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Last Updated on January 6, 2021

How To Stop Blaming Others And Start Taking Responsibilities

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

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 25, 2021

22 Hardest But Most Important Things You Must Do To Achieve Success

22 Hardest But Most Important Things You Must Do To Achieve Success

How many successful people do you personally know in the world? Most people can’t list more than a handful. Why is achieving success so hard and what is it that sets the successful apart from the less successful?

If you study the biographies of successful people, you will find that it is not where they came from or started out that influenced their success, but rather their habits and ways of thinking. Success has a lot to do with doing what you probably don’t want to do now, so that later on you can do what you really do want to.

If you only do the easy things in life, life will be hard, but if you do the hard things in life, life will be easy. Here are 22 of the hardest, but most important things you must do to achieve success and reach all your goals.

1. Taking big risks

“Progress always involves risks. You can’t steal second base and keep your foot on first.” – Frederick Wilcox

Taking risks is scary for almost everybody, but you don’t reach success by playing it safe. You have to go after what you want; it isn’t going to miraculously appear on a silver plate in front of you. The bigger the risk, often the bigger the success!

2. Trusting your gut and following your intuition

“I rely far more on gut instinct than researching huge amounts of statistics.” – Sir Richard Branson

Don’t always overthink everything and try to be as logical as possible, sometimes your intuition is far more accurate in making the best decision for you, according to most successful people. It isn’t easy to do when all logic is telling you otherwise, but learning to trust your gut feeling more could be the best thing you do; it somehow already knows what you already want.

3. Fighting your fears 

“In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.” – Bill Cosby

If you want to succeed, you have to learn how to overcome your fears and deal with them so they don’t undermine your success. If you don’t master your fears, they will certainly master you and rob you of success.

4. Setting and sticking to goals

“Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.” – Tony Robbins

Most people don’t set and stick to goals because it takes discipline and that extra effort. Did you know that the majority of the most successful people in this world regularly set goals? Goals are your roadmap to success. Don’t overlook this important success habit.

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5. Taking responsibility for your results

“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

You cannot be a victim and blame others for the results you have in your life. You create the results you want, you can’t expect somebody else to achieve your goals and get you what you want. If you want success, you have to take responsibility for you achieving it or not, you can’t blame others.

6. Waking up early

“Lose an hour in the morning, and you will be all day hunting for it.” – Richard Whately

This is on top of most people’s list, it is often just so hard! It is true though, that by waking up just one hour earlier every day, you’ll have an extra five hours a week to work on achieving your goal. Statistics don’t lie and most successful people don’t sleep in, they rise early.

7. Getting up after getting knocked down

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” – Vince Lombardi

You don’t have control over what happens to you, but you do have control over how you deal with it. To be successful, you have to keep going when you feel like giving up. You can’t give up on your goal because one thing didn’t work out, that is like slashing your other three tires when one goes flat.

8. Stop procrastinating

“Only put off until tomorrow what you are willing to die having left undone.” – Pablo Picasso

Procrastinating can seriously sabotage your chances of success. You lose opportunities, money, damage your reputation and confidence. Deal with your procrastination if you know it is holding you back, don’t let procrastination steal your dreams and success, it happens too often to too many people.

9. Putting results before comfort

“The dictionary is the only place that success comes before work.” – Vince Lombardi

You need to work harder if you want more success in life: the extent of your efforts is the extent of your rewards. It’s not about working long hours and getting as much done as possible, it is about working smarter. At the beginning you need to put in that little bit extra and work harder to give you that boost you need starting off. What you put in, you will get out.

10. Getting it going

“Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

It is easy to come up with a million reasons why you should put off taking ‘certain’ actions that you should be taking. How often do you say, “The time isn’t right,” or “I’m not ready”? You just have to get it going, it doesn’t have to be right or perfect, but you need to keep taking continuous steps closer towards your goal. There is always something you can do to take you closer to your goal.

