Imagine this – something goes wrong in the life of someone close to you. That person is shattered. What is one of the first things they could do?

They could look for someone to blame.

In my Life Coaching career, there have been many clients who chose to blame someone when things went wrong.

Whenever someone told me about a problem they were facing, I would wonder “Will they take responsibility or will they play the blame game?”

In an extremely insightful article by Dr Susan Whitbourne, she discusses in detail why we tend to blame others. Two of her very compelling reasons are:

1. It is easier to blame someone than to take responsibility.
2. Blame is an excellent defence mechanism.
Anyone who is well read in the subject of human behaviour will easily/happily second that (what Dr Whitbourne has stated above).

What I observed in the hundreds of hours spent in coaching clients was this - to some people, blaming others is second nature. If someone told me about an issue they were facing, and I asked “What do you think caused this?”, chances were, they would blame someone.

So, what can you do instead of blaming others? Here are 3 tips:

1. Accept accountability – As challenging as it may be, ask yourself “What role have I played in this?” Once you take responsibility on your part, you will be in a position to better understand your own behaviour. I have had this belief (which has been shared with my coaching clients and with the audiences who have heard my speeches) – accountability empowers us. Another positive about accepting accountability is that you will learn about what to do in the future. Actually, you will also learn about what not to do in the future. Realising what to do and what not to do should go hand in hand if you are to become more productive. Accepting accountability can be a very liberating force! Once again, ask yourself "What role have I played in this?”

2. Ask yourself “How will feeling sorry for myself benefit me?” – There is a quote by Steve Maraboli, which perfectly puts into perspective what a victim mentality will provide you with. Here is that awakening quote - “The victim mindset will have you dancing with the devil, then complaining that you're in hell.” Sadly, it is very comfortable for some people to drown in victim mentality. These people will constantly complain – about the weather, about some sickness, about what they saw on the news that morning, and the list goes on. Make yourself different from them. Feeling sorry for yourself will disempower you more than you may realise. Yes, the world can be an unpleasant place. Feeling sorry for yourself will not change that. Okay, let’s be clear that sometimes circumstances can dictate what has happened to you. The current environment can be very harsh, and show no mercy. The point is, your goal should be to not get consumed by a victim mentality. That can/will emotionally paralyse you. Liberate yourself from thought patterns that will not only disempower you, but will also not bring others down. Who wants to be around someone who is bringing others down all the time? As civil rights activist Marcus Garvey said "Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery, none but ourselves can free our minds!" Make an unbreakable decision to think about how to turn things around, instead of feeling sorry for yourself. Dr Whitbourne also stated “Unlike other games, the more often you play the blame game, the more you lose.”

3. Do something productive – marketing genius, Steve Plummer (who is the most creative writer I have ever met) recently wrote an article about blame. He said that you must take action, and be productive in order to overcome what has gone wrong. The exact words by Steve were “Why not turn the disruption into an opportunity?” So, begin to strategise and think outside the square. Ask yourself what simple action you could take that will start your journey in the right direction. Remember, doing your best will not cut it sometimes. You must do what is required. Doing your best and doing what is required are two different approaches. Instill the words “I am productive” in the treasury of your mind. Make it real, and keep taking the required action. The by-product of taking the right action is that you will be too busy to feel sorry for yourself or drown in victim mentality. If you feel that you cannot take the right action, please reach out to those around you, and ask for some form of support.

The subject line of this article contained a question. The answer to that question can be found in the quote below:

Quote: “No one wins the blame game.” Bob Proctor

I sincerely hope that you have gained a simple insight into how you can embrace accountability and take productive action, instead of playing the blame game!

Influencing you to your excellence,

PS: My Anti-Bullying Charity's latest short video addresses a question – “How To Encourage Your Kids To Open Up About Bullying”-

Author's Bio: 

Ronny Prasad is an author, speaker, corporate trainer, and anti-bullying campaigner, based in Melbourne, Australia. He is the author of WELCOME TO YOUR LIFE - His anti-bullying charity regularly delivers presentations at schools, and uploads videos on Youtube, for kids who are being bullied at school. You can download his free anti-bullying app on Google Play or Apple's App Store. Just do a search for Beat Bullying With Confidence.