Placing Blame: Internally or Externally
There are two kinds of people in the world:
- Those who take responsibility when they make mistakes
- Those who place blame on others when they make mistakes
Sure, there are those rare few who cross over from one to the other side, but generally, most of us get established and don’t ever change.
So, what’s the big deal? Who cares where you place your blame anyway?
You Should Care
Here’s why: people who cannot accept responsibility for their life are doomed to be a victim of their circumstances.
You know the excuses you hear people make (and maybe make yourself):
- It’s not my fault I am the way I am.
- Life is unfair! There is no sense in trying to take control of my life.
- God has asked too much of me this time. There is no way I’ll ever be able to handle this.
- My parents made me what I am today!
- My family influenced who I am and what I will be; I can’t change that.
- Racism, bigotry, prejudice, sexism, ageism and closed-mindedness all stand in the way.
- No matter how hard I work, I will never get ahead.
- You have to accept the luck of the draw.
I’ll admit that I’ve had it easy. I’m a college-educated white male in an industry dominated by people with similar backgrounds. I don’t know what it would be like to have the demographic deck stacked against me, but the most successful people I’ve known of any race, gender, or culture don’t sit around and blame everyone else for their troubles. Successful people take responsibility for making their situation better.
If you believe that others are holding you down, they always will. But, if you believe you are more powerful than your circumstances, then you will be in control.
Accepting Responsibility Is Hard
The reason that people don’t want to accept full responsibility for their actions is that they don’t want to take the blame for their mistakes. Sure, everyone wants to take some credit for being a part of a successful team, venture, or decision, but taking the blame for failure is what makes a truly great person different.
If you’re an entrepreneur, you are your business.
If you’re the type of person who blames others for your failures, your business will never accept responsibility for its failures. You won’t admit you were wrong to your customers; you won’t admit that you missed that deadline for your taxes; you won’t examine your own bad decisions when your business comes crashing down around you.
Placing blame externally is deadly for entrepreneurs.
Next time you think that the things going wrong in your life are someone else’s fault, stop.
Take a minute to look internally, and ask yourself, “How could I have made this situation different?” Nobody’s perfect; making mistakes is natural. Success is determined by how you handle the mistakes you’ve made.