Take the Wheel and Stop Blaming Others

Today’s post is written by LaRae Quy. She is a speaker, author, and expert in empowering the leader in you. She was an FBI agent for 24 years. As both a counterintelligence and undercover agent, she exposed foreign spies and recruited them to work for the U.S. Government. A good FBI counterintelligence investigation uncovers new information about the spy to gain deeper insights into what influences their behavior and attitudes. LaRae’s job was to dig beneath the surface, probe the unknown, and discover their identity. In the process, she ended up knowing more about the foreign spy than they knew about themselves. From her personal experience, she will show you that strong people are those who live their lives in alignment with their fundamental core values.

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There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction; the moment you are old enough to take the wheel, responsibility lies with you—Harry Potter

If you are like me, you spent a great deal of your twenties blaming your parents for all your faults and personality quirks. So much of what we read about our personalities and character traces their origins back to childhood experiences. While this is true, the fact remains that, as adults, we are the ones who decide what to do with the material we are given as children.

As J. K. Rowling wrote in her book, the time period for which we can legitimately blame others for the person we’ve become has an expiration date on it. After that, it becomes our choice to either sulk and devolve into victimhood, or rise like a Phoenix and put that hard-earned wisdom and experience to good use.

The Bible opens up with a story about Adam blaming Eve for eating from the tree of knowledge, and then Eve turning around and blaming a serpent, so we can see that blame is as old as the human race! 

Why Do We Blame Others?

Just as it didn’t do Adam and Eve much good, pointing the finger at others is not going to help us out much either. Here are some reasons we blame others:

Blame—is incredibly selfish behavior: People who make excuses tend to overemphasize themselves while at the same time denying the negative aspects of their behavior. 

Blame—brings a feeling of control: The person who blames others is usually in the weak position.

Blame—lessens the feeling of helplessness: People who feel helpless often do not have the skills to deal with the problem at hand.

Blame—spreads like a contagion: The attitude of helplessness, making excuses, and blaming others can spread.

 

How to Stop Making Excuses for Ourselves

As leaders, it’s important to realize that we respond to others based upon how we see ourselves. If we are confident and mentally strong, we embrace change and realize that failure is an integral part of learning. If we’re fearful of rejection, we tend to look for excuses that explain our lack of performance. 

Once you’ve identified the circumstances in which you react by blaming others, here are some tips on how to stop those negative patterns of behavior:

1. Recognize your selfish behavior: Selfishness is an internal dialogue that starts with, “It’s all about me.” When that line of thinking is crossed, we will do whatever we have to do in order to rationalize or justify our actions. That usually means blaming others for our failure. However, when you begin looking at failure and mistakes as opportunities, your need to deny your negative aspects will not be as powerful.

2. Take control: Approach obstacles and adversity with a positive and “can-do” attitude. This means creating the mental toughness to look every situation in the eye and intentionally choosing to keep moving toward the goal, even if the route needs to change because of unexpected circumstances. 

3. Bridge learning gaps: If you do not have the skills needed to overcome your obstacle or break through your barrier, find mentors and coaches who can help you. This means reinforcing your strengths and managing your weaknesses—not wasting time trying to overcome a weakness because you feel it is the one skill needed to be successful.

4. Avoid friends and colleagues who program you: the stories you tell yourself shapes your belief about yourself. Associate only with people who will help you create stories that are positive. The people with whom you associate will create the environment in which you either thrive or wilt. 

Blaming others is a lack of ability to cope with different situations that occur. The more you take the wheel and move into the unknown, the easier it will be to become a leader who always responds with confidence.

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Join @DanVForbes and co-host @LaRaeQuy in the #LeadWithGiants Tweetchat Monday, Sept 16 for Stop Blaming Others   {Tweet This}

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Image courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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