I hear that question all the time in my practice. Folks who aren’t lined up with what they want for any number of reasons, and they’re looking for where to put the blame. Actually there is no blame. “Oh,” I say, “you are definitely responsible for what you’ve got, but there is no blame.” After a brief bit of anger or a look of disbelief, we get down to business. I believe that we all would do well to recognize the responsibility that we have for our life circumstances. Let’s look at the word for a moment: responsibility. Response Ability. The ability to have a response; to respond. Taking responsibility for your situation is very different than placing blame.

When you blame others, you lose all hope that things can be different because you are disempowered and dependent upon another to change, or upon a system to be different, to get what you want.

When you blame yourself, you also lose hope and are disempowered. While it may be a circuitous way to say that you take responsibility, self-blame rarely feels like the springboard from which proactive change comes. You are more likely to walk away, tail down, and come up with any number of ways to self-deprecate.

But when you take responsibility for your situation, without question no matter how good or how bad you might see it, you are in a much more neutral place than when blaming–and you are quite empowered. You might say, “I really need to change my strategy to create more of a cash flow.” And then you might say, “And I have the ability to respond–to look at ways to make a better cash flow my reality.”

There is doubt that we are all faced with situations where it is easy to place blame. Depending on your tendencies, it might be more typical for you to blame others… or perhaps you tend to blame yourself. In psychology terms folks who tend to blame others — an external locus of control — are usually more anxious and even angry by nature. Those who blame themselves — with an internal locus of control — are usually more depressive.

So the next time you are faced with something that isn’t quite right for you in your life, step back a moment and ask yourself what it would be like to take responsibility for it even if it is much easier to see blame. Then just go through the motions. Pretend to take responsibility and do whatever you think you would do next if you really did take responsibility. And next. And next. And next.

I promise you only one thing. Your world will transform.

Responsibility, always. Blame, never!

With Blessings and Gratitude,
from Santa Fe, New Mexico

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