Blaming others sabotages your progress and productivity. If you want to be an entrepreneur and a leader, take ownership and accountability.
February 18, 2021 5 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
If you’re an entrepreneur or a leader, you dream big. You think larger than what you want for breakfast and what do with your day. You dream about how you can change lives, make a difference in the world, create something that has never been created before. Maybe you find yourself flooded with idea after idea. You can’t help it — you’re wired that way.
But what if your big dreams were limited or even squandered because you’re keeping yourself playing small? What if you were sabotaging your own potential?
So many of us have an invisible glass ceiling we place above us and never realize that we have the ability to smash it with this one minor shift to how we approach life.
Blame is a game that keeps you playing small. The truth is, it feels good to blame others. It takes ownership and responsibility away from ourselves. It helps us get sympathy and maybe empathy from others, which can feel like a big hug on a tough day.
You poor thing. Look what happened to you. It wasn’t your fault your business started tanking. It wasn’t your fault someone dirtied up your white shoes. It wasn’t your fault your employee stole from the company.
The truth is, you’re sabotaging your ability to progress forward and you are keeping yourself playing small.
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First, you keep yourself in the past. This is what happened, that is what happened. There is absolutely nothing that can be done about what has already happened, and blame doesn’t allow you to let go. The only way to move forward is to be in the present. Today is the only mark in time that you can control.
Second, when you place blame on others, you’ll find yourself in a state of frustration, anger and resentment. All of these are low energetic states. Energy is what we need in order to sustain physical or mental activity, and blaming results in counter-energy. So, as you seek to find solutions (which require energy), you are countering your productivity with the negative energy of blame, and you may not be as innovative, insightful or creative as you might have been if you simply accepted the situation for what it was, took ownership and removed blame.
Finally, imagine you are the CEO of a company. There is a security breach and it makes the news. It wasn’t the CEO that was hacking the system, but the CEO was hired to deal with tough situations. A communication plan needs to be devised, an analysis of the root cause needs to be done, and a path forward needs to be forged. The CEO takes ownership and accountability — even if it wasn’t his or her direct fault.
Imagine what would happen if the CEO chose to blame and not take ownership, create an action plan or communicate. Likely, there would be a new leader put in place. No one hires or expects that the leader of the company is out to only blame and not take responsibility for what happens within the company. A good leader looks to see what can be done better, not just with the company but internally as well. What questions should have been asked about the security and systems in the company ahead of time? Was there an appropriate budget allocated to keeping the company secure? Does the company have the right staff and knowledge in order to protect penetrations and leaks from happening? Maybe these are all questions that should have been asked ahead of time and should be questions to be asked going forward.
As you approach your life, are you sabotaging your own energy by blaming others? Do you find yourself stuck in the past where nothing can be done, or are you operating in the present, the only place and time that can be changed? Are you the respected CEO who looks for both improvements with the company and internally, or do you blame others when things don’t pan out the way you envision them?
Become the leader that deals with problems head-on. Face them with the energy to come up with well-thought-out solutions and clarity. Take ownership and accountability. Even if that looks to be a harder road, it’s the respected and expected road of a leader.
Blame will stunt your productivity and potential. Become mindful of it and replace it with ownership and accountability. You’ll not only be more productive, but you’ll also gain a higher level of respect and a knowledgebase of lessons learned to keep you growing stronger and more successful in your own life.