Who’s to blame?
HR people and bosses spend time listening. People want to share their stories and have a need to be heard. Its part of the human condition to commune with others.
By and large this is a positive: the ability to engage with and hear the perspectives of others can often be the difference between a different and diffident workplace.
Yet sometimes we hear a theme we need to push back against:
Who’s to blame?
Victimhood is an ugly and useless excuse. Sometimes in listening we hear a refrain of ‘someone/thing did this to me – that’s why I’m where I’m at.’
You are where you are because that’s who you think you are
Some believe external agents – a boss, the government, an ex or co-workers – are responsible for our condition. If ‘they’ hadn’t done this or hadn’t done that, things would be different. I’d get what I deserve.
Uh, you did.
You woke up today and therefore had a chance. That’s all anyone ‘deserves.’
To believe your lot is someone else’s fault is to give up free will. To deny your own choice, self-determination and indeed responsibility.
If you truly believe someone other than you controls your destiny then all the listening I do won’t help you.
You have the tools within you to change your existence.
We all have difficult things happen in career, family, finance and life. That too is part of the human experience. Yet how awful that experience would be, how existentially meaningless, if we truly buy into victimhood and believe we’re powerless.
As humans we have to the ability to assess our position, make plans and move on. If we choose it, our own determination will carry us forward as we take every step we need to to change our lives.
We are who we think we are
People who prevail in life – whether than means developing an enlightened mind, attaining financial security, or doing positive things in the neighborhood – harness their own determination. They trust the innate and inherent ability to change their own lives.
They are not heroes. They are not victims.
They are simply believers in the adaptability and perseverance of the human condition.
The belief that life can and will be better if they will it.
And act on it.
Examples abound. Martin Luther King Jr, your third-grade teacher, a parent who won’t quit on you, a friend who won’t let you cry into your beer.
People of belief, determination and conviction.
You have this same strength in you. Maybe its been put to the side or maybe your confidence has gotten a little bruised and dented as you suffered the trials of life we all do.
But its there.
Confidence in our own ability to make choice is a remarkable feature of the human species. We can and do change lives.
So quit assigning blame to others. There’s no third party who’s done anything to you.
If you’re unhappy with your lot in life and are looking for someone to hold responsible, get up off the sofa, look in the mirror and tell that person to get on with things.
We’ll be listening.