When you blame others, you give up your power to change.
It’s not my fault.
How many times have we heard that excuse? How many times have we used that excuse?
Why is it so hard to own up to our part of a misfortune that has happened to us? Outside of a natural disaster, random act of violence or illness, we’re rarely 100% innocent when something rocks our world. Is it our way of distancing ourselves from the situation? Do we think blaming someone else absolves us from further responsibility to make the situation better? Are we positioning ourselves to forever be the martyr for when bad things happen to us in the future?
The only thing blaming others does is allow us to give up control of the situation. So the question becomes, do we really want to be in control of our destiny? Because if we say, yes, I want to be in control of my life, then we have to be willing to embrace change….a change in attitudes; a change in perspectives; a change in actions.
Whoa. Wait. I never said I was the one who needed to change. THAT person is the one who needs to change.
The blame game is easy and oh so much fun to play. It allows us to never admit fault. It justifies any action we want to take in response to a situation. Not owning up to our part allows us to act any way we damn well choose….because, of course, it’s not our fault. We’re only reacting to something someone else has already done.
Don’t like school? Blame your teachers.
Don’t like your job? Blame your boss/coworkers.
Don’t like your financial situation? Blame everyone else.
Don’t like your life? Blame your parents/spouse/children.
Our past certainly has an impact on the type of person we are today. But our past has absolutely no bearing on the type of person we have the potential to be tomorrow. That decision is 100% our responsibility, and no one else’s. And how that person acts is 100% our decision. No one can force us to act or think a certain way. It’s a conscious decision we make based on how we want to face the future…not in response to the past.
One of my favorite movies is Elizabethton in which Claire has a refreshing approach to life. To recap: Drew Baylor (Orlando Bloom) has been fired from his job for a mistake that cost the company almost a billion dollars. Then, his girlfriend hands him his walking papers. He feels like an epic failure and is contemplating suicide when he receives a call from his estranged sister that his father just died. He travels to Elizabethton and, while on the plane en route from California, he meets flight attendant Claire Colburn (Kirsten Dunst). Their paths continue to cross in Elizabethton and he
whines confesses how life has dealt him one bad hand after another. Through Claire’s optimistic philosophies, Drew learns some valuable life lessons and is reminded about what’s really important to him.
“You have five minutes to wallow in the delicious misery. Enjoy it, embrace it, discard it…and proceed.” ~Claire Colburn
Take five minutes for that pity party. Then, it’s time to stop blaming others, own it and decide whether you want to operate from a position of blame…..or a position of positive, optimistic change.