Dream Killer Alert! That’s a fun topic isn’t it? Though it may not be a sparkly shiny rah-rah topic, it’s one that must be addressed head-on in order to really slay all day. In reality, there is only one dream killer and it is yourself. In your heart of hearts, you know this to be true and yet we all find ourselves reverting back to blame. Ah blame, one of everyone’s favorite activities. Business is slow? Blame the weather. Friendship is strained? Blame the distance. You’re body is unhealthy? Blame your metabolism. The blame game makes us feel better because we can assign the fault of our problems to something outside of ourselves. What many of us fail to ever recognize is that who’s to blame doesn’t really matter. Wha?? Yeah, sad day, we know, and we feel you. It feels sooooooo good to point the finger. To righteously say: it’s THAT person’s fault or because of THIS circumstance that I am where I am. But what does that do to progress you towards fixing the situation? This is where we realize that fault and responsibility, are not the same thing.
So why do we get stuck in wanting to assign the blame? Why is it that we become obsessed with figuring out who’s fault something is and who’s to blame? We’ll analyze every detail, every aspect, every moment to try to crystalize and justify the fault, and usually, we’re assigning that fault outside of ourselves. Whether or not we assign the blame inside or outside the point is that fault and blame, are absolutely irrelevant to progressing a solution. We think that we live in a fair and just world and therefore if something we deam unfair happens to us we automatically think that the scales of justice should tip in our direction. That some outside deciding factor of justice will make it right if only we can accurately identify who’s at fault and why.
As Will Smith so eloquently points out: “It’s not your fault that your father was an abusive alcoholic but it’s for damn sure your responsibility to figure out how to deal with those traumas and figure out how to make a life out of it.” YOU are the only person that can improve your situation. This is both empowering, and a bit of a sucker punch. Yes, you have to clean up the mess around you, whether or not you created it.
3 primary dream killers:
We’re attached to the way we want it done
At the end of the day, you are the only person who can do it right and your vision is best, right? Wrong. When was the last time you set out on a path and everything went exactly as planned? We can’t remember a time like this either and yet so often we get insane when one or two unexpected twists come along. This thinking is detrimental to yourself and your progress. We do not exist in a vacuum and that means we have to deal with the fact that our goals, dreams, and aspirations involve other people, other factors and other considerations. Inevitably this means that things aren’t always going to go exactly the way we want them to and when we can embrace this truth, we save ourselves from having those most sour of feelings.
We blame the people around us
Have you ever had something that you wanted so desperately to go right just…not? It went wrong and it went wrong in all the ways it could. We all have the tendency to look around and start looking to assign fault. We’re certainly guilty of this practice and it certainly makes us feel better in the moment when something doesn’t go our way but it is NOT constructive or useful. Think back to the last time something didn’t go your way. Did you look to make yourself feel better by blaming others or be constructive and take responsibility for the actions that needed to happen next? Maybe you started in fault placing but were able to shift to responsibility taking. The more you can practice this shift the more harmonious, productive and happy you’ll be.
We don’t plan for failure
The idea phases of anything new is the best part. You’re crafting a magical new reality in your perfect place of imagination. A place where all your hopes and dreams come true in an instant and where everything came together exactly as you imagined. We already know from the first mistake that when we’re attached to the way we want it done we can derail into negativity and frustration, but this mistake differs in that often times we map out a plan to achieve our goals and fail to leave in enough flexibility and room for the inevitable curve balls. You can’t possibly know all of them ahead of time, but what you can do is take the time to consider what pitfalls and challenges there will be and to take responsibility to address those ahead of time.
This world is made up of cause and effects and when you focus on situations outside of your control you are looking to place responsibility on the effects rather than with the cause. The effects might be at fault but the cause carries the responsibility. Consider this: You walk into your kitchen and your hungry. You open the fridge and it’s barren, save for a few doorside condiments. That’s weird you know you had a box of leftovers in there. Your roommate must have eaten them (again). Now it’s your roomates fault that the leftovers are gone (the effect is there is no food), but it’s your responsibility to get yourself fed (the cause is you only had one avenue planned to feed yourself). This can be a big and deep issue to dive into and we’re excited to unpack it more in the next Millennial Mentorship podcast!
We don’t want to leave you hanging, here are some more resources that can help!
Stuck in the habit of blaming your partner when things don’t go your way? Read or listen to our 5 Rules for Positive Partnerships!
Feel like no matter how much responsibility you take your goal still is working against you? You can read 3 Signs That it’s Time for a Pivot here or listen here!
Want to hear it from Will Smith? click here
And last but not least our book recommendation that gives incredible insights on this topic and that we have recently masterminded with our management team in our restaurant company, Extreme Ownership, you can get it here! Head over to our Amazon storefront for a special gift from us, two free audiobooks and a free 30 day trial of Audible!