Why Being a Little Bit ‘Cristiano Ronaldo’ Can Actually Be a Good Thing
Even if you can’t stand the Euros or find Cristiano Ronaldo utterly repulsive there is something all can learn from his post-match berating of Iceland’s “small mentality”.
While Ronaldo’s words were clearly overly petulant, the nature of his reaction, albeit too extreme on this occasion, was a classic marker of the most successful people in the world.
He got the goldilocks amount wrong on this occasion, but he was definitely right to project BLAME onto others.
Blame is hazardous and poisonous without question, but if delivered correctly and in the right doses, it’s also a powerful antidote to kick-start a healing process after a major setback.
There’s no question Ronaldo simultaneously wanted to blame himself for bolting two consecutive ‘last kick of the game’ free-kicks into the Icelandic wall. And there’s no question he spent an extra hour after training the following morning practicing those kicks to make sure he gives himself every chance of bouncing back.
The act of projecting blame onto something or someone else is an everyday occurrence for most of us. The reason we do this without a moment’s thought is that blame is merely a defence mechanism. Self-blame after all is the “ultimate form of emotional abuse” and if perpetually exercised, it can lead us to all kinds of serious mental health issues.
In other less serious cases, self-blame can prevent us from having another go, trying new things, and could confine us to our comfort zones for eternity.
When a setback or failure is fresh it’s inevitably laced with negative emotions- frustration, anger, dejection, etc. To attach these instantly to ourselves is a one-way street to self-destruction.
Instead, in order to ride the storm it’s human instinct to throw such negativity towards other things and people. Yet the difficulty is channeling this constructively. Without a constructive filter you fail to avoid the regrettable firing of a full-on blame bazooka, which will leave you labelled as nothing more than an oafish narcissist.
But to be truly successful one has to scan their external environment first if they are then to make positive progress in the future. As long as blame is not soaked in malicious digs towards another then you’re able to identify the true reasons something didn’t pan out as hoped.
Instead of a classic belligerent blame such as- “the deal fell through because the client was ****** useless”, if blame is controlled to “one of the reasons the deal fell through was due to a poor line of communication from the client”, then we’re in a much better place to then constructively blame ourselves in addition to external variables. You’ll see that lessons could be learnt and that you should also hold yourself accountable for the poor end result- “The client may have been poor on the communication front, but did I really make as many follow-up calls as I should have to help things keep in motion?”
That’s exactly what Ronaldo does with every outburst and finger point. His delivery of blame won’t win him friends but it still serves the purpose as acting as an initial start-point to prevent him from a perpetual cycle of self-blame. The self-blame comes after the cooling process, which he’ll then use to find new innovative ‘step-over’ filled solutions to get past the tightest of defences.
Countless other highly successful individuals are serial blamers. Think of Jose Mourinho, Steve Jobs, and pretty much every politician who’s ever taken office. A slight bout of blame constantly provides one the opportunity to recognise responsibility, as well as substance to work with in making necessary improvements. It’s just that the most prevalent blamers and their connotations with undesirable traits mean blaming gets a bad name. ‘Constructive’ blamers typically go unnoticed due to their more measured and far less indignant projections.
So when faced with your next failure, remember, it’s essential to play the blame game.
Just make sure you play nicely.