It seems like accepting the principle of accountability is not a popular thing. But, I may be too young to understand that the idea of vicitmhood has been around for a very long time.

When you play the victim card, you tend to shift your focus away from yourself. Your attention goes to external factors that are currently surrounding you. I've been there. And there's no doubt that I'll find my self in this state some time in the future.

The difference is that my wife and I are now aware of this. When we shift our focus to external forces, we toss our accountability aside. But being conscious of this helps us step back into the state of accountability, a place of power.

So how can you tell if you are in a state of weakness? Here are three clues:

  • Blaming

    Do these sound familiar:

    "It's because of Mr. Better that I didn't get the job."
    "It's because of my parents that I don't have any money."
    "Since the government won't help me, I'm in a financial bind."

    You can see that these words place the focus on outside forces. "It's because of this, that, and the other" becomes the mantra.

    You can't control everything, but you still can control how you act and respond. Blaming puts you in a weaker position because you lack the control to create the proper action. Like my wife says, "To blame is to be-lame." I love that!

  • Justifying

    Have you ever heard these words: "I'm not rich because money isn't important." I have. My parents would, and still do, tell me this often. They are justifying their financial state because of this belief.

    But regardless of how they feel about money, it is important. It pays the bills, it buys food, funds our education, supports our charities, etc. You can't pay bills with love. You can't go to your utility company and hug the account manager in exchange for their services.

    So what do you think happens when you don't think money is important? Let's use an example. Do you know anyone that doesn't think exercise is important? If so, is that person healthy? Chances are he/she is not. Well, if you don't think money is important, what do you think your chances are of being wealthy?

  • Complaining

    I believe that complaining is the worst.

    "I don't make enough money."
    "Why didn't I get promoted."
    "I hate my job."
    "My manager doesn't appreciate me".

    Ever notice that complainers have a tough life?

    It's because what you focus on expands. That's in all facets of life. So as you are complaining, the situation you are focusing on gets larger and larger. You will lose site of the cure and focus only on the symptoms.

Tips and Techniques

Here are some tips and techniques on how to change.

  • Accept Accountability

    Embrace it. Once you do, you'll blame, justify, and complain less. Concentrate on growing yourself instead of sulking in the corner.

    Rich people believe: "I create my life." Poor people believe: "Life happens to me."

    - T. Harv Eker in Secrets of the Millionaire Mind

    You are the sum of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Acknowledging this gives you the power to create your destiny. Life doesn't happen to you. You just happen to live.

    Take responsibility of your life. Don't be the victim. Be the victor.

  • Pattern Interrupt

    Pattern interrupt is "an action that changes a dynamic in a personal situation or relationship by making an unexpected change, resulting in a new, and hopefully more effective and beneficial, behavior." (Wikipedia)

    When you find yourself blaming, justifying, and complaining, consciously perform a small action to switch back to your millionaire mindset.

    One of the pattern interrupt techniques that my wife and I use is taking your finger and slicing your throat, making a slicing sound. Too morbid for you? (Heck, the "throat gesture" has been banned from the NFL.) Here are some other examples:

    Snap your fingers.
    Place your hand on your heart and say a little prayer.
    Wear a rubber band on your wrist and snap it.
    Instantly think of something that makes you smile.

    It's great to have a partner who is conscious of these victim habits and the pattern interrupt techniques. Sometimes when I start blaming, justifying, and complaining, my wife pattern interrupts me to snap me back. And I return the favor.

  • Stay Away

    Keep your distance from people who thrive on victimhood and lack accountability. T. Harv Eker calls them crap magnets.

    Have you ever been around a group of people where one starts complaining? Then the next persons says, "Oh yeah, let me tell you what happened to me." Then someone else in the group continues, "That's nothing. Last week..."

    This vicious crap tornado begins and everyone gets sucked in. Crap loves company.

    Stay away! Whether it's your coworkers, friends, or family, keep your distance. I find it difficult to keep in my millionaire mindset when I am surrounded by crap.

    The only thing worse than a crap magnet is a group of crap magnets. Remember, crap travels in groups.

If you ever have wondererd how change affects your life, read Who Moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson.

There's something you can change in your life to make it worse. There's something you can change in your life to make it better. You are accountable.

Stop blaming. Stop justifying. Stop complaining. Stop the crap.

Accept accountability.

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