It isn’t my fault. I am not responsible. It was something or someone else. There is nothing I can do.
There isn’t a more disempowering belief, nor is there one that will damage your results and the quality of your life more. The human ego is fragile and aggressive in its attempts to protect itself from harm. It looks for causes outside itself to explain why things aren’t what they should be to absolve itself of responsibility. But in doing so, it creates the mindset of a victim, one in which the individual with this belief is being acted upon by the world with no ability to change their current state.
How do you recognize that this mindset is false, that it is a lie some part of you has designed to protect another part of you? You recognize this by looking first at how often you look for causes outside yourself to explain why you failed. Then you look at other people with a different mindset, the mindset that is “everything is my fault.”
It’s Not Me. It’s You.
You lost a deal. Your competitor came in behind you with a much lower price. You attribute your loss to your competitor’s behavior, something over which you have zero control. In doing so, you have absolved yourself of responsibility for the loss. Since there was nothing you can do in this case, there is nothing you can do in future situations.
There are other people, however, who would take a different—and more empowering lesson—from this same event. The more effective mindset is to believe that you didn’t create enough value to justify paying more. This belief empowers you to do something different in the future, like creating more value, and by dealing with the fact that your competitor will come in with a lower price and sharing the costs your prospective client will incur by underinvesting.
You want to make more money, but you aren’t succeeding at doing so. You wanted a promotion but were passed over. You can insert the word “because” after these statements or ones like them, and the more those statements place the blame somewhere other than squarely on your shoulders, the more debilitating the mindset.
Your results are your own. You own them, free and clear. At any time, you can decide to change those results, but you will find that the starting line for producing those results is owning that you are the root cause of those results. This is good news, because if everything is your fault, then you are the only one necessary to change those results.
By believing and behaving as if everything is your fault, you trade a debilitating mindset for an empowering mindset, one that allows you to change yourself, and in doing so, changes your results.