“It wasn’t my fault!”, “I can’t believe he did this to me!”, “I have nothing to do with it!”, “my manager told me to do it”. Do you happen to blame others for your problems? Do you actually realize that you may do it? How destructive do you think it is?
Playing the blame game is common, and deflecting responsibility is a self-defeating behavior pattern. Ask yourself what it would be to accept personal responsibility for your choices and actions: how effective and how in control of your life would this mean?
The blame game
Rare are the people who say “it was completely my fault, or I screwed up and take responsibility for my actions”. People would rather resort to making excuses. As soon as they're questioning about a situation, they have a ready to-go excuse, explaining in great details how they played no role in what happened.
Sure, things happen and at times it’s not your fault. However, in many cases, you’re in complete control of the negative outcomes – being late, forgetting an appointment, missing a deadline, not honoring your word, not following up and not doing what you said you would do, not reviewing your equipment before a competition...
We are the only things we can control
Try and pay attention to how often you catch yourself blaming someone or something instead of looking at your role in causing the problem. Turn the tables on yourself and see which part you were responsible for. Why?
Because if you have to make excuses and blame others, then someone else has more control over your life than you have. It is like sitting passively in the passenger’s seat while someone else is driving for you.
Switching excuse-making to responsibility-taking means that you set the bar higher for yourself. You can no longer use excuses as your barrier to success. You can no longer use them as an avoidance tactic.
What is your goal?
The life and business you make for yourself are created through your actions or your excuses. You’re either going in the right direction, moving yourself closer to achieving your goals, or you're not and that takes you farther away from success.
The opposite of making excuses is taking responsibility.
Excuses, excuses! Just think of that: what would you do without your excuses?
As the quote says: “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!” — William H. Johnsen (Afro American artist 1901-70).
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