“I take full responsibility. I’ll own this mess”
These aren’t words we hear a lot, are they?
Most of the times when things go wrong in a relationship, at work, on a school project our natural tendency is to say, “It was their fault.” At the most we might own a sliver of the blame, but only because it was prompted by the other person. “They made me so angry!” or “I couldn’t finish because she was late” or even “I didn’t reach my goal because I didn’t have the energy-the kids took it all from me.” And on an on we make excuses, pointing as far away from us as we possibly can.
Blame is a natural reaction. In fact, it is one of the first reactions in human history. The Bible records that when Adam and Eve sinned by eating the forbidden fruit, God confronted them, and what did Adam do? Did he own up to the fact that he gladly ate the fruit? Did he protect his wife in her time of need?
He threw her under a bus, and he even threw God under the bus. ““It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it” (Genesis 3:12).
Notice Adam’s words. “The woman.” Not “my lovely wife” or “Eve” but instead “The woman.” He distances himself from her. Just a few minutes earlier they were complicit in eating the fruit together now he tosses her to the side in order to make himself look good. Then he has the audacity to say to God “YOU gave her to me.” In other words, “Listen God, had you not given her to me none of this mess would have happened in the first place.”
And yet we are all cut from the same cloth, all of us are from Adam’s gene pool whether you happen to believe the Genesis account of creation or not. You know how easy blame shifting can be, and how it is as natural as breathing itself.
Who or what are you blaming for the disappointments and missed opportunities in your life? Was it your spouse, best friend or boss who doesn’t see your full potential? Is it your circumstances or lack of resources or low energy? Is it the addiction you have that someone else led you into?
Quit blaming others and own your mistakes. You will never get ahead by blaming others when the one who needs to change the most is you.
So, if you have already blown a New Year’s resolution take a good look in the mirror and own the fact that it isn’t the cheesecake’s fault that you can’t eat well or your parent’s fault that they didn’t teach you enough about money. Own the responsibility. You need to make a change between your ears before there will be a change in your life this year.
Then dust off and start again. A new you should have nothing to do with a new year, and everything to do with a new way of thinking…every day.
When you own the responsibility, you will find you have just taken the first big leap towards a change for the better that is applicable to all areas of your life.