Do you take ownership in every area of your life? Or do you attribute responsibility for things “happening” to others or circumstances in one or more area?
I’ve been busy over the last few days coaching leaders in a particular place where it’s become very clear that certain people (I’m being deliberately vague and non-specific here) avoid taking responsibility. When challenged, for example one person might hide behind being ill or having a medical condition. The behaviour that leaders want to improve pre-dates the illness, but the illness has become the excuse. When we explored it, it became clear that all along the individual avoids responsibility. The manager also agreed that they found themselves being in parent mode with regard to this person, who of course was in child mode, where illness became a way of manipulating others and diverting people from what needed to change.
There’s an important developmental clue here. If you find yourself blaming others for something, or feeling at the effect of something “done” by others or circumstances, it is an important question to ask oneself: what could I take responsibility for, be accountable to myself for, in this situation? Put it another way, what is this situation and how I’m responding teaching me about how I manage my state, my thoughts and my feelings; what in me do I need to address?
Do a quick self-check. When do you, for example, feel “hard done by”, badly treated, disregarded, undervalued, unappreciated, or exploited? Do you catch yourself sighing and wishing things would be different? How much are you going along with things which you’d like to be different? And are you at cause or at effect in one or more areas of your life?
There is an important follow-on concept from this thinking, that you are also the creator of your destiny? In other words, you are 100% responsible for what occurs. This can be even more challenging for people, and I guess it would be your choice how much you wanted to work with that. According to the Law of Attraction, what you think you draw to you. In others what you think about, gets bigger in your life. What you focus on, becomes “real”. Thus is the power of perception. Fascinating. Scary!
So if you avoid taking responsibility, according to this approach, you are busily creating what occurs but denying yourself any chance to change it.
If you take responsibility, accept that you are master of your destiny, and manage your thoughts and feelings (feelings are also very creative), you can shift your thinking (and feeling and behaviour) and create differently.
Yes, it’s tough (but it needn’t be – that’s also down to us) and has its challenges.
For starters, as readers of this blog for a long time will know, spot your thoughts and drop those that don’t serve you. And keep doing this. And when you forget (the ego is very powerful – it’s got great skills in selective amnesia), then when you remember, you re-member, and re-connect with who you are, and start again with your purpose.
Thus can we make changes in our lives.