Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Giving Up The Power to Change

“When you blame others, you give up your power to change.” - Dr. Robert Anthony

A wise man told me a long time ago to look at the last two letters of the word blame…’Me’. He also said the only person to blame for the choices you make in your life is yourself and no one else. You can blame others, circumstance, experience and history for everything bad that’s happening or not happening in your life, but what does that ultimately give you, an excuse to continue whatever it is you don’t like? Is it used for an excuse to continue with what isn’t working in your life or a vehicle to change? That is ultimately your choice.

When you do place blame you ultimately give your personal power away to someone else and don’t take responsibility for yourself. And usually (this is what always blows me away) it’s to someone you least respect at that moment in time. Why is that, I wonder? I keep telling myself, if I’m going to give my power away to anyone, at least it should be to someone I respect and admire. That is rarely the case. Besides which, the choices they might make for themselves aren’t necessarily the best ones for me. So I’d just as soon keep that control myself.

In the Johari Window exercise, we talk about our blind spot, or as some people teasingly refer to it as their stubborn spot. For example, when someone tells you “You are SO stubborn” and you spend the next 10 minutes fighting them on that, it takes the focus away from listening to the feedback and using it to see if you want to change. If you get that same feedback from ten people over a course of time, then may I suggest you look at it closely? If you fight them on it……explain every reason in the book why they might be looking at something in the wrong way (their fault, right?) then you will definitely not have the power to change what isn’t working for you. A mild example, I know.

How many times have you argued about what you know to be true of yourself? And how much more powerful would it be if you listened instead? Who’s in control now?

Donna Karlin

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