Who’s at Fault When You Fail?

I attribute my success to this–I never gave or took any excuse. ~ Florence Nightingale

His Fault, Her FaultBlaming someone else for your shortcomings only leads to further failure and disappointment.

You see, people don’t give a crap about you or your problems.

Introducing the Pyramid of Blame

As you may know, I run a financial blog.

A while back, I wrote an article I believe helps certain individuals–specifically, illegal immigrants, felons, and those with bad credit–find jobs. A reader disagreed with my advice and expressed his heartfelt opinion in the comment section beneath the blog post.

The sentiment of this guy’s note can be summarized by a single line buried deep within his rebuttal: “Effing idiot wrote this article.”

The bitter crybaby excused his inability to land a job by refuting verifiable facts I cited within the post. Like many people who suffer from chronic loser-itis, he blamed everyone from Hispanics to banks.

I found the reader’s negative comment annoying. But luckily, it inspired me to create a tool that I hope will help you mentally recapture control of your life.

Although I strongly discourage blamy, complainy behavior, I understand that bad things happen to all of us–and they’re not always our fault.

That’s why I created the Pyramid of Blame. It’ll come in handy when you’re in desperate need of a scapegoat.

After pinpointing the cause of your distress, you  are still burdened with the task of changing your course.

Pyramid of Blame

The Pyramid of Blame

Note how the pyramid is designed in such a way that the individual(s) who exert(s) the most influence over your successes and failures pool at the base of the structure.

Accepting Responsibility Takes Practice

I’m not perfect either.

I have an ongoing arrangement with one of my friends. I can crash at his place when he’s away on business if I agree to take care of his cats.

One day, I forgot to give my friend’s diabetic cat, Vicki, her insulin shot. He returned home, fed the cats himself, and headed off to the gym, leaving me to give Vicki her medicine.

Hours later, my friend came home and immediately realized that Vicki hadn’t received her shot and called me out on it. Instead of embracing shame and responsibility for my oversight, I pointed the finger at my friend.

After all, he was the one who interupted my routine: feed cat, wait 15 minutes, administer shot. The breakdown occurred when he fed the cat, which caused me to forget.

For hours, I excluded myself from the circle of blame, refusing to admit I was distracted by a phone conversation. But eventually, I came around.

Quit Playing Excuse Ping Pong

Excuse Ping Pong is a never ending game whereby one player–the defender of mediocrity–smacks down every fix to a given issue offered by her opponent–the poster child of excellence–with a “reason” said solution won’t fix her problem.

It’s a time consuming sport enjoyed by whiners the world over. If you insist on filling your days with this game, remember you will ALWAYS lose.

I’d bet all the lint balls in my left pocket that 98.6% of those you wish would right a wrong don’t even know you exist. If people don’t know or don’t care about your suffering, what compels them to reverse an injustice (real or imaginary) they’ve brought upon you?

Even if I’m wrong (you know that I’m not), and I’ve failed to convince you to take ownership of your life, how much do you profit from ignoring my advice?

About the Author

Shawanda Greene is a free thinking, frugal gal whose only vices are boxed wine, lip balm and money grubbing. You can find more of Shawanda's musings at You Have More Than You Think – a productivity focused guide to maximizing the money you have to obtain more of what you want.