“Be relentless in pursuit of those goals, especially in the face of obstacles. Along the way, make no excuses and place no blame.”
Hockey Hall of Famer Ray Bourque
I’ve had some interest in a mental challenge of the day. So here is one you can try for a day, a week, or a lifetime: Eliminate blame.
When you catch yourself blaming someone or something for how you are thinking, feeling, or acting, just stop. Let it be.
Why eliminate blame?
We act as if blame is a righteous return of fire against an enemy trying to harm us. But that’s not what blame is. Blame is the brick and mortar we use to wall off our connection to others and the freedom that is ours if we don’t construct our own prisons. Blame leads us down an inaccurate path that strips us of our rightful influence over ourselves and the world around us. Blame primes us to be victims rather than seeking our positions of power.
Please don’t confuse reasons or causes with blame. There are reasons why we experience what we do. Our universe obeys orderly rules even if we don’t always understand them. But the chance of accurately understanding why you are experiencing a particular thought, feeling, or action is next to 0% until you can greatly reduce blame. When you eliminate the noise of blame and open up to greater possibility, more answers to your, “Why?” questions will occur to you. When you eliminate blame, you will gain freedom, possibility, and influence.
A small caution: Eliminating blame will not eliminate pain from your life. Even without blame, you won’t like everything you experience, but without blame your sense of influence and freedom will increase. In turn, this will help limit the frequency, duration, and intensity of your painful experiences.
A couple of thoughts/tips: After you begin to eliminate blame of other people and situations, you may be tempted to blame yourself for your pain. Don’t do it. Continue eliminating blame. Don’t blame yourself either. None of us is perfect. It’s one of the beautiful ways we are connected. Don’t kick your own butt for your imperfections. Imperfect happens and pain results. There’s a reason for it. Blame won’t fix it. It will improve fastest when you simply experience it without blame.
You may not be able to eliminate blame with your current vocabulary. Instead of saying something like, “That made me mad,” which blames an external cause for your anger, try saying something like, “I am mad about that,” which implies an internal experience of anger without blaming an external cause.
That’s it. I hope you enjoy the challenge. I can’t wait to hear how you experienced it, so please post or contact me privately.
I hope you have a great day. Make the plays you can. Cast no blame along the way.