It’s 2013: GET RID OF BLAME (Part 2 of 4)
Greetings and welcome to my post. The purpose of this post is to engage in conversation about building trusting relationships. I believe that we are all created for relationships and what gives our lives meaning and purpose is to know that we are loved and accepted. When we have happy, purposeful, and meaningful relationships, then our lives become meaningful because we are loved and accepted by someone. Meaningful relationships really do bring hope to our lives.
In my first post, I asked you to consider becoming a loving person at the start of 2013. In my second post, I want you to consider practicing being humble as you journey through 2013. Each month I will ask you to consider practicing various themes so that by the end of the year, you will have seen that 2013 was not just a year in which you passively allowed time to happen to you, but that you actively became a different person by practicing healthy character and success in all relationships.
Stop Using Excuses
In my third post for 2013 (January was love and February was humbleness) I want to focus on finding ways to get rid of blame. The most common response to problems is “It’s not my fault.” We all tend to blame and try to find the root of a problem by stating that it was not my fault, but we blame the problem on a variety of other things. We all like to point the finger and try to find fault as a way to either not take responsibility for our problems or find fault with others as a way to try to get someone else to take responsibility.
But the good news is, we all can find a new way to respond to problems. Sure, we all have gotten some type of raw deal out of life, hurt from other people, our DNA or a range of life circumstances; there is always something we can do to make things better. We can find ways to get our focus off of what we can’t control and find ways to break free from the blame game that can sabotage our relationships. We all can make better choices and start living the life we choose to live.
Just Say No
In part 1 of this series, I invited you to consider taking ownership and responsibility for your life. When you do this, you then create choices and take control of your life versus when you don’t take control, you allow others to take away your choices, and you feel stuck. But, taking ownership is all about having a positive attitude to consider various ways to stop using excuses and give up blaming others for our problems.
Learning how to say no can be a great potential for you to get out of blame and move towards saying no, not only to others, but also negative feelings, circumstances, or discouragements you may be experiencing. In other words, the principle is to say no to anything that would divert you from your goals and dreams. This power principle comes by skill, training, effort, and perseverance, and these are endeavors to keep you going. As you do this, you will notice that life is a thousand times more rewarding as you say no to those things that stand in your way to play your hand to win.
To do this, you have got to have a protected no. We all need to protect and guard our dream and our life from forces that might prevent us from reaching our goals. Let me ask you to consider some of these protective devices that will serve you well as you say no to them.
First of all, start paying attention to those things and activities that distract you from your steps toward your goal. We all know of how electronic devices, news, the busyness of life, and over commitments can all easily distract us from staying focused. We all need to recognize those areas of our life in which distractions cause us to go astray from staying focused. Keep the main thing the main thing and find a way to say no to all those pleasant/unpleasant distractions that keep you from staying focused and reaching your goals.
A second area that I want you to consider is to find a way to say no to people that are not good for you. Learning to discern who is right and good for you and who to avoid will greatly enhance your chances of spending time with the people that are good for you. A good test for all relationships is can someone hear your no? Healthy people will respect your no while unhealthy people will want more from you and demand more of your attention. Therefore, an unhealthy person is someone who has a negative influence on the direction of your desires.
For example, how do you say no to these types of people: An envious person, a negative person, a controlling person, a needy person, an argumentative person? There is nothing wrong with these types of people, it is just that if you are going to grow, learn and become a better you, it might be a good idea to limit or say no to long engaging conversations or time spent with these people. The reason for this is due to the negative outcomes that they will produce in your minds and in your life.
This area has to do with discerning on a daily basis what tempting opportunities may come across your desk or plate and learn to not get involved in them. For example, Facebook, social media, E Mails or other popular sites all send you a message each day that might be tempting you to get involved and it might be worthy to say yes to, but the timing may not be good for you.
For example, you might be concentrating on your personal growth, engaged in activities such as joining a support group, reading self-help books and working to improve yourself and your relationships. Then suddenly, from whatever source it may be, you are asked to lead some group or your manager asks you to get involved in some new projects or activities, or your friend invites you to join him or her in taking some classes. Each of these on their own are worthy, but it may not be the best timing for you. Yes, losing potentially good experiences is a real loss and letting go of something good is not easy. But as you say no, stay the course, you will have accomplished some goals for yourself that later on you will be happy that you stayed the course and achieved them.
Your Own Excuses
A final area for you to consider saying no to are your own excuses. Make sure you understand this statement: excuses are not your friend, they are your enemy. Find ways to get rid of enemies in your life called excuses such as blaming others, rationalizing, or denial of your responsibility. Excuses will cause you to dismiss your lack of progress and will steer you off course. Sure, you know you need to walk instead of eating that piece of pie, but find a way to say no to that pie, no to your excuses or rationalization, and put your tennis shoes on and walk. Even if it is only for 15 minutes, this will do you good and over time, you will see and feel the benefits from walking and being in control of your own health.
In closing, make no your friend. Don’t let excuses or these other areas become your friend. Get rid of them, stay the course, and find success in your life in pursuing your goals and dreams. View time as your friend, persevere and you will see how saying no will set the course to personal freedom and energy to get things done. Be focused and not distracted.
Thanks for reading and I welcome your feedback, comments and reaction.
Phil Kiehl, LMFT, M.Div.