“You are not a failure until you start blaming others for your mistakes” – John Wooden

In my practice, as well in my everyday life experiences, it is not unusual for people to blame others for the unhappiness they are experiencing in their life. The others can be their parent(s) or children, boss or coworker, spouse or significant other. The list goes on and on. How often has it been said that if only the other person would think or behave as is expected, problems would not manifest themselves. When things go wrong, for many it is perceived as the other person’s fault. Far too often there is the thought that they themselves may have personal responsibility for part of the problems at hand. Taking responsibility for their part is interpreted as losing face and letting the other person “off the hook”.

The opposite is the person who takes the whole blame for everything when conflict arises. Their mistakes are viewed as verification that they are the failures. This is especially true if the “mistake” keeps getting repeated.

I believe that people in both situations give mistakes a bad name. Many mistakes can actually be viewed as okay and useful. This view only has a chance of succeeding if the person views a mistake as something to learn from. This then can make personal adjustments possible. With each mistake, there provides opportunities for positive change personal growth. This can happen if the person one has the courage to focus on ones own part rather than engaging in blaming others.