February 3, 2010.
"No one is a failure until they blame somebody else." Charles 'Tremendous' Jones
I don't have to tell you that life doesn't always work out the way we hoped it would. Or go according to plan. As a matter of fact, if life is anything, it's unpredictable. Problems crop up. Troubles arise. Difficulties appear out of nowhere. All sorts of things we never imagined could happen... happen.
And we get knocked for a loop.
No matter how much we try, regardless of how hard we work, unexpected things occur - and we get upset. Maybe even throw a fit. And then we do the next logical thing. We start slinging the blame around like it's a hot potato.
Perturbed that we don't have the things we think we deserve, we accuse others of holding us back. Frustrated that we're not living our dreams, we point the finger at those impeding our progress. Troubled that we're not making the kind of money we think we should or are not getting the promotion we believe is way overdue, we pin the blame virtually everyone in sight.
We play the blame game. And we play it well.
"Take your life in your own hands and what happens? A terrible thing: no one is to blame." Erica Jong
We're well versed in the rules of the game. When we're not happy, it has to be someone's fault. When we're not getting what we want, someone's got to be blamed. When things don't work out or things go wrong, we need to find someone to blame. And find them quickly.
Blaming something or someone else (or maybe both) for everything that's gone wrong in our lives is a fairly simple exercise. After all, there are plenty of people to blame (our friends, our family, our bosses, our coworkers and so on) and tons of excuses to pick from (bad luck, bad job, bad genes - you name it). All we have to do is select a scapegoat and have at it.
Then what? After we've thrown the blame all over the place, what do we do next? Find more people to blame? Find a few more excuses to toss around? For goodness sake, what in the heck are we doing? What are we accomplishing here?
Can blaming others for our problems or shortcomings do us one bit of good? Can it make our problems go away? Can it make our lives better? Can it make our relationships with those we blame more fulfilling? Can it get us one inch closer to living the lives we desire?
Give me a break.
Blame will not change what's already happened. It will not change what we don't have. It won't change what we haven't accomplished.
We need to stop blaming others. And stop it right now.
"Anytime we blame anyone or anything for what is happening in our lives, we are giving away all our power." Susan Jeffers
So if we're not able to blame others, then who exactly is responsible for our pitiful plight? Well, if anyone is to blame, it is us. That's right, the blame stops here. And that's a real tough pill for some folks to swallow. Even though what they have done or left undone has put them precisely where they are today, they cannot come to grips with the fact that they are 100% responsible for their paltry lot in life. They just cannot handle the truth. So they continue to blame everyone else in sight. And continue to languish in mediocrity.
You, on the other hand, need to accept full responsibility for where you are today. It's not your parent's fault. It's not your employer's fault. Nor is it your friends, family or anyone else's fault for that matter. It's on you - and you alone. But you don't need to make a big production out of it.
You need to look at the mistakes you've made. Learn from your errors. Make the needed adjustments. Then get on down the road. And leave the excuses and blame throwing behind.
"If we really want to know who is responsible for the mess we're in, all we have to do is look in the mirror." H. Ross Perot
The next time things go awry (and like it or not, there's going to be a next time), don't get busy throwing blame in every direction. Don't start pointing fingers. Don't start making excuses. Just accept the fact it's up to you to make things right.
When you made a mistake (or two or even three dozen), it's no big deal. We all screw up on occasion. So don't waste time beating yourself up. Hammering away at yourself isn't going to accomplish anything except make you feel lousy. You goofed up. Who doesn't? Give yourself a break.
And please don't relive your previous gaffes and blunders over and over again. Figure out what you did wrong - what you need to do to make things right - and then deep-six the memory. That's right; erase it completely. Get rid of it - and move on.
When you stop spending time finding someone or something to blame, you free your mind to see solutions you never saw before. And put them in play. When you stop losing sleep worrying about why you got you sidetracked in the first place; you open your eyes to a world of opportunity you never knew existed. Opportunities that can change your life.
Instead of being bogged down in the blame game, you start getting back on track. You start getting back in gear. You start making good things happen. And start living the life you desire.
The Bottom Line: Stop blaming and you'll start having the time of your life.
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