I define an adult as someone who takes 100 % responsibility for his or her life and situation. This article and you tube series will explore what it means to be an adult. These times are calling for leaders to be adults. This is Part One, Moving Beyond Blaming.

Every blaming thought you hold is an obstacle---an obstacle to your success. Think for a moment of someone you may be blaming right now. This person could be a parent, one of your children, your spouse or partner, a neighbor, your boss, or your employee. Think about the thoughts you have toward this person and ask yourself these three questions:
1. How does this blaming thought help me live better?
2. How does this blaming thought help me feel better?
3. How does this blaming thought help the person that I am blaming?

If you are honest with yourself--you know that these thoughts don't help. We tell ourselves that the hurt or the anger that we feel is caused by someone else. But in fact, it is our own thinking that makes us suffer. Since blaming doesn't help, and it makes us suffer, why do we do it so much? We do it for the payoffs.
Three Payoffs
1. You get to be right. It goes like this--"I'm hurt; I'm angry; and I'm miserable---but at least I know I'm right.
2. You get to play victim--no expectations--no responsibility.
3. You get to justify yourself and your behavior.

While these payoffs may provide us with a little charge--a moment of satisfaction, ultimately, when we blame, we suffer. Hurtful. angry, and guilty thoughts make us feel miserable and powerless. Whatever your real goals in life may be, whether it is joy, success, growth, or fulfillment, blame, gets in the way.
1. Blaming is a focus on what you don't want--instead of focusing on what you do want.
2. Blaming doesn't motivate anyone. It makes people defensive.
3. Blaming is a distortion of reality.

It's just a story that we tell ourselves, and in the story we distort reality in order to justify ourselves--in order make ourselves feel right or better than the other person. When we are blaming we cannot see or deal with reality as it is, because we are stuck in the story.
Now here is a question for you: Think for a moment again of someone you are blaming. Ask yourself:
Who would you be if you weren't blaming this person?
Who would you be without your blaming thoughts?
Who would you be in this situation, how would you be acting, if you weren't blaming, if you weren't holding this person responsible for your well-being?
Who would you be if you weren't playing victim to this person?

I'll tell you what I think you'd be:
I think you would be incredible.
I think that you would be powerful.
I think that you be courageous.
I think that you would be free.

So, how do we become this powerful, incredible, and courageous person we are all meant to be. Here are a few ideas that will move you on that direction:
1. Accept people and situations as they are, instead of wishing for them to be different.
2. Breathe--release your negative emotion.
3. Focus your attention on what you do want instead of focusing it on what you don't want.

When you are clear about who you are, and when your thoughts and your energy are focused on what it is that you do want, that's when you move beyond blaming. That's when you recognize that blaming is just a distraction and it is not nearly as important as the person that you want to become, nor is it as important as the goals that you want to achieve.

Author's Bio: 

William Frank Diedrich is a keynote speaker and workshop presenter, executive coach, and the author of three books, including, Beyond Blaming: Unleashing Power and Passion in People and Organizations. Bill's books and his new CD, The Leaders' Edge: Three Keys to Exceptional Leadership, can be purchased at intelligentspirit.com/catalog.html

Bill speaks on leadership and organizational development, moving beyond blaming, emotional intelligence, and spiritual intelligence. He works with leaders at all levels in organizations to bring forth their best. More info and articles can be found at noblaming.com. Check out the video version of this article at: www.youtube.com/watch?v=-NjnXCvfscI