One of my earlier mentors in personal development taught me that the word “responsible” carries the meaning of two words “response” and “able”. In other words, responsibility is your ability to respond.

Then, I heard a quote from my single biggest influence on personal development, the legendary Bob Proctor, who said “No one wins the blame game”.

So, I wish to share with you the difference between responsibility and blame.

Blame is basically shifting the reason for something going wrong, to someone else. I remember reading somewhere that blame means “To be lame”.

Responsibility is taking accountability for your part in something that happened (whether it is good or bad).

Responsibility can be empowering, and blame can be very disempowering.

There will be times when things will go wrong, and you will not be the reason for things going wrong. At times like that, encourage others to be to be responsible, instead of blaming them.

Some people are programmed to look for someone to blame as soon as something goes wrong. These people are focussing more on blame than they are on responsibility. They basically like to ‘pass the buck’ so that they do not feel responsible for something that has gone wrong.

Blame can also create anger, misery, bitterness, and resentment in the person who is placing the blame, and in the person who is being blamed.

Now, none of those feelings are productive or empowering in any given scenario.

I have seen this over and over again in my personal and professional life – you can get more out of a person by lifting them up, than putting them down. So, teaching responsibility is far more productive than placing blame.

Here are my five keys to being responsible without blame:

1. Don’t beat yourself (or others) up – whether it is something that you did or someone else did (which is the cause of something going wrong), don’t beat yourself up or beat someone else up (figuratively speaking). When you start beating yourself up, you come from a place which is dictated by a victim mentality. A victim mentality is one of the most disempowering things that a person could have! If you start to beat someone else up (figuratively speaking), you start playing the blame game. As Bob Proctor rightfully said ““No one wins the blame game”. Another important point to remember is to not feel sorry for yourself when you take responsibility for something going wrong. Feeling sorry for yourself is very disempowering.

2. Take accountability – response + ability = responsibility. When you take responsibility for your actions, or encourage others to take responsibility for their own actions, you are avoiding the blame game. Responsibility can be a very empowering exercise or experience. It teaches people what to do, and what not to do. Responsibility is a great teacher. It cultivates growth in a person. Learning to be accountable is good for everyone (young or old). By taking accountability, you automatically eliminate blame.

3. Ask “What could’ve I done differently?”– look back and see what you could’ve done differently in order to achieve a more positive outcome. This mental exercise will equip you with answers to handling scenarios better. The lessons that you learn could help you in handling situations better in the future. In the future, when you find yourself in a similar situation or scenario, look back and apply the lessons that you would have learnt from the past which came about by asking “What could’ve been done differently?”

4. Look for a lesson – whether things turned out good or not so good for you, look for a lesson. There is a lesson to be learnt in almost every scenario. So, look for a lesson, and carry that lesson with you in the future. The lesson learnt will help you with making decisions in the future. Sometimes, the lesson could be as simple as “I will take more accountability next time” or “I will respond instead of react next time.”

5. Focus on gratitude – my belief is that gratitude multiplies responsibility. If you are grateful for what you have learnt from an experience, you will walk away wiser and more empowered. What you focus on creates feelings. If you focus on gratitude, you will feel more grateful for the experience, regardless of the outcome. Be grateful that you have learnt something that will help you in the future. Gratitude also eliminates blame.

Quote: “Average people place blame, exceptional people take responsibility.” Craig Valentine

The next time something goes wrong, take responsibility instead of blaming anyone (including yourself).

Please remember, blame can be very toxic, while accountability can be very empowering.The choice is yours!

I hope that I have given you a simple insight into positive responsibility and toxic blame.

Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas, and all the very best for 2015.

Inspiring you towards your excellence,

Ron Prasad

PS: To order my book, please go towww.WelcomeToYourLifeBook.com. For $19.95, you get the book, thousands of dollars in bonus gifts from some of the best personal development experts in the world (such as Bob Proctor, Marci Shimoff, Dr Joe Rubino), and you get to give back to the community by supporting my charity! I appreciate your support.

Author's Bio: 

Ronny Prasad is the author of WELCOME TO YOUR LIFE - simple insights for your inspiration & empowerment (www.WelcomeToYourLifeBook.com). He is also an inspired speaker who empowers his audience with his enthusiasm and energy. His passion is inspiring and fulfilling lives, and sharing his insights with people around the world. He actively supports animal charities in many countries.