Taking responsibility isn’t as easy as it sounds

A common way we deal with upsets and challenges is to attribute responsibility for these happening to other people, events, circumstances or situations and not look so readily at what we bring to the party, to be taking responsibility. If your business isn’t doing so well then it is “because of the recession”. If we have an accident, it is “because of his or her driving”. If life is going badly, it is “because of the things that keep going wrong”, etc. To take responsibility, to be self accountable, is to enquire within and to explore what is going on … Read more

How to look irrelevant in the face of economic changes

There was more than just a tiny whiff of irrelevance in the face of economic changes that emitted last week from elements of our UK political class. Recent claims from some on the UK’s political right that British workers are amongst the idlest will bemuse many people at work. The common comment has rather been that the UK has a “long-hours culture”, with people regularly working longer hours than almost anywhere else in Europe. The danger of course with this kind of debate is to deflect attention away from more pressing problems, for example insufficient stimulus to job creation and to demand … Read more

Seeing the benefits in adversity

It can be hard to get that when you’ve hit difficult times there’s very likely something in it all that you’ll benefit from long-term. Of course it can seem like a wind-up likely to be met with expletives. However, in all that might be going on, there might be some insight or learning that you need to get, maybe one you’ve not got till now, and which will prove a major gain for you in some way. The trouble is that this can be very hard to see at the time. When difficult times come, what we can so easily … Read more

How much do you genuinely believe you create your own reality?

If we were really honest, we would many of us probably say we struggle with the idea that we create our reality. We would probably attribute at least some responsibility to others or events. Many in the news industry would be out of a job if a big number gave up on this way of thinking. Perceiving ourselves to be at the effect of people or situations, to be the victim, is a classic ego characteristic. “Who I am… ” is one who finds things happens to them, or is done to by others. The positive side of course can … Read more

Taking responsibility for how you think, feel and act

In an earlier posting this week I referred to the need to take ownership for our own part in things not working out. This can be a difficult shift to make but it is so often a crucial one. And we need to keep doing it. The understanding of personal responsibility or accountability is frequently stated by many people, but it isn’t one that is easily practised. So often it goes against our experience, based on our current paradigm of perception. We think, based on past experience that things often happen “to us”, that they are the result of actions … Read more

When it doesn’t seem to be working

Part of the challenge of dealing with things that don’t seem to be working out in our lives is being aware of our part in it. When we feel helpless, at the victim of events, such as with the current economic and political impasse that seems to be going on that I referred to in the last posting, it seems like we are at the effect of “it”. Part of the clue lies in the words, “It isn’t working”. I mean here not a precise bit of machinery and how it works, but more broadly what is occurring in our … Read more

More about owning the beast within

It is a very likely a challenging idea that other people’s anger, hatred and violence are also things that at some level are part of us. It can feel very unsettling to be invited to own for oneself what seems to belong to another. “Surely,” you might think, “it is their stuff.” While that might be true, what they have to teach us has great potential for our own liberation. For example we might think we are “nice” people, but certain others are definitely not OK. We might firstly present this idea of ourselves to the world at large, but … Read more

Why take responsibility?

What is the point of taking responsibility? So might many a reluctant teenager respond to such an implicit demand of a parent. But it’s a good question. The idea that we are each responsible for our own lives flies in the face of our experience, whereby historically others called the shots in our lives, like parents did! When we feel hurt by the actions of another, for example, it can feel like the other person caused it. But, as pointed out in the last posting, it is us who feel the feelings. It is us who are reacting, re-enacting old … Read more

Are you the owner of your ship?

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 … Read more

When people don’t show up

Someone whom I was looking forward to meeting today just called and cancelled. What I thought would be a good afternoon just went up in smoke. Disappointed expectations. What happens for you when people don’t do what you wanted or expected? Do you feel let down, angry, disappointed – or cynical? Think about all those times when people didn’t do what you hoped or expected or show up in the way you thought they would. A girlfriend or boyfriend dumped you. A work-colleague let you down badly over some support you were expecting. A friend persistently fails to show up … Read more