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How To Stop Blaming Others And Start Taking Responsibilities

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How To Stop Blaming Others And Start Taking Responsibilities

As a kid, I learned to never throw something that wasn’t working and proclaim, “It won’t work, stupid glue!” Why? Because the reply would always be, “A bad workman always blames their tools.”

As a child, you don’t really pay a lot of attention to the sayings your older and wiser counterparts try to impart to you. But as you get older, you find yourself revisiting them and thinking, “I get it, that’s so true!”

When it comes to being a bad worker blaming their tools, it seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? However, the issue with blame is that it is rarely so obvious.

I want to share with you how to spot hidden blame, why you need to take ownership of it, how to eradicate the blame game for your mind, vocabulary, and life, and what outcomes you could see as a result.

I’m going to share real case studies with my clients so you can see firsthand how blame really hides out in your life and how to fix it.

“It’s Not My Fault!”

Why Do We Do It?

One of the reasons blame exists in many of our lives is that it makes it easier for us to deal with tough situations.

Take the pandemic—no, seriously, will someone take it! All joking aside, the blame game is not new to the 2020 pandemic. In the 1918 Spanish Flu, the virus was reported to be spread by various untrue methods, to the point it was even given different names according to who the countries’ political opponents were!

Blaming the Chinese or Anti-Trump supporters is no different to the blame game that was used to spread fear and lies before. Different virus, same trends in human behavior—why? Because when you consider blame in your own life, you can start to see that it helps us restore some control. If it was made by someone else, then it’s out of your control to fix it.

Blame in Action

The perfect example is the client who was mortified to be sent to me for coaching because according to their company, “they weren’t coping”. They were annoyed because the pandemic was not their fault, so their inability to work in a new way was clearly not their fault either. It was outside their remit (and belief on what was possible).

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So, What’s the Big Deal?

When you don’t challenge what you believe, you risk playing the blame game and blaming others, and that takes away your power to get better results in every aspect of your life.

In this example, the person adamantly believed that after the pandemic leaves, they would perform better and nothing could improve until then. Relying on billions of people, the world’s politicians, and a virus to get your success in life is just bonkers!

For this person and you, the first thing you have to do is to challenge:

  • Challenge what you believe to be true.
  • Challenge what you believe to be possible.
  • Challenge if you have control.
  • Question what you could do moving forward.

If you find yourself being able to justify being stuck in life or drifting along or not getting the results you want on some external force, then there’s a good chance that blame is at work.

Use questions like:

  • If this is true, how are other people managing to achieve more than me?
  • If this is true, what evidence do I have that everyone has the same opportunities as me?

Once you start to break down what you believe to be the reality, you can alter that reality.

Result

The client that blamed the pandemic on their poor performance at work questioned what they believed and could see that other people weren’t getting the same poor results as them, so there clearly was a better way.

Challenging what they believed led them to ask for some additional tech support and advice on best time management practices and some honest conversations with their colleagues that helped my client see what to do and how to do it.

“I Can’t Control That!”

Why Do We Do It?

The great thing about blame and blaming others—and a reason you may choose to hang on to yours—is that it takes the onus off of us. “I can’t do anything about other team members not pulling their weight” means you accept that your career is in the hands of other people. So, if you don’t get the pay rise, promotion, corner office, and bonus you want, there’s no blame on you, right?

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“I can’t do anything about where I was born” means you can blame the world around you, and you have no control to make things any better.

Blame in Action

My favorite example of someone removing blame from their life is Lieutenant Dan in Forest Gump. He is a hero of mine. He lost so much and, for a long time, was lost in wanting someone to blame.

We see this in real life, too. One person experiences something horrific and goes on to make the world a better place while another loses themselves in grief, unable to move on.

So, What’s the Big Deal?

I don’t say these things flippantly. I really appreciate how hard life can be and how much some have to face. And it can be incredibly challenging to appreciate that the control is with you as to how this defines your future.

It seems very unfair how some must endure more and more, but that shouldn’t stop you from achieving something great and removing the blame. Right now, as I write this, my husband had just come out of the hospital and only has 20% of his heart—and we will go back soon to plan what surgeries to do.

