What To Do When It’s Not Your Fault

What To Do When It’s Not Your Fault

October 5th, 2018

It’s a huge match, and it hasn’t been easy.

But you knew that going in.

You knew your partner was young, and you knew he hadn’t played much doubles. It was going to be an uphill battle the whole way.

Yet, despite some hiccups from your partner, your solid play has gotten you to the finish line. You’ve finally reached match point.

The pressure is palpable, so this match point has to be by the book. Nothing flashy, just boring fundamentals.

You spin your first serve and your opponent drills your nothing serve back down at your feet. Somehow you dig it out and send a low angle back in crosscourt. You and your partner are in good position now. That will be a tough one for them.

It’s been a hard road and you haven’t had much help, but it looks like it’s finally over. He’ll either miss that shot or we’ll easily put it away.

Just as predicted, he barely reached it. There’s only one place he can go from there–down the line to my waiting partner.

Got ’em.

Don’t have ’em.

Instead of moving to the simple down-the-line pass, your partner freezes. He waits and watches as the ball floats right past him for a winner. It should’ve been an easy put-away but your partner became a statue.

Match point gone. And so is your partner.

This was the moment. As it turned out, it was the only moment.

The burden becomes too much to handle. You can’t raise your level any higher and your partner doesn’t come back to life.

You take the heartbreaking loss after being so close.

And none of it was your fault.

So what do we do next?

The delicious thing to do would be to blame your partner.

It was his fault. Everyone knows it. You could give him the blame and no one would blame you. It’s a win/win.

Plus, he might just take it. He knows he screwed up. Maybe he goes along with it, making you feel even better.

[It’s nice when they’re to blame.]

But probably not.

True or not, most people don’t like to take the blame.

Probably, he’ll push back and come up with a list of all the bad things you’ve ever done.

This, of course, leads to you adding to his list of failures and now it’s an all-out wars of the roses.

It was his fault, sure, but blaming him doesn’t solve the problem. It makes a whole new problem.

And even if it doesn’t become war, what are the chances he’ll come through for you next time? If he froze the first time, how is adding on blame going to make him un-freeze next time?

It won’t.

But there’s another route to choose.

Blame yourself.

Yes, if you added up the pluses and minuses of the most recent setback, maybe the ledger shows fault in his direction.

But you could have been better.

You could have made more serves. Or more returns. Or made that one volley. Or been more supportive.

In every losing situation, there’s at least one opportunity to turn it around. If you’d found it, you would have won.

End of story.

If you blame yourself, you now open up avenues to grow even more. You might’ve played well, but blaming yourself will make you play better.

And, because you didn’t blame him, your partner will run through a wall for you next time. He’ll never want to let you down again.

Sometimes you lose and sometimes it’s not your fault.

But if you sincerely take the blame, everything can immediately start getting better.

By never saying, “It’s your fault,” you always win.


My book is called The Inevitability of Becoming Rich, and you can find that here.