Always Blame Yourself For Your Failures

  • Whenever we fail to achieve our goals
  • The default response is to find others to blame

Are you fed up with the “fools and idiots” who are stopping you from achieving your goals, peace of mind or happiness?

Well, you’re probably not going to like what I am going to say next…

The main reason for your failures is almost always YOU!

Yes, there are many situations in life where due to ill-health, disability, misfortune or the sheer wickedness of people, authorities or governments, we are powerlessly confronted by situations where circumstances or others control our destiny.

However, for most of us at most times we are blessed with free will, health, strength and mental capacity and hold the key to our success.

Here are 7 things you must not do if you want to avoid being the master of your own downfall: 

1. Don’t put your own self-interest after others for no return
2. Don’t take the easy way if you know the hard way is right
3. Don’t kid yourself it’s right when you know it’s wrong
4. Don’t trust others, only babies do that
5. Don’t allow others to make your decisions
6. Don’t let others fool you into fighting their battles at your cost
7. Don’t stick around and wait for the inevitable if something is not going your way

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1. Don’t put your own self-interest after others for no return

Life should be an equal mix of givers and takers but my experience has been that there are way more takers than givers.

The sham prevailing morality is that it is good to give and there is no shortage of people revelling in their alleged do-goodery.  However no matter how hard the do-gooders work, there will never be enough time to help the takers.

The best bet is simple – never put your own self-interest after others for no return. No, not because you are selfish or self-centred but because you understand the limits as to how much you can help others – and the fact that the more you help, the more will come begging.

By putting your self-interest first, you keep yourself sane, healthy and solvent. You then have the strength to help others when they most need you, when they are genuinely deserving.

If you put your self-interest second without anything in return – any help, reimbursement, encouragement or benefit – it will only be a matter of time before the wheels come off…your wheels!

And with the takers outnumbering the givers, it could be some time before someone comes to your rescue.

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2. Don’t take the easy way if you know the hard way is right

The way I have seen things, the default human approach is to take the easy choice, the line of least resistance.

Taking the easy route is the non-headache option, the easy life.

But the difficult route is very often the best – long term, overall, realistically, honestly.

Here is an example relating to real estate:

Your rental property has been empty for a while, you’re losing money and you could do with a tenant fast.

Your letting agent eventually finds a tenant but points out a number of red flags. 

The easy option is to overlook the glaring negatives and risks and accept the tenant.

The hard option is to carry on losing money and wait for a first rate tenant to be found. You know this is the right thing to do.

The easy option is incredibly tempting, but if you take it and it explodes in your face, you will only have yourself to blame. 

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3. Don’t kid yourself it’s right when you know it’s wrong

Sorry, but delusion is something I often see in the human condition. Why bother trying to get to grips with troublesome reality when fantasy is so much easier and simpler?

In the end though we don’t really have much of a problem identifying right over wrong – it’s just that wrong is invariably more tempting, exciting, interesting, seductive.

So we choose the delusion card – hoping that it’s right when we know darn well that it is wrong.

Here is an example relating to friendship:

You know your friend is the sort of person others would loath to call a friend, but they are your friend and have been so for all your life. They have never done you an inch of wrong.

But you also know that your friend is a beast to those they should be showering with love.

They are cheating on their partner, neglecting their children and basically treating them like you know what.

So what do you do? Tell them some home truths or turn a blind eye and pretend nothing bad is happening or hope that it will all end soon?

You let friendship convince you that you should see no evil tell no lies when honesty and decency is screaming at you to go in hard and tell it as it is, even if you smash the friendship to smithereens in the process.

You know the right thing to do, but you choose the wrong option.

How would you feel if one awful day you learn that your friend had been arrested for something terrible they had done to their partner or children? Something you had foreseen, but pretended you hadn’t. 

If that awful day comes, you may want to fully absolve yourself from any blame – but would that not be truly delusional? 

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4. Don’t trust others, only babies do that

Now admittedly this maxim may seem a bit paranoid. But isn’t that better than losing your shirt?

And if you do lose your shirt, don’t expect a queue of people lining up round the block to present you with a replacement.

Trust may give you a warm fuzzy feeling of how good you are to others and how good others are to you, but why would you want to put your faith in others when you can never be sure that they would put their faith in you?

Why? Because no matter what they say, words are just words.

Babies implicitly trust their parents and that is only right – it’s not like the little blighters have any choice, is there?

But for adults to trust others implicitly, blindly, unreservedly?  That has got to be an excessively high level of risk taking.

Instead of blind trust, opt for blinding due diligence. Take the word of others but only if you cannot find a single reason for not doing so.

If you choose to be an adult baby and blindly trust others, don’t be surprised if they drop you more often than is good for your health, wealth or strength.   

If others breach your trust, blame yourself for blindly trusting them in the first place. 

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5. Don’t allow others to make your decisions

Delegation seems always to be a buzz word. We are apparently smart time managers when we sign up others to do things we can do, but with difficulty.

And in that sense, delegation can definitely be beneficial. But what if we take it too far and abrogate our responsibilities by entrusting to others decision which we alone should make?

