The Blame Game

I recently finished reading a book by a successful female athlete. I’m not going to tell you the name of the book or mention the athlete because I have to say I was disappointed with the message portrayed!

Through out this memoir everything that did not go as this Olympian hoped and everything that she struggled with was someone else’s or something else’s fault! I’m sure you know this person and maybe at times you are this person. I’ve had my moments for sure!

My life would so much better if only:

  • My parents had loved me/praised me more
  • I had a boyfriend/more supportive partner
  • I could have afforded a different school
  • My siblings didn’t tease me
  • My co-workers were more understanding
  • My boss didn’t pick on me
  • My job paid me better

And so the list goes. But in each of these situations don’t we have the choice to continue to be affected by this action or lack of action or to change it/rise above it?

I really believe at the end of the day we are responsible for our own happiness and success. When we blame someone else for holding us down or making us unhappy – aren’t we really allowing them to have this affect on us?

Like most, I have had dreadful jobs and dreadful bosses. As long as I stayed in those situations and did not stand up for myself or walk away from a toxic environment, I was partly to blame. You are not guaranteed a great job just because you are hired or skilled. You may need to move on and make some changes. There is no point in continuing to swim upstream and then complaining because your arms are tired. Sometimes changing course is the best plan.

It’s also easy to look at our childhoods (my certainly wasn’t perfect) and say it’s because of how our parents choose to parent or didn’t parent that we are now victims of low-self esteem or unsuccessful or don’t have the same opportunities. To debunk that theory – how many great athletes, leaders, and business owners overcame the same odds? You hear it time and time again – folks like Oprah Winfrey, J.K. Rowling, Shania Twain, and Jay-Z just to name a few.

Studies show if children do not receive enough positive affirmation they risk growing up feeling less worthy. Studies also show children who receive constant praise learn to doubt this praise and feel less worthy. Bottom line – nobody despite having the most well-intended parents was raised perfectly!

I think it’s normal to occasionally play the blame game – I’m unhappy at my job because my boss is unfair or I’m unhappy in my life because I’m overweight. BUT – you do have the power to win this game.  Have a pity party if you must – spend a night or two feeling sorry for yourself – but then make a plan to take charge. If you are unhappy with your body – take control of what you put in it and what you do with it.  If you are unhappy with your relationships, don’t allow toxic people to surround you.  You can take control and change your circumstance. And if you don’t – you only have yourself to blame 😉

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