I recently wrote a blog which posed the question:
This blog resonated with many of you, however, a comment I often get is – but it’s not my fault!
I firmly believe that the purpose of blogging is to provoke thinking and professional discourse. Not everyone is going to agree with me and that is okay.
My purpose for writing is not to highlight how important my opinions are, but to remind you of how important, precious and powerful you are.
Who’s fault is it?
It is so easy to feel disheartened by everything that is going on around us, or by the things we read on social media.
However, today I would like to challenge your thinking a little further, by talking about fault vs responsibility.
I am sure that we can all agree that there are many injustices in this world.
In the profession of early childhood education, there are many things that could and should change.
We could blame mental health issues in our sector or depleted teachers on the shortage of qualified teachers in our profession. Or perhaps on the amount of paperwork we have to do. (And you may be right)
We could find fault in the value that the government (and society) place on early childhood teachers and allow this to wear us down.
You could blame your poor wellbeing on the manager who you feel doesn’t value you in your workplace. Or perhaps the difficult colleague that you have to work with, or the parent who always complains, or the child with additional needs that you aren’t getting any support for.
Perhaps you are right and it is their fault!
After all, shouldn’t centre owners and managers provide an environment that promotes the wellbeing and belonging of everybody in the ECE setting including teachers?
The problem with assigning blame
But here is the problem with finding fault and assigning blame…
In the complex problem of teacher wellbeing, we all share responsibility.
There is a collective responsibility in any profession, but there is also individual responsibility.
When we focus on who’s fault it is, we focus on the problem. We cast ourselves as victims. We get stuck in place and are powerless to change or improve our situation.
When we focus on responsibility, we focus on the solution. We become empowered.
And as I said in my opening paragraphs – I truly believe that we are all important, precious and powerful!
What I am responsible for?
In each and every day how we are with ourselves is all that we can control.
Our attitude, our habits, our thoughts, our actions, our choices, how we treat ourselves and allow others to treat us, how we treat others as well as our part in interactions with others. This is what we have direct influence over. You are responsible for yourself and the value you place on yourself, your happiness and your wellbeing.
You cannot control or change other people, the decisions or actions of others, what others think about you, things that happened in the past or what might happen in the future.
These things might concern you greatly, but this is where we start going down the path of blame.
You can, however, inspire and influence those around you. As kaiako, we have tremendous influence over our lives, the children in our settings and the other people around us. You have the power to change the narrative about our profession and what you post on social media. Where we focus is where our energies will flow.
Our first step is to put aside the blame game and to take ownership for our part in this issue and to stop seeing each other as the competition.
In every situation, instead of complaining, we have three choices:
- You can accept the situation – accept that this situation is unavoidable and part of life, plan for it and surrender the stress associated with it. For example: if someone close to you has been diagnosed with a serious illness there might not be much that you can do about it. You might have to accept that this is your new reality for a while and be there for the other person as well as planning ways for maintaining your own health and energy levels.
- You can change it – if you feel frustrated with the current situation you can take action to improve it. For example, if you feel that someone in your workplace is being treated disrespectfully or being bullied you can speak up or take steps to improve your workplace culture.
- You can leave it – if you feel that the situation is unbearable you always have the option to leave.
In every situation, we have the option to say “this choice, it’s mine and I accept whatever comes out of it.”Justin Sebastian
So instead of feeling disheartened by what you read on social media.
Next time you want to hang your head and say, I am just one person, what difference can I make? Remember that you can be the change that you wish to be in our profession. You have control over being the best possible version of you and you are already enough.
“If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way”Martin Luther King
If you would like additional tools on how to make your health and wellbeing a priority please join me on the Making Yourself A Priority Facebook Group.
Or join me for a Building Resilience workshop. Click here to look for one in your area