Don’t blame yourself, but…it IS your fault.

Okay, maybe that’s not fair.

Unsuccessful entrepreneurs often confuse and misuse the concepts of blame, fault, and responsibility.  Successful ones are clear on the differences.

Blame and fault-finding are often the default reactions of someone coming from a position of weakness and victimhood.  If you get caught in the blame game, you’re essentially pointing the finger at someone else and saying that they caused you to fail.  Ditto with fault-finding.

People who succeed in business and life, on the other hand, are always willing to accept responsibility for the outcomes they get.  They don’t beat themselves up, look for sympathy, or try to weasel out of the consequences of their choices.  They simply acknowledge that they did what they did, evaluate the outcome, celebrate that outcome if it’s what they wanted, and do what’s necessary to fix things if the outcome wasn’t what they wanted.

One of my very favorite statements of this concept is a work by American performer and author Portia Nelson.  It’s called Autobiography in Five Short Chapters.  Enjoy.

 

Chapter 1bigger hole by Gene Hunt

I walk down the street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost; I am helpless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever to find a way out.

 

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend I don’t see it.

I fall in again.

I can’t believe I’m in the same place.

It isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

 

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I see it is there.

I fall in again; it’s a habit.

My eyes are open; I know where I am.

It is my fault.

I get out immediately.

 

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

 

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

 

What holes are you falling in because you choose not to see them?  And what streets have you left behind because you took charge of your choices and reactions and results?

BTW, thanks to Gene Hunt for posting his hole image in the Creative Commons section of Flickr.

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