In the last 14 months, I’ve had to get my mother-in-law protected from a violent stepfather-in-law who is now sectioned (because of me). On top of the pandemic’s impact on my children, my Mum faced 3 serious surgeries and my sister was very poorly with Covid, and I’ve Lupus and 3 other auto-immune diseases that get worse with stress.

I could so easily have hidden from the world and said, “no thank you”—but I didn’t. I wrote a new book with an amazing foreword from the CEO of this first-rate organization, wrote 8 courses for business, and even found time to get in the press and win some awards. In fact, my Lupus specialists are impressed I don’t have more symptoms considering what my personal life looks like.

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t take time to process what you face. It’s just that you should also try to work out what you can control, and what you can usually control is your mind.

Result

That moment when Lieutenant Dan stops blaming others—everyone and everything—for the awful thing that has happened to him and accepts who he is now is powerful. We don’t need to face something horrific to be able to do this.

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Trying to hang on to what was or a perception of what you wanted the world to be like won’t make it happen. Removing the blame that exists helps you take ownership and control over the future you want.

“I’m Just Not Made Like That!”

A word of caution before we move on to the final part of how to ditch the blame game. By now, you are seeing that blame can be something we don’t necessarily want to part with. Never is this truer than when facing the person you are.

I hear people tell me:

  • “I’m not creative.”
  • “I’m rubbish at numbers.”
  • “People like me don’t do that kind of job.”
  • “I’m too shy to stand up for myself.”
  • “It’s my DNA!”

Giving me their proof of why it is just the way it is. Blameless and controlless.

We don’t have time to look at comfort zones in detail here, so if you fear there could be a comfort zone enabling your blame game, then learn to get out of your comfort zones before we bring this all together.

“I Can’t Do Anything Different Until the Pandemic Is Over.”

Why Do We Do It?

In the quote above, you could change the word “pandemic” for “boss,” “tech,” “project,” “house moving,” “weight loss,” “summer,” “pregnancy,” or anything you like. Basically, it still removes any responsibility from you, and if you have no responsibility, you have no obligation to alter it.

The opposite of this is if you accept that your future is in your hands (even if situations aren’t), you can look for solutions where others assume there is none.

  • “I can’t stop them doing that!” becomes “What do I want to see happen and how will I make it happen?”
  • “They don’t listen to me.” becomes “I am on my own agenda working towards a goal and I accept I can’t change others and will just protect myself and my results.”

Once you’ve learned to stop blaming others, accepted the blame, and understood what to control, you then need to question what is possible to create a plan to never let blame impact your happiness and success ever again.

Blame in Action

Working with a team from a large organization, I heard a lot of people tell me that they couldn’t do anything because a new system had been bought in by “them upstairs” and “them upstairs” have no clue as to what actually goes on around here.

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So, What’s the Big Deal?

For this team, they were able to divert any responsibility for their time management, productivity, happiness at work, and success on “them upstairs.” Whether management got it wrong or not, things weren’t going to change, so they needed to work out what could be controlled.

Result

In controlling the uncontrollable, I look in detail at how we can take back ownership of what is happening to get what we want even when the odds are stacked against us.[1]

Is it likely that this team would convince anyone to ditch the new tech? No, but through understanding how they saw the situation, where they placed responsibility, and what was in their control, they could create a plan of action that was very much theirs and has nothing to do with “them upstairs.”

When creating a new plan of action, a new way of thinking, responding, and working, don’t rule out any idea. I’ve seen people remove blame from their lives both personally and professionally with the simplest of ideas.

This is the great news about blame—when you go through this process, you can get better results very fast.

Learn to Stop Blaming Others

To see this in action, let me share with you the story of an amazing client who’d been treated very badly at work and home for years. They’d been subjected to the most awful things, and it now battered them long after the bullies and abusers had gone from their lives.

By finding all the blame in their life in the way they spoke, we were able to see the world in a new way and this led to simple things that reinforced the future for them.

