The Blame Game

communication nlp personal power Nov 12, 2022
Man carrying the world on his back

If things aren't going your way, there's always someone or something you can blame.

If things aren't going right in your life, in your business, in your relationships, there's always someone or something that you can blame. The problem with that though is how do you change something that's not you?

Think about this for a moment.

Have you ever tried to change another person? How did that go?

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The only thing that you really have any control over in life is you. The only thing that you can change is you. So as long as the problem isn't you, and the problem is somewhere outside of you, as long as it's their fault...  that person, that system, that government, What can you do about it? You can't change something that isn't you.

If you have a problem, and let's face it, we're human, we all have problems at some point, as soon as you recognize that there's a problem, it has to be your problem. It has to be your problem because you are the person who's identifying that it's a problem. And the only way to then change it is to take personal responsibility.

I like to take personal responsibility to the extreme and I play a game of asking myself "what if I was responsible for everything in my life? What if everything that's happening in my life is a hundred percent me?" Ooh, that's a thought, isn't it? If I'm responsible for everything happening in my life, now I can do something about it.

Here's what this doesn't mean. It does not mean that you are to blame for other people's behaviour. It doesn't mean that you're to blame for what's happening in the world. It means that you recognize this is a problem. And for you to recognize that there is a problem, you have to have some sort of relationship to that problem. And if you change what you can change, if you work on you in relation to that problem, that's all you can do. And that feels a lot more powerful than to say, "Well, this is happening to me", or "I'm at the effect of this thing of which I have zero control over". Because then you have no power. When you say "I am creating this thing in my life, I am doing this. I am involved in the creation of my world, my experience, I am responsible for this." Now you have the responsibility and you have the personal power to say, "okay, I can do something about this nowt".

In NLP, we call this cause and effect.

In life, you're either at cause or you're at effect. And at cause. You have results. Results you can take to the bank. In business, there are results you can take to the bank. You have results that you can measure, that you can say, "Yes, this is the result of my behavior". At effect, we have reasons. Reasons, or you could call them excuses, for why we don't have the results that we want. And most people are at the effect side of that equation. Most people say, "This happened to me and I had no choice". Or they say "This happened or this is happening to me all I can do is react".  At cause we say, "Okay, I'm responsible for my life. What can I do? I'm responsible for the experience that I'm having in my life."

What can I do? But again, that doesn't mean that you're responsible for someone else's bad behavior, their bad choices, or for someone else doing something to you in the past that caused you harm. That's not cause and effect. Cause and effect says, "this is my life and I can choose what I want from this perspective, from this point in time. Right now I have choice and I can choose something better. I can choose something different. I can choose more of the same. I can choose my life the way I want it to be".

Let's put this in the context of business. It's been an interesting couple years, and I've seen two types of business owners, the ones who say, I'm responsible for my business, I can do something about, I can make changes, I can do something new. I can do my business differently. I can be innovative, I can think creatively and I can solve this problem and I can do things differently. That's being at cause.

And then I've seen business owners who say, Well, this is happening in the world and there's no possible way I could ever run my business again. So I'm just going to stop.

Being at cause is resourceful, being in effect is unresourceful. I'm not saying that being at cause means I'm responsible for what's happening in the world and I'm not saying that you are responsible for what's happening in the world. I am saying we're all responsible for ourselves. Here's an interesting notion. What if every single person played this game and took full a hundred percent responsibility for the experience of life that they're having right now? What if every single person took full responsibility for any problems that they're experiencing right now?

What if we all took responsibility for how we feel about things, how we interact with our world, how we interact with each other?

What a different world we would be in.

I remember when I was a teenager,  I had slept over at my friends house and were sitting at the breakfast table. Her dad was having breakfast with us and something had happened. I can't remember what it was, but something devastating had happened in the world. And it shook us and it made us start to realize that the world was a lot bigger.

Do you remember that? When you started to realize that the world is so much bigger than your little reality and your safe, safe little bubble, that there are things happening outside of that that maybe aren't safe.

We were saying to her, Dad, "what kind of a world is this? The world is this horrible, awful place." And he said to us, "If you want the world to be a better place, believe that already is." And that has stuck with me from that day. If you want the world to be a better place, believe that it already is. And if that's not an example of taking personal responsibility, I don't know what is. And he then he said "If everybody did that, we would live in a completely different planet". 

What if we all took that personal responsibility to believe that the world really is a better place? What if we all came lived our lives from this place of cause taking responsibility? I think our relationships would improve, our communication would improve, business would improve, the school system would improve. Everything would be better. That's the world I want to live in. This is why I do what I do and why I'm passionate about Mind Performance™.

If I'm responsible for my life, I can change it. If I'm responsible for my health, I can change it. If I'm responsible for my finances, I can change it. If I'm responsible for the relationships I have with others, I can change it. But as long as I'm putting the blame somewhere else and saying, "No, it's their fault, It's that person. It's that system. It's those people. It's my parents, it's the government, it's the town I grew up in. It's my friends". As long as it's someone else or something's fault, I can't do anything about it. I can't do anything about something that isn't me. I can't get any learnings from it. I certainly can't grow from it.

This is the blame game that I see people playing.  I see this in clients when they first come to me, it's someone else's fault. I see this in students when they come to trainings. No, it's someone else's fault. I see this in conversations I have with friends, with family. It's someone else's fault. I see this on social media. It's someone else's fault. There is always going to be someone or something to blame. And you have every right to blame them. You have free will. you have every right to be completely at effect in your life and to blame everyone in everything for the circumstances of your life. I will tell you though, that as long as you are staying there, you can't change a thing. You can't do anything about it. Your life will not improve as long as it's always someone else's fault.

This is The Blame Game.  If you're late for something, what do you blame? Traffic! because traffic's always going to be there and people will accept that as an excuse for being late.

My very first job was selling shoes at Sears. I worked with a woman there who was always late.  Every shift, she was late. And she always blamed the train getting in her way.  And we kept telling her the train runs on the same schedule every day. Yet somehow, she always got caught by the train. She could have chosen to leave 10 minutes earlier. That would be taking personal responsibility. 

We've all had these moments, we've seen other people do it. We've seen ourselves do it where we blame something else instead of just taking responsibility to change it.

If there's an area in your life that you want to change, if there's something in your life that you're just not satisfied with, you can change it. But you can't change it until you take responsibility because, you can't change something that isn't you. 



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