Blame vs Responsibility
This summer I put out a free course called Strategic Sorcery for the Financially Stuck. In it the first point that I made was the difference between blame and responsibility, because a lot of people I talk to are getting hung up on it. I had to cover this again for a client today and so thought maybe it deserved its own post.
I started to realize how people were confusing these two concepts when I read a review of a Tony Robbins documentary that criticized self help because it…. “distracts its adherents from their actual material conditions, allowing them to misattribute both successes and failures to their juju rather than the intersection of their privileges or oppressions.”
Think about this a second and realize how fucked this is.
The person that wrote this believes that your actions have no effect on your circumstance, and that even trying to fucking improve your lot in life distracts you from your lack of privilege and other oppression. God forbid we not spend all our energy on things we have no control over.
Now, lets be clear here, I absolutely believe that privilege is real. In fact there are always all manner of circumstances of birth, genetics, environment, and you name it that give privilege or disadvantage in our society. When working on societal problems, these are things that we must address. But if you are trying to better your own life, you have to make whatever changes and moves you can. This is where the difference between blame and responsibility comes in.
Blame is about the past and the reasons that you are where you are.
Responsibility is about the future and who is going to move forward.
In my opinion there are so many factors that program people from the start that I have a hard time blaming anyone for their circumstance. I am gonna go ahead and say it: You are not to blame. You are however entirely responsible.
You are responsible because no one else is. No one else is gonna do it for you. In fact the little safety net we had for people who truly cannot do for themselves is slipping away fast – but thats a whole other story. You are responsible. You.
The day you take responsibility is the day you take your life back from the forces you have no control over. Don’t get me wrong, you still have the same circumstances, the same intersection of privilege and oppression you always had – but you will own your JUJU and start seeing a lot more success than failure.