The Person to Blame is You
It is far too easy to play the blame game in life. So and so did this to you, therefore you are hindered in this way. So and so did not do this for you, therefore you are held back in another way. If you look hard enough, there is always someone else to blame for life’s mistakes, but no matter who is to blame for the way your life is, it is still your life, so you might as well take ownership of it.
It does not matter if someone owes you money, time or energy, if they never repay you, that alone is not an excuse to not move on and move up in life. In life, I have heard so many stories of how so and so did this to me, therefore this happened to me and that is the reason why I am here now. So what? Who cares? Does the person who did you wrong care? Probably not.
I could sit here and blame so many people for so many facets of my life, but it would not be true and even if it was it would not matter.
No matter where you are in life, no matter what age, bank account balance, occupation, educational level, relationship status, physical shape or mental well-being, you can always improve. Always. There is no expiration to improvement. You mind does not stop learning just because you have reached a certain age. Your body does not stop working, just because you have gotten older. Get out there and get it done.
A little over six years ago I moved to Edmonton from British Columbia. When I arrived in Edmonton I was: single (after a bad breakup), unemployed, in debt, friendless (except for one friend in the city), lost (having only been to Edmonton once, for only two days, before moving here permanently) and completely broken.
Now, I am sure you think that you know what I am going to say next, that six years later I am on top of the world and life could not be greater! Well…not necessarily. I have rebuilt a life for myself in my new home, yes, and I have been successful in achieving happiness, but success is really hard to see honestly for outsiders. People see success as a linear, upward trajectory, but what others do not see is all the struggles in between the good.
Success and failure go hand in hand and people forget or do not see the struggles one endures while achieving successes life.
One thing I really try not to do is blame people for my life. I am grateful for all of the experiences I have had because I have (hopefully) grown from them or will grow from them (eventually).
Six years ago, I could have come to a new city and lamented that I had to rebuild my life and how unfair the universe was to me and stayed in that spot for a long time. I did lament; I was frustrated. I felt wronged; I was sad. It did feel unfair, but did that change the circumstance? No. Did it change the fact that I had no job or real sense of purpose in my life? No, so I had to get up and get moving.
Has every moment, change, and decision I have made in the past six years been perfect or right? No, but one thing I have not done is stop moving, trying and hoping. I keep striving onwards and upwards, doing the best I can do, at that specific moment in time. Sometimes my best has not been that ideal, if not downright terrible and other times it has been magnanimous.
We can either sit in our shit and blame our parents, partner, ex, family, friends, siblings, bosses, colleagues, the world, God, whoever we want for where we are in life and what we have to deal with or we can bloody well deal with it.
I am not saying that people do not do bad things to others in life because that definitely happens, but for how long are you going to let it linger?
Blaming people does nothing to them and nothing for you. We all have people in our life who we feel cheated us of our time, money or energy (or even all three) but what use is it to sit on a stump and ruminate over it?
If someone took thousands of dollars from you, is sitting around thinking (or even worse talking) about it going to make your money come back? No, so go out and make more money (and do not give it them this time!).
If a failed relationship took years of your life, is sitting around thinking about it going to bring back your twenties and the wonderful metabolism of your youth? No, so get back into the dating scene and jump on a treadmill once in awhile.
If your boss gave that promotion you so badly wanted to someone else, is complaining about how unfair they are going to get you the job? No, so figure out your next steps and focus on doing a good job in your current role.
Also, own your role in all of your life events. No one is ever completely faultless, so before you point a finger externally at what so and so has done wrong, at least acknowledge some area of improvement for yourself as well.
You are going to fall; life is going to send hurdles your way. People we love are going to let us down and we are going to let them down. You are going to let yourself down, but we need not stay down, no matter who or what got us there. Focus on the next step, not the misstep you took.
For as long as I have been playing this game, the blame card does not ever work in your favour; it is toxic and useless to sit around blaming people for your life. Blame does nothing, other than show that you are unwilling to fix your life because you think it is someone else’s fault, therefore, in some twisted way, you think it is their responsibility to fix it.
Whatever blame, resentment, or anger you are harbouring for someone else or something that happened to you, let it go. Move on. Move up. Understand that moving on is not seamless, you will have breakdowns, mess ups, slip ups, and flat out life shattering events, just never sit and dwell on who is to blame.
Figure out a way to get back up and try again. Try until it works. Try until you find a way to even move an inch forward.
Life is hard and you never know what it is going to bring, but there is a lot of power in knowing that you can change anything you do not like in your life, as long as you take ownership of it and move on from it.
You might be sitting there thinking that you have tried this and it has not worked, so why bother trying, yet again? I feel your pain, I have stumbled over the same problem more than a few times, but remember, everyone loves rooting for a good underdog. Rocky is my favourite movie of all time for that very reason; failure is not the end of the road, unless you let it be the end of your road.
I hope six years from now I have an even more encouraging, exciting story to tell, but I am pretty happy with where I am in life right now. Is it perfect? Nope. Am I perfect? Nope, I have plenty struggles and issues, but who cares? This is the one life I get to lead, so I am just going to enjoy living it as best I can.
Be grateful that you get the opportunity to fix the mistakes you have made because you can.
Change your story.
Own your story.
Someone really smart once told me that ‘People will forget your failures and missteps; the past is easily washed away by a better today.’ Hold onto that thought when you feel that you cannot erase the mistakes of your yesterday because you can and you will.
Good luck to all of us because we are all in this together.