How often do we judge others (almost unconsciously) when the other person hasn’t done any wrong? How often do we criticize when we really need to apologize? How often do we look for loopholes or fake alibi to save our own ego, instead of the truth? How often do we accuse when we are the ones to be accused and held accountable?
Quite often, I imagine.
“When you blame and criticize others you are avoiding some truth about yourself.”Deepak Chopra
Accountability is like a double-edged sword. When you win and you’re accountable for the win, it feels great. Everyone in your team (if there was any) is happy and people praise you. But when you lose and you’re accountable for that loss, things are not so great. People who trusted you will maybe doubt their trust. You will have let down yourself and your team. A really bad situation to be in. Next step for most people: panic!
So, accountability is sometimes a gift, and occasionally a price you have to pay for.
A good leader would take the loss on their name. While the mainstream more often than not would look for ways to get out of the mess they have created by being held accountable. They would point their fingers at others in the team. They would blame (irrelevant) unforeseen situations for the fault. They would basically do anything in their power to not be the one accountable for the failure. While the same leader would display their work in victory ostentatiously. They would cover for their loses with fake claims, instead of being proudly accountable for the loss.
The average method of blaming is just average. To rise above that is one real hero.
But just to make everyone happy, let me share that blaming is an innate human tendency. It’s something we all have ingrained in our brains. Even the best of leaders and best of accountable people. It’s maybe something old humans—you know, our ancestors—needed for survival. And we fundamentally haven’t changed. So there’s this unconscious thing for us to first blame others for the misconduct before taking liability. So in theory, you could once again “blame” your innate biases and take no account for something that’s “out of your control” but your responsibility OR you could rise above your (irrelevant) ancestral behaviors and be literally outstanding. The latter is the path taken by true heroes.
There’s a choice, be wise.
There’s something simple we can all keep in mind the next time we need to shut off our instinct of blaming others while we are deep down really responsible.
Pick Up The Mirror
Instead Of The Magnifying Glass
Yes, the mirror. When you feel like blaming someone first beware. Be self-aware. Don’t look at people with a magnifying glass, seeking a chance to criticize. Take a mirror instead and look at yourself. Are you seeing the truth? How can it be that you’re always right and the others—just because they look at things from a different lens—are wrong? Seek truth, not freedom from accountability when things have gone wrong. Pick up the mirror instead of the magnifying glass.
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Susan Jeffers in her book The Feel the Fear Guide to Lasting Love wrote “Pick Up The Mirror Instead Of The Magnifying Glass”