  1. They reframed what they said to themselves from “I’ve been through so much, it’s not fair” to “I’m so proud of how resilient and tough I am, I now believe I can overcome anything!” (Imagine the power this phrase gave them?)
  2. They listened to the voice in their head and made sure it was repeating the positive “Wow! I’m a tough cookie.” belief instead of the old outdated beliefs. They started taking selfies. Sharing images of themselves attracted positive reinforcement from friends and boosted their confidence.
  3. They planned big. They’d always wanted to achieve their bucket list. It wasn’t big, but it covered their personal and professional lives. They always blamed their lack of completion on life, circumstances, genetics, even the weather. Now, I’m pleased to say their bucket list is gaining new bigger ambitions because blame is not in the game anymore.

Instead of blaming others, they learned to take responsibility. And lastly, as you dump the blame, have faith. Faith is not necessarily religious or spiritual. It’s about believing a better future can be yours. And with this process, it could happen faster than you think.

More on Taking Personal Responsibility

Featured photo credit: Neal Markham via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Mandie Holgate: Control It

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Mandie Holgate

International Coach, Best Selling Author & Speaker inspiring people around the world to success.

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Last Updated on January 12, 2022

15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

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15 Reasons Why Taking Action Is Important For Success

Success is not guaranteed at birth, and work is required to achieve what you desire. As you grow personally and professionally, you should explore these 15 reasons why taking action is important for success so you can reach your dreams.

However, before jumping in and taking action, it’s essential to understand its three components.

  1. To take action means to do something to get a particular result.[1] Any time you intentionally create movement, it is all because of the desired outcome. Execute your actions to support your dreams and goals.
  2. Action can be hard to take, but that’s only due to the fact of misrepresentation of the possibilities. Do your best not to focus on the outcome. Instead, ask yourself, “What does this make possible?” Even though obstacles and detours will distract you from your desired results, don’t let that be your primary focus. You’re created for more, so be willing to go the extra mile!
  3. Failure to take action can stem from many areas, the main one being the failures that have already occurred. Look at your failures as a lesson learned, so you can be willing to learn even more. Stretching yourself beyond what you can see builds trust within yourself and seizes the opportunity of the present!

“Failure is only a trial run to the success for the greatest of these, your journey.”—Kristianne Wargo

If you want to escape the world of mediocrity, you have to embrace the power of taking action. By doing so, you keep moving in the right direction.

Your journey is no longer dependent on the outcomes or the results. Instead, it empowers you to tread the trail of hope even when all seems hopeless.

Further, the main result becomes the balance in your life, all based on Newton’s First Law: the state of motion of an object is maintained as long as the object is not acted upon by an unbalanced force.

You can take all the hits that come your way, good or bad, due to all things resisting changes in their state of motion—they tend to “keep doing what they’re doing.”[2] The only shift that needs to happen comes from you taking action.

“Action is the foundational key to all success.”—Pablo Picasso

Taking action seems to be so fundamentally basic that it should not even have to be mentioned. But life can have you turning in circles that you become disengaged with the basics and need a foundational review. Blaze a new trail filled with the discovery of consistent actions and a determined heart.

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These 15 reasons why taking action is important for success will decrease your confusion while increasing productivity and heightening your purpose for a lifetime.

1. Action Allows You to Shift or Pivot

It’s easier to direct a moving vehicle than one that is parked. So, why not keep moving? Your activity encourages what you don’t see to become visible as you go through the intentional motions. Here is where change occurs, releasing what might have been a struggle to that which is natural.

2. Action Ignites Motivation

Getting through the stuff when life happens doesn’t come from pity parties but by taking the next step.

When you constantly fight for encouragement, your emotions are set in overdrive. The focus is unbearable and stifles the opportunities before you. All you feel is what couldn’t be, and you leave all on the table what you couldn’t see.

Keep your emotions and feelings in check by staying in action.

“One step at a time leads to miles of greatness!”—Kristianne Wargo

3. Action Establishes Habits

The more you do something, the easier it is to keep doing it, whether good or bad. You can’t succeed if you don’t do anything.

