If you want to be more effective in your personal or business life, you must observe yourself with kindness. Self-awareness requires you to be kind to yourself. Often we want to blame others for how we react – “You were mean. That’s why I lashed out at you.”
Wayne Dyer is a self-help guru whose first book Your Erroneous Zones sold 35 million copies. He was doing a talk and asked:
“What do you get when you squeeze an orange?”
The answer was “Orange Juice.”
“Why do you get orange juice?”
“Because that’s what’s in the orange!
Then Dr. Dyer asks the most important question to everyone in the audience:
“What comes out of you when you get squeezed?”
Whatever your answer is… that is what’s inside of you. If anger comes out, you can’t blame the other person for you being angry. The anger is already inside of you. Think about that. It’s your juice!
I love the question “What’s your juice?” as a way to be kind to yourself as you self-observe.
If you can take responsibility for how you react instead of blaming someone, then you have the power. On the other hand, if you do blame them, they have power over you because you give it to them.
When Jack stopped blaming his wife for the issues they had in their marriage, his demeanor shifted in the moment. He immediately relaxed. And his wife relaxed! This is a game-changer.
When leaders at all levels do not take responsibility for what happens in their organization or to their organization and blames others, they cannot be trusted. When leaders don’t protect their team, help them resolve issues or don’t want to hear about any problems, their team doesn’t feel safe and can’t relax.
Blaming does not give you power. You may avoid feeling shame or embarrassment at the moment by making others the cause of your reaction but being a victim of others ultimately leaves you powerless. It often leads to feelings of shame or embarrassment in your life. When you blame others, your mood is judgmental and critical and self-observation shuts down. You go into defensive mode. Blaming pushes people away.
Who has the power in your life? It’s up to you! Take your power back!
When you take responsibility for how you react, you give yourself the power. Then, you can ask yourself, “What can I do differently?” Now, you are in a mood of curiosity and exploration and you are open to change. Now life is different. You are in action, you are empowered, you are excited because life is full of possibility.
What do you choose? Own your juice or blame others?
If you want to be respected, you must develop the emotional maturity and resilience to bounce back and make the shift from blame to responsibility.
See if you can own your reaction as your juice. Let me know how it goes on my website Contact form.