Disrupting the Blame Game

March 7, 2018

A few weeks ago I found myself playing the Blame Game. You know the one I’m talking about.

Blame Game

Instructions:

  1. Roll the dice and move forward the number that is displayed on the dice.

  2. While in this new location something goes wrong.

  3. Point the finger at a person/object/organisation and blame them for whatever has gone wrong.

  4. Following players repeats steps 1 to 3.

  5. First player to reach the pretty rainbow accumulating the most amount of blames wins.

  6. Bonus points for the best blame. This is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by The Fat Controller.

The problem was that as soon as my blame was out of my mouth I didn’t enjoy the feeling I was getting. I realised I had outgrown this game. It had become boring, repetitive and I didn’t really see the point of it all. Luckily, I was surrounded people who played a different game. It’s called the Take Personal Responsibility Game. They decided to let me join in. It’s an easier, more rewarding game.

Context

I was spending my weekend sailing. A pass time that has become a lot more enjoyable since I taught myself how to swim last year and overcame my fears of deep water and been in a nut shell in the ocean. With bucket loads of resilience and determination I’ve discover it can be relaxing and strangely freeing to be on the water in that little nut shell.

So, I was spending my weekend sailing. Even though I have overcome these fears I have deliberately left a little bit of fear around needing to stay safe. This ensures I’ll keep my wits about me and survive. When I couldn’t find my life jacket this fear crept in. Actually, stormed in like a 100km/hour gust was more like it. I was in a tizz, whirling around trying to find the key to my survival. Well, to everyone else it looked like I was calmly walking around looking for something. Luckily I had a good hypnotherapist with me who calmly took me through some mind training techniques to deal with this fear. I knew my life jacket was important but running around like a crazy Jack Sparrow seeking the Black Pearl wasn’t the best response to finding it. That energy could be used in a more productive way.

When I finally set my eyes on my bright yellow and red floating device a sense of relief set in. But then frustration as I realised that whoever had hang it in its new location to dry was taller than me. Surprise, surprise. I had to now move a heavy BBQ and climb a bench to reach it. This is when I started playing the Blame Game.

Take Personal Responsibility Game

This game was quickly and effectively disrupted by a fellow yacht club member who introduced me to the Take Personal Responsibility Game. It’s a lot easier, quicker and more rewarding.

Instructions:

  1. Roll the dice and move forward the number that is displayed on the dice.

  2. While in this new location something goes wrong.

  3. Point the finger at yourself and see what you can do to fix the situation.

  4. Following players repeats steps 1 to 3.

  5. First player to reach the pretty rainbow feeling the most calm, relaxed and comfortable with who they are wins.

  6. Bonus points for the best personal response. This is rated on a scale of 1 to 10 by the calm, confident response you feel while sorting the situation out.

Disrupting the Blame Game

He introduced me to this game by responding to my abrupt blame of “why do people have to move my things???” With “why can’t someone move the barbie???” The Blame Game ended with an exasperated sign and the Take Personal Responsibility Game began with a slight smile.

It was reinforced by another member when I later, by habit, started the Blame Game again. He brought me back to the Take Personal Responsibility Game by saying “well you’ll know what to do next time. Lock everything in your car.”

When I heard both of these responses I couldn’t help smiling and laughing inside. Immediately my focus shifted back to sailing and the reason I enjoy it. The physical and mental challenge. The liberating feeling of being free on the water. That close connection you experience with the elements. Someone moving my life jacket wasn’t going to get in the way of all that.

At the end of the day we all know that good and bad things happen to everyone at any time. Taking responsibility for my actions and reactions got me back to what I enjoyed and disrupted the Blame Game.

Which Game to Play?

I guess that’s the thing; we’re always learning and adapting. I know that in the future I might find myself playing the Blame Game but I know how to interrupt it and quickly switch games. My mates have modeled how to disrupt the game in that calm, lighthearted, respectful way. I’ll make more of an effort to play and support others in the Take Personal Responsibility Game because I end up laughing, growing and feeling happier within myself. And that’s the reward. It’s not just the end of the game you enjoy but the game along the way.

Yes I’ve chosen a trivial example to keep things lighthearted and give you a laugh. Switching games can be harder with some of those bigger problems in life. But you get to a point when you stop and ask yourself what you’re achieving by playing the Blame Game. What are you ACTUALLY achieving?

Only you can choose which game you play. So roll the dice and make a choice.

 

Something to think about...

 

“You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
- Abraham Lincoln

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