Blame Makes You Weak
Blame is everywhere these days. I’ve seen articles blaming doctors for people’s addictions to pain medicines; blaming the food industry for the obesity epidemic; blaming Congress for everything. If that doesn’t cover you, you can blame genetics, your parents or an ex-lover. We’ve all done it – I’ve blamed Krispy Kreme’s hot doughnuts light for my tightening jeans for years.
Blame is a waste of time that does nothing but make you weak. If you are addicted to pain meds, it is up to you to get help and stop taking them. Sitting around blaming others isn’t going to help you. Also, since when are you not a responsible adult? I make the decision when I see the hot doughnut light to drive my car into the Krispy Kreme parking lot. If I eat the hot doughnut, it is 100% my fault. Blaming Krispy Kreme makes me weak; it puts Krispy Kreme in charge of my life. Who are you putting in charge of your life?
In an effort to help people feel better about themselves, we have told them that nothing is their fault. They maxed out their credit cards? It’s the evil businesses who tricked them into buying things they couldn’t afford. We don’t tell them they need to learn about budgeting and finances. While this might make them feel better in the short term, it doesn’t help them in the long run. They still have no clue about how to manage their money. I could give you a thousand examples in every aspect of our lives where we blame someone or something else for the results we have gotten.
Sure, maybe sometimes there really is blame on another’s part. They outright lied to you or attacked you. Go ahead, blame away. Is it changing anything? Is it making you feel powerful? Blame is useless. I’m going to help you take your power back.
1. Start by honestly asking yourself who or what you’ve been blaming (the competition, your lack of time, your ex, the weather, Little Debbie, etc.) for not having what you want in your life (health, money, love, etc.). If you say you blame no one/nothing for anything, you’re not thinking hard enough, being honest enough, or you are way too enlightened for the rest of us.
2. Realize you have put whatever you are blaming in charge of your life. Are you good with that? Does your ex or boss or Congress control your destiny? They do if you keep blaming them.
3. Take responsibility. So your marriage didn’t work out and your ex is a psychopath. You have two choices – you can keep blaming your ex and trying to change him/her or you can man (woman) up and ask yourself, “What can I do to make my situation better?” Who cares who is to blame? Apparently you chose to date and then marry a psychopath, so you played a part as well. But I don’t even want you to blame yourself – the power lies in asking what you can do now. You are responsible for your life.
4. Focus on you. When you stop blaming, it puts the focus back where it needs to be – on you and what you can do. If I don’t drive by Krispy Kreme I don’t know the light is on. (I also can take the Hot Doughnut app off my phone.) Blaming your boss for your crappy job? Maybe you need to get better so you can find another job. Or focus on what you love about your job and stop thinking your boss is going to change.
5. Stop taking the easy way out. Blame is easy. You don’t have to do the hard work, you can just blame others for your situation. I can blame a lack of time for not exercising, or I can admit that I chose to do other things. Every time you find yourself blaming, ask instead “What can I do about this?” Do you want to be powerful or do you want things to be easy? Keep blaming and you’ll get weaker and weaker.
6. Think! Use the most powerful weapon in your arsenal. Your mind should be freed from all that blaming and now you can put it to productive use. You are in control of your life and you need to think about what you should do to improve it. Do you need to ask for help? Do you need to take a class? You need a strategy that focuses solely on what you can do.
Ceasing to focus on the blame and instead thinking about what you can do gives your enthusiasm back. You are moving forward, creating your destiny. You are powerful. Let your ex, Congress, your boss, and Krispy Kreme do whatever they want. You have a great life to live.
7. Learn from your mistakes. So you married a psychopath – we all make mistakes. Were there a few red flags? Did you commit too quickly? Take time to learn. Life is a great teacher if you don’t just blame someone or something else and move on.
8. Act! Decided you need to learn more about finances? Take a class. Study hard. You will never make bad financial choices again! Taking considered action is what will change your situation, not blaming others.
9. Empower others. Next time someone is blaming (we call it venting, but it’s blaming), ask them, “So what can you do about this?” Stop encouraging blaming. When I got bad grades, my parents didn’t blame the teacher, they told me to study harder. What do you tell your kids? We are all much more powerful than we give ourselves credit for – but we have to stop blaming to realize it.
10. Every time you work this process, you will get stronger. I can blame Krispy Kreme all day, but all that will happen is I’ll get fatter. Even if Katie Couric closes Krispy Kreme to save me from myself, I still haven’t learned discipline and proper eating habits. But if I gather knowledge and make better choices, I get more powerful against Krispy Kreme, Little Debbie and all their minions.
It’s like that old saying – give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day, teach a man to fish and he’ll eat for a lifetime. You can sit around and blame the fish for your hunger or say you didn’t have enough time to actually fish or you can say it was too hot to go fishing. Or you can just get in your car and go to Krispy Kreme.