11. Dealing with change

“Change is vital; improvement is the logical form of change.” – James Cash Penny 

It is hard to change and accept it at times, but it is necessary to reach certain goals and be more successful. Strive to embrace change and find ways to adapt to it easier. You need change if you want more success, otherwise, you would be successful now. Don’t resist it, welcome it!

12. Avoiding mindless gossip

“Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

You and your success are largely influenced by your environment and your circle of friends. The conversations you have with them are the seeds of thoughts, and you want successful thoughts. Talk about ideas and have inspiring conversations and don’t resort to mindless conversations with nothing positive to them that only pollute your mind.

13. Reaching out to others

“The person who tries to live alone will not succeed as a human being.” – Pearl S. Buck

Nobody becomes successful alone, it is not possible. Reach out to others and build relationships on the way. Ask others for guidance when you need help and help others too. It isn’t easy to find and build strong relationships, it takes effort and commitment, but they are super important for success.

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14. Not worrying about what other people think

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

It is hard to not let other people’s comments and opinions get you down at times, you are human after all. However, it clearly doesn’t help you when it comes to reaching your goals; with no confidence it becomes twice as challenging. It is up to you whether you will allow others to make you feel less, it is your choice. Simply smile at the people who doubt and put you down and keep moving forward.You can’t strive to have everybody like you in this world.

15. Doing what you truly love

“The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle.” – Steve Jobs

One of the biggest keys to success is to love what you do. You already have the motivation, inspiration and commitment to support you from the outset and along the way. It is challenging to actually do what you love in life and make a great living from it at the same time, but don’t put limits on your life. You decide what is possible in your life; get creative and find ways to make it work if that is what you really want.

16. Planning effectively

“Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy, or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.” – Larry Winget

You need to have a plan and you need to plan effectively as well. If you don’t plan, how do you know where you are going? You need to set goals, plan how you will reach them and execute your plan. Learning to plan effectively is important as well, it is easy to undermine your efforts with bad planning and therefore undermine your chances of success.

17. Staying enthusiastic

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

Staying enthusiastic when things don’t look good is much easier said than done. In the face of adversity, keeping that spirit of enthusiasm will give you the strength you need to keep going. What you focus on expands, so don’t focus on what isn’t working, put your focus on what you can do to make it work and be enthusiastic about the next possibility.

18. Finding the courage to follow your dreams

“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

You need to look fear straight in the eye and move past it. You can reach all your goals and have all the success, if you have the courage to take all the action required with a courageous mindset to back it up. Have the courage to follow your dreams and don’t give up until you reach them.

19. Taking on all challenges

“To be successful you must accept all challenges that come your way. You can’t just accept the ones you like.” – Mike Gafka

You attract the exact challenges that you need to overcome in order to reach your goals and be successful. You can’t pick and choose which ones you get to have, you have to take them all on. They are there to support you in growth and in reaching your goals, they are all equally important to your success.

20. Always taking continuous action

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

When you go to gym, you have to go regularly to really see new results and the same goes for success. You have to take a lot of regular and continuous action if you want to have more than ordinary results. Dreaming, willing and planning alone will not get you there, continuous action will.

21. Always believe in yourself

“Belief in oneself is one of the most important bricks in building any successful venture.” – Lydia M. Child

If you don’t believe in yourself, you can’t expect somebody else to either. You have to be your own cheerleader and toot your own horn. Having confidence in yourself is what makes you successful. Don’t doubt yourself, believe in yourself and you will succeed.

22. Going that extra mile

“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.” – Jim Rohn

The only difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little bit more effort you put in. It is hard and takes much more energy, but how badly do you want success?

 

Success is possible if you are willing to do the things you need to do to get you where you want to be. Don’t give up on your goals and dreams of success; know that they are truly possible if you really want them to be. We all have the same chances of success, whether we take those chances when they come is our first choice.

Featured photo credit: Darya Tryfanava via unsplash.com

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