Stop pointing the finger at everyone else.

In Touch - Newsletter - #39

Welcome to the thirty-ninth edition of "In Touch". As always, I would love to continue the conversation so please hit "reply" and let me know what you think.

Story of the Week: Stop pointing the finger at everyone else

I’ve been looking into what psychologists refer to as ‘attribution theory’, which shows how we account for our successes and failures in totally different ways: When we succeed at something, it’s pleasing to believe that it is because of our ‘innate talent’, whereas when we fail, it’s easy to blame external factors such as ‘bad luck’.

In the first case, we are using ‘dispositional attribution’, while in the second, our behaviour is due to ‘situational attribution’.

I recently came across a very impactful yet concise video by Shari Levitin, one of LinkedIn’s Top Voices and a Top 50 keynote speaker in sales.

In the video she mentions how one of the ways her mentor helped her get over her ego was by convincing her to change her ‘self-talk’ which, in essence, meant switching from situational attribution to dispositional attribution:


  • Instead of saying, "They couldn't afford it," he told her to say, "I didn't show them the value."
  • Instead of saying, "They needed to think about it," he insisted that she said to herself, "I didn't create enough urgency."


In other words, by dropping the excuses and changing her ‘self-talk’, Levitin says that she was able to change her life.

The trick, then, is to succeed in applying dispositional attribution to our ‘failures’, and if we can do that, we stand a much better chance of becoming better professionals.

Words of Wisdom

On excuses and self-talk:

"Whoever’s fault it was for Kyrgios losing Wimbledon, it wasn’t his. If he’s going to play tennis at all, he might as well fulfill himself at it. First, though, he will have to stop pointing the finger at everyone else."

Greg Baum, Sports Columnist 

Questions to Ponder, dear reader.

"What impact do attributions for behaviour have on your life?"

"What 'self-talk' could you change today so as to become more successful tomorrow?"

Hit "reply" and let me know.


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Best Regards,

Michael R. Virardi