I’m not one to gossip about others, but today I wanted to talk about girl I once dated. For the sake of anonymity, we’ll call her Chloe.
The reason I’m going to talk about her today is because she’s a perfect example of someone who doesn’t take 100% responsibility in her life. Let me explain…
Playing the Blame Game
Chloe likes to play what I call “the blame game.” She has the totally predictable habit of blaming every single thing that goes wrong in her life on other people. It doesn’t matter how big or how small of a problem we’re talking about here- it’s always somebody else’s fault.
Not sure what I’m talking about? OK, let me try to explain. Towards the end of our relationship, I received a call from Chloe late on a Saturday night. While I was in bed reading a book, she was out partying, getting drunk, and was now behind the wheel putting people’s lives in danger.
Obviously, I was pretty concerned about getting her to pull over or to tell me where I could come get her. Instead of listening to me, Chloe decided to go on ten minute rant, saying how I was responsible for everything that was wrong with her life. The kicker comment was when she blamed me for “making” her drive drunk.
Here I was… in my house all night long, sober as a preacher on Sunday. I hadn’t spoken to her all evening. I wasn’t drinking with her. Nor did I put the car keys in her hands. Yet she was blaming me for her actions.
Like I said, I’m not one to say negative things about people, but as I was writing this article, this incident provided the perfect example of…
…The Victim Mentality
There are plenty of people like Chloe out there in the world. There’s actually a term used to describe this behavior- people who believe that anything and everything that goes wrong is someone else’s fault are thought to have a “Victim Mentality.”
The Victim Mentality is related to your locus of control. Locus of control refers to “your perception of the underlying main causes of events in your life.” Yeah, I know, this sounds like a bunch of psychological mumbo-jumbo, but it’s actually pretty easy to understand.
Your locus of control works in one of two ways: either you know that you control your own destiny, or you feel that external forces such as fate, luck, God, or other people control your destiny.
If you’re able to realize that your life (and most things that happen to you) is under your own control, you have an internal locus of control. If the shoe is on the other foot and you believe that other people or other things control you (the way Chloe does) you have an external locus of control.
Developing an Internal Locus of Control
More people should try to develop the internal locus of control frame of mind.
I’m not trying to say that it’s your fault if a hurricane floods your house or a tornado rips your roof off. It’s probably not your fault if a waitress brings you the wrong food at dinner, either.
Obviously stuff like that happens, but that’s not the point. For the most part, you have control over your own life … it’s your life, after all!
Realizing that you are totally responsible for your own well-being and happiness can initially be a little intimidating.
It’s Up to YOU
Remember how you felt after moving out on your own for the first time? It’s exciting, but also enough to freak you out a little bit at first.
When I broke away from the nine-to-five world to work for myself, everything was on my shoulders. If I wanted money to pay bills and eat, I had to run things for myself. It was all up to me, it wasn’t up to anyone else. I made the decision to break out on my own; no one else made up my mind for me.
Accepting total responsibility for your own actions and your own life does force us to get out of our comfort zones, but that’s okay. If we never pushed ourselves or tried harder or felt a little uncomfortable, we probably wouldn’t accomplish much of anything, and no one wants that.
Internalize All Results and Consequences
The best thing you can do is develop an internal locus of control mindset in all situations.
If you wind up hating your job, you should realize that you’re the one who accepted the position.
If you aren’t too fond of your car after a couple years … well, you’re the one that purchased it.
You don’t have to become some kind of negative person. That’s not the point. You’re also going to realize that anytime you accomplish something great, it’s because you worked hard to get what you want!
Take my advice. Developing an internal locus of control can be one of the best things you could ever do for your self-growth. If you don’t, you’ll be one of those people who walk around blaming others for their misery. You’ll be that negative person nobody likes. You’ll be another Chloe.Take Action. Get Results.