Who or What Is Causing Your Problems?

Is the economy, the banks or the stock market causing you problems? Did your parents do a bad job of raising you? Is your job or your
government ruining your life?

When people fail, they often blame someone else for their failure.

"My parents argued all the time which is why I'm now divorced." "If I hadn't listened to my accountant's advice, I'd be rich." "This city has
ruined me."

People blame others when they do poorly at work.

"My boss is such a jerk, I'm too stressed to get my work done." "I don't get paid enough to be nice to EVERY customer." "If everyone
else wasn't so lazy, I'd be more energetic."

Blame is also used for personal problems.

"I'm depressed because of the tragedies on television." "I can't be faithful to my wife because I have a chemical imbalance." "I can't stop
smoking because my father used to spank me."

Why You Can't Win the Blame Game

When you blame someone or something else, you actually make yourself weak and ineffective. You make yourself "effect" instead of
being the "cause" of the situation. You give power to the person or thing you blame.

"Blaming something else makes that something else cause; and as that cause takes on power, the individual in the
same act loses control and becomes effect." -- L. Ron Hubbard

For example, your business is failing and you blame your assistant. You are making your assistant more powerful than you. You might
say, "My assistant messed up my business, " which is just another way of saying, "My assistant determines if my business succeeds or
fails."

If you take responsibility for your business, you would say, "I need to train my assistant so he doesn't make mistakes" or "I'd better fire
my assistant so he doesn't block my business success."

As another example, you might blame your parents for your stress and anxiety. This makes your parents responsible for your feelings. If
you say, "My parents ruined my life," you are actually saying, "My parents are so powerful, they control my emotions. I have no control
over my anxiety."

How You Win

Stopping the blame game and accepting responsibility for yourself gives you new hope. "My parents didn't ruin my life. I ruined my life by
being lazy and unemployed. I need to improve my opinion about myself and get busy."

While blaming people for your problems is silly, blaming physical objects is even sillier. "My house is so ugly, I feel depressed." "The
stock market crash makes me go crazy!" "My body has a disorder which makes me fat." In these cases, you are actually saying, "My life
is controlled by _______."

If you wish to succeed, you have to end the blame game. You only get ahead when you become "cause" over the situation. " I'll stop
watching TV and paint my house a nice color." "I'll work hard and increase my income so the stock market doesn't bother me." "I'm fat
because I eat tons of junk food and don't exercise."

Five Steps for Ending the Blame Game

1. Make four columns on a sheet of paper.

2. In the first column, list all of the problems or conditions you blame on others or things. Example: "I can't stop smoking because I'm
addicted to nicotine."

3. In the next column, write how you are responsible for each problem or condition. Example: "I am the one who decided to become a
smoker."

4. Write how you can take more responsibility for each. Example: "I could be more determined to quit smoking."

5. In the last column, write down an action step you can take for each problem or condition. Example: "Each time I want a cigarette this
week, take a 15-minute walk first."

Five Benefits of Taking More Responsibility

* Other people and things have less control over your destiny.

* Poor conditions start to improve.

* You make fewer mistakes.

* No one can control you without your consent.

* You become the most powerful force in your life.

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