Have you ever been blamed for something that wasn't your fault? I am guessing the answer is yes. It can be particularly infuriating, especially when the person placing the blame is actually the bearer of the blame badge.
Not hard to guess what happened to me today. Yep, I was blamed for something that wasn't my fault. It was upsetting because I felt my work ethic was questioned, a value I hold very dear. I work hard. I mean I work really hard! So when I received the email today that the delay of a time-sensitive matter was wholly on me, it really bothered me. It bothered me because I know I work hard. It bothered me because the person laying the claim was the one at fault.
I've been fighting with this all day. The thoughts about it wouldn't let me be. My conscious was fixated on it. Was it true? Was I at fault? What could I have done differently? Those thoughts and thoughts like them pecked and pecked at me all day.
I am very open to feedback and criticism. So, I reached out to a colleague to inquire about whether I should've done something differently. My colleague agreed that it was a perfect storm of events that culminated in the situation we found ourselves in, none of which lay with me. With that said, no one felt it was appropriate to correct the claim, all in the air of diplomacy. (I later found that out this colleague did stand up for me outside of my purview. You can imagine my surprise and sense of validation.)
I was consciously aware that I was pissed off when first learning of the accusation. I was equally aware of the need to be diplomatic. I was also aware that I may have played a part in the delay. I also am keenly aware that I may be trying to find fault within myself to lessen my anger. Not saying that's what we all should do...just that it may be what I'm doing. I'm also consciously aware that I'm trying to tell myself to let it go.
It boils down to this simple fact: There are learning opportunities everywhere. While I was irritated initially, I quickly discarded irritation just by simply considering what part I could have played in it, if any. This approach helps me see things from other perspectives and allows me to have a more rationale dialogue with myself and with others about what happened to ensure it doesn't happen again.
So while the situation sucks ('cause it does!), it's still a learning opportunity that I've opened myself to exploring. How open are you to learning and growing when challenged?
Be open to what comes.