By maintaining the action, you are setting yourself up for a greater chance of hitting your goals without being too detailed and overplaying the plan.

4. Action Shrinks Failures

As much as you always want to be successful, failure is inevitable. But by taking action, your failures become less of the everyday cornerstone and more about engaging in firsts and seconds.

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The only failure is not trying. So, when you try, you cannot fail.

5. Action Induces Winning

No one afraid of losing has ever won. How many times does an athlete have to lose before the win? Too many most would say. But actually, it’s just enough to keep the iron in the fire to refine the gifts and talents. It’s in the fire where champions are made.

6. Action Breeds Better

Preparation is good. However, it’s easy to get stuck in research and making sure everything is going to play out as planned. But you can get buried in the preparation and forget that to get you moving to the next level, you must be in action.

Don’t let yourself become trapped in practice trying to get it all perfect first. Action will always make it better.

“Action is the heartbeat of success.”—Kristianne Wargo

7. Action Determines What’s Possible

You cannot eliminate what doesn’t work and establish what does work except through trial and error. You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. That requires action on your part.

You have to be ready and willing to test in real-time to understand the complexity of what you are going after. The more action you take, the deeper your possibilities grow.

8. Actions Create Your “Now”

There is no need to put off tomorrow what you can do today. Build consistency in doing something with intention, and see how your life changes.

If you wait for the right time to show up, you will be waiting forever. Take your day into your own hands and create your “now.”

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9. Action Slows Down Time

There’s no time like the present. By staying in action, essentially, you slow down your inhibitions and fears from manifesting into more than what they need to be. You get to decide how fast you move by the actions you take in your every day leading to your success.

10. Action Produces a Result

How will you know if what you are doing will get you down the lane of success? Trial and error.

Every step you take produces an outcome, good or bad. So, why shy away from what works. Do it and make the adjustments needed in real-time.

11. Action Creates a Chain Reaction

Once you experience the result and determine the validity of how it coincides with your dreams and goals—meaning getting it right—then it directs you to the next step.

The plan of how you’re going to achieve success continues through the chain reaction. Action is the foundation where consistency is built.

12. Action Silences Your Inner Critic

The most significant time spent is with your inner voice.

If you are in a constant mode of debating whether or not you are worthy, good enough, or qualified, how will you be able to move forward? You’ll be frozen in time. However, staying in action makes the inner voice more of a nuisance yet can be muted by taking the next step.

13. Action Utilizes Knowledge

Reading and learning are addicting. But no matter how much you read or learn, nothing will gain success for you unless you take action.

The thing is that action is not so exciting. In fact, action can be tedious, especially if you don’t get the desired results. Yet, knowledge can lead your action when utilized appropriately. Don’t sit on what you know. Knowledge is power.

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14. Action Minimizes Risks

When you are in constant motion, momentum is on your side. What appears as a risk initially fades away more quickly because there is no time to overthink what just happened. The risks exist only to be outnumbered by the actions taken.

15. Action Builds Trust with Yourself

Many failures and dreams stop you in your tracks simply because of the lack of trust.

When you find yourself down and out, and your record reflects losing more than winning, it’s easier to quit and retreat. Yet, if you have confidence in yourself, trust triumphs over what didn’t happen, opening the door for what’s possible.

The Success Equation for Life

Knowledge + Action = Success

Ready your head to make a commitment that nullifies the missing link and establishes success by taking action. Here is where you will celebrate success more often than not. Now, the results and outcomes may not be as expected, but a little suspense never hurt any journey.

May your heart compound the experiences, including your commitment to taking action and the results of what’s to come. Claim the ultimate success when action meets your everyday.

“Grow beyond what you see so you can succeed beyond what you desire.”—Kristianne Wargo

Your journey is a path of many colors. Take a chance to make a change to choose the action that serves your purpose. Cheers to you for taking action and creating success this new season! The best is yet to come. Be present. Be incredible. Be you!

More Tips to Get You Into Action

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Merriam-Webster: take action
[2] The Physics Classroom: Newton’s First Law

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