Stop the Blame Game


I've had some unfortunate events happen in my life and my immediate reaction was to look around for someone to blame. I blamed when I felt someone else was in the wrong and I blamed to deflect when I was guilty as charged. It took considerable suffering, unlearning and relearning for me to figure out that the blame game never works. Even when blaming another was legitimate, it was entirely unfruitful. It gave me neither the peace that I desperately wanted nor the results that I needed. I was blind, stuck and continued to beat at the wind and I knew it. It wasn't until I changed my mind and decided to accept  total responsibility for altering my own life experience - emphasis on "my life" that I started to see things change. By blaming others, all I was doing was avoiding my own issues after all, "No matter how flat a pancake is, it always has two sides." I may not have been wholly responsible for some of the things that happened to me, but I was a 100% responsible for how I reacted to them. 

"You are responsible for your life. You can't keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on." Oprah Winfrey

It's so easy to blame our problems and lack of progress on others. Many have ruined their lives because of their love of the blame game. This is the surest path of least resistance; easy but terribly unproductive. Blame placates us and ensures we avoid responsibility for our own lives and park all the reasons for the ills that plague us on someone else's doorstep. Finding fault with others is an addictive distraction that allows us to hide from our own failures and short-comings. We can avoid looking inward while projecting our frustrations on others. When we have someone else to pin the blame on, we live in denial and strategically shield ourselves from any kind of culpability. As long as we are able to point our bony fingers of blame at others rather than to view ourselves in the mirror and take control over our own results, we feel safe in our bubble of denial. We've all heard the famous quote by Louis Nizer that says: "When a man points the finger at someone else, he should remember that there of his fingers are pointing at himself." Fingering someone else for our problems does nothing except turn attention away from our own actions or inaction. As a defense mechanism, blaming others may work for the short-term but it is a game plan that gets us nowhere fast in the long-term. 

"It's always easy to blame others. You can spend your entire life blaming the world, but your successes or failures are entirely your own. Paulo Coelho

Playing the blame game is the antithesis of personal growth. As long as we keep looking at others as the reason for why things are the way that they are for us, we give away our power to effect change in our own lives. We are held captive in a holding pattern, shackled by things we can do absolutely nothing about. We waste such a vast amount of time and energy focusing on what's going on with others around us, that we forget to look within ourselves. Consequently, we unconsciously elect to carry around negative feelings like anger, jealousy and frustration; emotions that can be extremely counterproductive. In addition, blame eliminates any chance of learning from past mistakes and keeps us trapped in the past. It is a fact that the more we keep making excuses, the less our chances of growth and progression.

"Stop blaming others. Stop making excuses as to why you are not where you want to be. Face the fact that you are to blame. Make changes and move on in the right direction." Stacey Simone 

To avoid getting imprisoned in the cycle of dysfunction that blame creates, we must develop self-awareness so that we can know when we are engaged in the blame game. Sadly, blaming others can develop into such a lifestyle that it becomes a habit and a go-to approach anytime things don't go the way we want them to. Let's start taking responsibility for what happens to us, even when we are dealing with the consequences of the actions of another because at the end of the day, how we react is what has the most impact. 

We should always invest time in reflection when things go wrong, dig deep to learn whatever lessons need to be learnt and be prepared to move forward, better than we were before. Even when others do us wrong and the blame rests squarely in the their camp, we can choose a different path by trying to understand where they are coming from and seeing the world through their eyes. The goal is to empathize with the wrong-doers shortcomings without allowing ourselves to become victims. We can be honest and own our part in the process. We can ask ourselves, "What could we have done better? How can we be better going forward?" If we can find the courage to admit our own errors and shortcomings, we give ourselves the permission to grow and change for good.

"The best way to learn from your mistakes is to admit them rather than to blame them on someone else." Anonymous

Are you blaming anyone or anything for where you are today? Do you blame yourself, others or the system for the disappointments that you currently face? Decide today that you will desist from making yourself a victim. It's time to own your own blunders and admit your mistakes. Empathize with those who are not smart enough to behave differently. If they knew better, they would do better. Tap into your network, mentors and people that you can trust and confide it. Focus on what you want to do with your life and the legacy you want to leave behind rather than the distractions that will continue to raise their ugly heads. There will always be noise and interference but you can choose to learn from them and use them as milestones to your success.

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