Have you ever blamed someone or circumstances in any of these situations?
- You were fired
- Your partner or you cheated
- Your partner left you
- Your friends abandoned you
- You had an enormous fight with someone
- You lost money
- You lost your home
- You couldn’t pay your bills anymore
- You caused an accident
- You were late for your exam or you failed an exam
- And so on?
In the past, I definitely blamed others and circumstances for some of my failures, but I do not do that anymore. Why not? Because blaming doesn’t help us fix any problem and move on. Blaming is a defense mechanism, in which we point out our finger at other people and things and circumstances. We say,
“It wasn’t me”
“It’s not my fault”
“He/she is guilty”
When we blame others, we subconsciously avoid taking the responsibility – we shift it to those who we blame for what has happened. WE GIVE UP and we only look for excuses. We don’t realize that by doing this we feel helpless, pessimistic and powerless – we accept the role of a victim. And this may further lead to hopelessness, anger and/or depression.
If we don’t take responsibility for what has happened, we lose our power to change, to solve any problem, and to find happiness again. Furthermore, we miss opportunities to grow. On the opposite, eventually we suffer. Look, how can we take an action to solve a problem, if we say, “It’s because of you,” pointing out our finger at someone else? We are not able to search for a solution when we blame others, because this way we subconsciously block our resourcefulness. Remember, both, our failures and successes are our own responsibility, for sure partially.
Let’s look at a few situations.
You were fired. You blame your boss. That’s usually the first reaction, because it’s easy to do so. We naturally don’t want to admit that we were wrong, even if this was the case. What, if you step in the shoes of your boss? What would you then expect from his/her employee, yourself?
You failed an exam. You blame the lack of time, “I didn’t have enough time to study.” Maybe you blame your friends that they took your time. Or, you blame the professor that the exam was much harder than you expected. Or you may blame the sleepless night.
Your spouse left you. You blame him or her. You say that you did everything what you could to save the marriage. However, usually when we say, “I did everything,” believe me, there is the most likely something that we didn’t do. Marriage is like a rowboat with two paddles and two people in it, with one paddle each. Both partners have to work together to have a good marriage.
So, what to do instead? STOP BLAMING anyone and anything.
Forgive those who you have been blaming (I kindly refer you to my article about forgiveness )
- Look at yourself and identify your role in that specific situation
- RECOGNIZE YOUR MISTAKES – be objective
- ACCEPT YOUR RESPONSIBILITY, your part
- Believe in yourself that you can make changes
- Make a decision to go forward
- Take massive action
- Resolve the problem
- MOVE ON
So, when you are fired, you should look at yourself, be honest, and tell yourself whether it was fair to fire you. Ask yourself, “Did I really perform, either as my boss expected, or in accordance with my job description? “What could I have done better and I didn’t?” “Did I receive some warnings before and I ignored them, and how often did it happen?” “Did I get a chance to do better, but I didn’t take that chance?”
Analyze your answers in order to understand your responsibility for firing you. When you failed an exam, could you have found more time to study? Ask yourself, “Is it fair to blame my friends that they invited me to the party, and I joined them? Could I have said, No?” “Do I have the right to blame the professor, or I simply didn’t expect that difficult part of the exam, and that’s why I didn’t study it at all?” “Did I decide to chat late at night and go to bed late, and that’s why I was so tired the next day?”
Analyze your answers in order to understand your responsibility for failing the exam.
And when your spouse left you, can you admit that you really did everything to save the marriage? You can make a list with the actions you took, everything you did. Afterward, you can make another list with actions that you haven’t done. I’m sure you will discover some of them. Marriage is a beautiful, but yet, pretty complex relationship, with ongoing challenges. They are two people involved and each of them is responsible for his/her own part.
Accept your part, your mistakes and your responsibility.
We all make mistakes. It is human. Admitting that we made a mistake is a strength that enables us to learn from it. Therefore, let’s take ownership of our mistakes. Blaming others and circumstances drains only our energy that we tremendously need to improve ourselves and take action. When we stop blaming others, we open our eyes, and we admit that we are responsible for what has happened, at least partially. Only then we are able to take action.
Last, but not least. Let’s be careful with having a habit of blaming others and circumstances on a regular basis. If we continue doing so, we may become negative people. Let’s be also careful with self-blaming. When we blame ourselves, we usually feel guilt, and then we go into a negative state. I would recommend reflecting on the situation and on our role in it. Let’s truly own our part, recognize our mistakes. Let’s develop self-compassion without judging ourselves. Let’s be kind to ourselves. Only in a positive state, we are resourceful, and only then we are able to look for various ways and options that will lead to resolving our problem and eventually will bring our happiness back.
Let’s get our lives under our control so that we are able to make changes. When we understand it, we focus on what we want to achieve. Past stays in the past. The future is just anticipation. Today is what we have.
Don’t let the past steal your present.
Let’s be accountable for our results & Let’s create our own reality!