If we let others take the decisions we should  ultimately take, none of the words we have to own up to are good; words like: neglect, laziness, inattentive, reckless and irresponsible.

The reason why you should never let others decide for you is that no-one is existentially capable off having your best interest more at heart than you.

Yes, they may love you, admire you, even revere you, but when it all goes wrong, it will be you feeling the pain, it will be your money that is lost, your life that is well and truly messed up.

Here is an example relating to business management:

You’re an entrepreneur and have spent your life building up your business, which is a great success and employing a good many people.

The money is coming in and everything is good. But time has worn you down a bit, and you want to reduce your work input and you increasingly pass jobs to others, jobs which once you would have seen as your sole preserve – jobs such as spending money. Your money.

So you give your senior manager the power to take your place and start spending your money. And why wouldn’t you? You had trained them and everyone said they were a carbon copy of you, besides being incredibly talented, hardworking, honest and trustworthy.

Then one day, while you were chilling by the pool at the gym, the bank manager rings you up and is very agitated.

You know the rest…

Your healthy bank balance was terminally ill. Things had gone terribly wrong money-wise. Your business is on life support.  Your overdraft is about to be pulled.

Yes your instinct is to storm into the office and fire your senior manager on the spot – and almost certainly that is the right thing to do – not forgetting to consult with your lawyer first!

However, no amount of anger, indignation or hurt is going to disguise the overriding fact.

You were to blame for the death of your business. You had allowed someone else to make decisions which were only for you to make.

Where you allow others to make major decisions for you and disaster strikes, the blame rests with you no matter how wrong, bad or criminal the acts or omissions of others.

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6. Don’t let others fool you into fighting their battles at your cost

It is easy to end up fighting the battles of others. It starts off innocently – with you as the good listener, neighbour, colleague or friend.

At first you are offering advice and the odd assistance, nothing to worry about, nothing too taxing or time consuming.

You are pleased with yourself – it’s good to help and you’re providing good help.

But inevitably there comes a point when your friend, colleague or neighbour starts to lean on you just that little bit too hard.

Before you know it, instead of helping them with their burdens, you find that you are carrying the heavy load.

What I have noticed is that people are only too keen to dump their problems on others – any sort of problem: relationship, workplace, family, health, and especially money. 

Almost without you noticing, their problem is yours and you’re fighting their battles at your cost and in your time.

Fighting the battles of others at your cost is more akin to stupidity than selflessness.

Here is an example relating to money:   

As you get deeper and deeper into the problems of your needy friend, colleague or neighbour it becomes clear what the real problem is…money…the root of all evil (and good).   

Your advisee has been buying stuff they could not afford and, worse still, are doing so on their credit card, spending more than they are earning and the debt monsters are gathering outside their door.

The letters of creditors are getting nastier and court proceedings are being threatened left, right and centre.

Eventually, inevitably, you are asked the question, “Can you lend me some money? Two thousand will do it. I am going to rent out the spare room in my house…I will pay you back in six months…”

So you take on the crisis of someone else and hand over the money. You even pay them in cash since they told you that any money into their bank account would be swallowed up by their bank.

You put nothing in writing and don’t even think about interest.

With luck you will get your money back, hopefully on time.

But if you have to kiss goodbye to your hard-earned money, you’re going to have to admit to being a grade one idiot.

The problems of others are not yours. If you take on those problems, don’t be surprised if you are left holding them until they burn your fingers to the bone.

Others will always be keen to get you to fight their battles for nothing.

Always politely decline if you don’t want to end up being the real loser.

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7. Don’t stick around and wait for the inevitable if something is not going your way

Whenever you mess up, the key thing is not to stand around waiting for the inevitable…things to go horribly wrong.

If the tide is against you, don’t go against the flow.

The technical term is “mitigation” – always look to reduce or diminish the problem or difficulty you have got yourself into.

Don’t hope that it will go away or will get better. Assume the worse and get the heck out of there fast!

We can all make mistakes – that is not unforgivable; what is unforgivable is to wait around hoping things will get better, when chances are they will get worse.

Conclusion

When anything goes wrong in our lives the default is to jump to blame others.

But of course, we alone can make the decisions that affect us. 

The sooner we realise that we are the architects of our failures, the easier for us to prevent or at least minimise them.

To boost your prospects of success in every area of your life, take full  unqualified ownership of your failures whenever they occur – no matter how small, no matter how large.

Enjoyed this blog? Please share it with friends by clicking on the LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram icon on this page. 

If it’s not too painful, look back on some of the biggest failures in life. Were you the guilty party or can you put the finger of blame on others? Feel free to make any other point. Please leave your observations or comments below.

You may also find the following blogs useful:

Plug into people power to succeed (channel the strength of others to excel)
Think like a property millionaire (the millionaire mindset of property investors)
Contrarians rule always (the power and success of contrarian thinking)

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Dalton Barrett
Rebel Property Coach

Please follow me on Twitter @Dalton1London
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My website is: www.rebelpropertycoach.com

 

 


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