Watch the news, listen to a child, in fact listen to a whole lot of the conversations you will encounter today, and you will hear discussions that include blame. Fingers are regularly pointed at others to explain, justify, and rationalize our actions and results. The more attuned to this you become, the more prevalent you see that it is. Today’s quotation addresses this phenomenon head on. Read it, ask yourself the questions, and take some personal action.
“We are taught you must blame your father, your sisters,your brothers, the school, the teachers — you can blame anyone but never blame yourself — it’s never your fault. But it’s always your fault, because if you wanted to change, you’re the one who has got to change. It’s as simple as that, isn’t it?”
Questions to Ponder
– How often do I blame others?
– In what situations do I most often blame others?
– How often do I look at my role in those blame events?
1. Make it your habit to look at your role in any situation.
2. Ask yourself “What was my role in these results?”
3. Ask yourself “What will I do differently next time?”
I read Ms. Hepburn’s quotation this week and (nearly) shouted “Yes!”
In my mind, she is completely right, and if I knew someone lived by that statement (in other words, actions matching the words), I’d believe, even expect, that person to be successful in their chosen field. Clearly, Katherine Hepburn was successful in hers. Why? Because this is the trademark of successful people – they recognize their responsibility in every situation.
There is lots that could be written about this idea (I did a bit on it recently here). But the point in short is this. When we blame someone else, we shift the responsibility to them, and when we do that, we have no reason to change our behavior. If we don’t change our behavior, the odds of the next result being the same are extremely high.
Katherine says, bluntly, that is it always our fault. She’s right.
You played some role in the result you received, take responsibility for it, then (and only then) will you be able to decide if you want to take a different action next time.