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Updated: Mar 7, 2023

Cause and effect is perhaps one of the most important things to be aware of in order to get the quality of life we want. It is a simple way to become empowered and take control of every area of our life.

What is Cause and Effect?

Cause and Effect as taught in neuro linguistic programming is where a person is not empowered and they are not seeing the relationship between their problem/pattern and themselves.

Cause and effect is one thing (cause) > that leads to > another (effect).

It’s a language or communication pattern between one facet and the other and it mostly occurs within oneself.

Statistics show that a huge number of people focus more on effects and very few numbers on causes. The purpose of the cause > effect way of thinking is to create a practical way to get yourself focused on the cause. More specifically, how to bring yourself back to the cause in order to bring yourself back to the "how" so you can take empowered actions and get the results you desire.

Asking "at cause" questions like "How can I be at cause for this?" or "How can I take responsibility for this?" will bring us back to the cause side of the equation.

"At cause" questions give us more empowering answers than if we are to ask "at effect" questions like "Why did this happen?", "Who's fault is this?". These questions when asked outside of ourselves (looking for reasons outside of self) can lead to "at effect" answers. Excuses and blaming of others, etc.

We know we are being at the effect of things when we are blaming others and making excuses for why. Example: "It wasn't my fault, it was Sara's fault because she didn't communicate."(blame), "I couldn't do any exercise because it was raining."(excuse).

Blame and excuses will appease our ego but it pushes away the responsibility (our power to change) at the same time, and ultimately pushes away our results.

Example of at Effect: “I can’t have a great life because I had a hard time in my childhood”.

The “because” in this statement has led to the effect. Effect focuses more on blame and blames things outside of our control. The blame in this example is on the past, and potentially the people in the past. And now the past and people in the past are dictating what this person can and can’t achieve in the present.

Example of Cause: My past is in the past now and I can make my future what I want and it is my responsibility. What can I begin to do now so I can make a great life?".

Cause and effect does not take away any facts about the past including that of being an actual victim of something. It is not about denying what happened or taking responsibility for what happened to you in the past. It is about deciding that your past is in the past and you can take responsibility for the future from now on.

This helps us let go of the past and take responsibility for the present and future.

Many people have been victimised in their past and still choose to take responsibility for their present life. These people have made the decision to take life into their own two hands.

Am I at Cause?

It’s the first question we need to ask ourselves if we are wanting to make a positive change in our lives.

“Am I being at the cause of my life now?”, “Am I being at the cause of (insert facet of life)?”,

"Am I taking full responsibility for my results in my life?


"Am I at the effect of life?" or "Am I at the effect of (insert thing or person)?”

Meaning - “Am I pushing the responsibility of this onto someone else?”, “Am I making excuses for why (insert facet of life) is the way it is?” or “Am I blaming others for why (insert facet of life) is the way it is?”

Why is being at Effect a problem?

Well, when we blame others for our problems we are choosing to give away our power. When a problem in your life is someone else's responsibility then it can't change until they change. If it's their responsibility then the power is theirs too.

When we choose to take responsibility for every part of our lives, we choose to take back our power to make it how we want. We sit ourselves back in the drivers seat of our lives.

We take responsibility so we can become "response-able".

The challenge in this equation is the willingness to take blame and accept responsibility.

In order to do this we may have to drop our egos, be courageous and let ourselves be vulnerable. Sometimes it hurts to take the blame or take on the responsibility for our results.

Especially when we have very good reasons to blame others.

And sometimes it is overwhelming and even scary to take responsibility for our lives because it can be a lot to take on. In the case of being overwhelmed &/or scared it's helpful to get support while you do.

When we decide to take the responsibility we also get to take the power back. We empower ourselves. We sit back in the driver's seat and from there we can take control moving forward.

Some empowering questions to bring you back to "Cause":

  • “How can I take responsibility for this?”

  • “What can I choose to do differently in my life in order to start getting more satisfying results?”

  • “If I was at the Cause of this, what can I do differently to change it?”

  • “If I am responsible for myself, my emotions, my actions and my life. Would I be acting in this way?”

Cause and Effect is not a matter of right or wrong, it’s simply a matter of results.

Often the excuses and blame are valid but we still choose to take the responsibility because we refuse to give away our personal power. This is what a true leader of him/her self does.

Putting yourself at the Cause is about recognising that you have the ability, the ‘response ability’, to respond rather than just react to whatever life throws at you.

Staying at Cause takes courage and persistence.

You have the power. The power is within you.

Which side of the equation will you choose to be on?

Stay courageous,

and enjoy the journey.


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