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Playing the Blame Game

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“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.”

Dr. Robert Anthony

  • “It’s not my fault.”
  • “The down-turned economy has made it practically impossible to grow my business.”
  • “My boss is just always on my back.  She is watching over my shoulder and I can’t get anything done.”
  • “My staff just will not take initiative.  I can’t meet my goals for the department because they are not pulling their weight.”

We love to blame others.  We easily see how other’s behaviors and circumstances are to blame for us not doing or having the outcomes that we want or need. We take ourselves off the hook by blaming others.  But is playing the blame game really helping us?

No.  It is hurting us.  But how? 

Peter Bregman, the author of 18 Minutes: Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done and Point B: A Short Guide to Leading a Big Change Has some thoughts on this. 

He espouses that taking the blame actually makes you more powerful.  You are both perceived in a positive way plus you benefit directly. 

He says that taking the blame is the KEY step in learning from the mistake and learning something.  Avoid the blame and miss the lesson.  And lessons we refuse to learn we have to make the same mistakes over and over again. 

I’ve come up with this little formula.  See what you think. 

  • Taking blame means you claim responsibility for producing outcomes
  • Claiming responsibility for outcomes acknowledges that you HAVE the influence/power to AFFECT outcomes
  • Acknowledging you HAVE the influence/power to AFFECT Outcomes means you are in Control and Powerful.

Therefore, Taking the blame for things when they go wrong leads directly to being in (and being perceived to have) POWER!

Pretty cool huh?  So when we play the blame game, trying to find reasons outside ourselves helps us feel better in the moment but it hurts us.  It robs us of the opportunity to learn, to reflect, and most importantly, to STEP INTO OUR POWER AND CHANGE THE OUTCOMES!

Cheri is a speaker, trainer, coach and has authored two books.  She helps people and organizations break out of old mindsets so they can lead happy, motivated and fired up lives.  She blogs to ignite you and help you get unstuck!


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