be sure to leave a rating and review on Apple Podcasts.

Originally aired July 11, 2021
In today’s episode of the Fitness Matters podcast, we’re taking the lid off the concept of BLAME and revealing what’s really inside.
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Meet Your Host

Mindset expert and certified life coach Pahla B knows a thing or two about changing your mind to change your weight and your life. She’s the creator of The 5-0 Method, Amazon-best selling author of the book “Mind Over Menopause,” and former yo-yo dieter who has cracked the code on lifelong weight maintenance. Join Pahla B each week for the personal insights, transformative mindset shifts, and science-backed body advice that can help you lose all the weight you want and keep it off forever.