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Are you a Detractor, Deflector or Defeatist? How to avoid blame

If you find yourself constantly making excuse for everything, it turns out you suffer from a case of Blame-itis. Here’s how to overcome it and start owning up.

It’s incredible how many people these days suffer from Blame-itis – the need to blame others, to work through an endless excuses list and believing that ‘the dog ate my homework’ will actually keep them off the hook.

At its worst, ‘Blame-itis evolves and becomes the affliction of finding reasons as to why others achieved, and you didn’t. You know the ones – “Well, they’ve got the time, the contacts, the thousands of followers, the money, the support crew, the experience, the resources.” Or even – they don’t have (insert whatever you have that you feel is getting in the way). The list goes on.

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There are three ways of becoming affected by Blame-itis;

1. The Detractor

The Detractor blames something else for their lack of achievement; everything from the economy, government, market, competition, industry, become the excuse for not making progress.

2.The Deflector

The Deflector blames someone else for their lack of achievement; it’s their boss’s fault, friend’s fault, Penny in accounts or Bob in marketing’s fault for why they can’t get things achieved.

3. The Defeatist

he Defeatist blames themselves for their lack of achievement; “I’m not good enough, smart enough, clever enough, skilled enough” become the constant inner dialogue for a lack of momentum up the personal ‘getting stuff done’ achievement ladder.

Whether you are a Detractor, Deflector or Defeatists, the results of Blame-itis are evident – ineffectiveness, status quo, and inaction.

The top line is this: Blame-itis is not accepting responsibility or accountability for any of your actions or behaviours, making excuses and not accepting that maybe, just maybe, you did play a critical part in things not quite going to plan. That actually it isn’t anyone else’s fault that you didn’t achieve your goals– it’s yours.

So how do you cure a case of Blame-itis?

1. Take Ownership

Of course, we all have different baggage, backgrounds, financial situations, and stuff going on. But if you want it enough, if you are hungry enough and if you take control of owning your role in writing your story, creating your own dreams, then action does happen.

Own your successes and your failures. Own your dreams, your goals and your behaviours. Own the actions you take. Own the tribe you choose to work with, the projects you choose to navigate and deliver, the essential contacts that will absolutely transform you and accelerate your journey to success.

Own the highs and the lows, the results and the failures. Own the opportunity to continuously learn and grow because only by doing this will you head down the road labelled ‘Personal Success’.

2. Take Responsibility For Your Actions

Whether things go to plan or not, hold yourself 100 per cent accountable for the outcome, whatever it may be. It’s not about making excuses or quitting the game. It’s simply about considering that perhaps you may somehow have contributed to the end result.

Hold yourself accountable, assess what you could do differently next time and take note of what you have learnt because this will absolutely create the right next appropriate action towards achieving your ultimate goals.

3. Find the Lesson

Don’t be afraid of failure or admitting your mistakes. When we give ourselves permission to fail, incredible lessons are learnt. Failure is a chance to regroup, to learn and grow.

Unless you’re really willing to learn the lesson, even if it feels uncomfortable at times, you can never move forward. Be honest with yourself – the actions you took and the choices you made.

Take a moment to look at things from another’s perspective. The lesson is always there if you are open to seeing it and open to growth.

4.Let Go and Move On

Dwelling on the small stuff can be debilitating. We end up in a never-ending cycle of ‘coulda, shoulda, woulda’. Unless we let go of the blame game and finger pointing, accept what happened and embrace the learnings from the situation, we are unable to move forward. The choice is yours – sit in a quagmire of excuses and the resulting sludge of status quo or accept that things didn’t quite go to plan, re-group, re-plan and move on.

Kick Blame-itis well and truly in the butt. Out with ineffectiveness, inaction and the status quo; in with ownership, accountability and self-awareness.

Janine Garner is a global thought leader on powerful networking, collaboration and transformational leadership and the author of Be Brilliant – how to lead a life of influence (Wiley). Find her here.