In my last blog, I talked about taking responsibility. I received a lot of questions from people about HOW to take responsibility. People are telling me they want action steps, a plan for how to do this. So, consider this week’s Part 2 of Taking responsibility.
Last time, I blogged about taking responsibility now and not waiting for a magical moment, just seizing the opportunity and going for it. It will bring you out of a rut and leave you with a winner’s attitude. You take control where you can, accept what you cannot control, and move forward with the best attitude you can. You don’t blame others. You take radical responsibility!
As I’ve mentioned, you may not be able to control everything that happens to you, but you certainly control how you react to what happens to you. Even in the most paralyzing situations, you control your thoughts, feelings, and reactions.
What you think about, you will bring about. What are you putting out there? Have you ever heard of the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon? (I can’t pronounce it, HA) But the idea is easily explained. Ever buy a new car? Then you notice your new car everywhere? On the road, in parking lots, wow, suddenly everyone has purchased the same as you! Nope, think again. Your brain is experiencing frequency illusion. Your brain has to be selective with what information it processes on a moment-to-moment basis. So, more often than not, it ignores the makes models and color cars that pass by you. But suddenly, you are focused on your vehicle, or one you want/just bought/etc., it alerts you every time your make and model pass you by. The same goes with other things, too, not just what car you drive. What you tell your brain to focus on, it will notice more. It will show you more about your environment. Essentially, you create your reality. It’s all in your control. So, where do you choose to focus?
I am going to give you nine ways to take responsibility in your life. Soon, it will be just like the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon, where what YOU focus on is what your brain will bring to your attention…
1. YOUR thoughts, feelings, words, and actions are YOURS.
As I’ve mentioned, YOU create your reality with your thoughts, feelings, words, and actions. NO ONE makes you think a certain way, feel a particular sensation, or say/do anything. All of this is in YOUR control. If you find yourself saying, “So and so made me feel XYZ,” re-check yourself. If you Think Bob at the watercooler made you gossip, re-check yourself. If you blame the news for making you worried about everything, re-check yourself. See what I’m getting at? Like you can’t control how others react to you, you can’t allow others to cause you to feel/think/say/do anything. (which leads me to #2!)
2. Stop playing the blame game.
I talked about this in my last blog post too. Stop blaming others, your childhood, “just the way you are,” or the weather for why you do or don’t do things. Blaming robs you of control.
When you take responsibility, you shift from victim to victor. You might not be able to change ANYTHING except how you react, but that’s something! You aren’t a victim to everything that happens. You are a victor who can change how you think, feel, and react.
3. No one likes a complainer
Complaining is a tool that people that blame others use to try and reel people into their side/misery. It’s a way to try and convince others that it’s not your fault. Most of the time, people that complain are subconsciously looking to get sympathy from others. I can tell you this rarely works and no one enjoys being around a complainer. Instead of complaining, ask yourself if there is a lesson to be learned in the situation. Then, instead of spreading misery, react with a positive attitude and rise UP.
4. Stop Taking Things Personally
This is not the same as being “sensitive.” Taking things personally means you make things about yourself. If someone disagrees with you or challenges your thoughts, don’t assume they are attacking you. Maybe even make “This is not a personal attack” your mantra for a while until it becomes more natural for you.
Ask questions and be open. More often than not, the situation is NOT about you.
5. Own Your Happiness
When you stop relying on others to make you happy, you will be a free person. Your spouse, best friend, parent, dog, child, neighbor, coworker, etc., are NOT responsible for your happiness.
Decide to be happy. Be grateful for your life. Search for the blessings. Take a conscious mental note, or better yet, write it down.
Bless and serve others if you can. Find a hobby or way to be creative, listen to your favorite podcasts, music, etc. Read, go for a walk in nature, etc. Explore the beauty around you and what you love and be grateful for everything- even the trivial things. You will find happiness.
6. Be in the NOW.
Life is now. You are in the NOW. Overthinking about the past will only lead you to regret or wishful thinking. Overthinking in the future will lead you to “What if” overload. You can’t possibly predict the future or know what will happen next. Take responsibility for being in the now. Control your thoughts and choose your thoughts. When you notice overthinking too much about the past or future, guide yourself back to the present. You are in control! The more aware you are of yourself, the easier you will live in the present. So much effort goes into what we can’t change and can’t predict. Be aware and appreciate where you are at right now.
You make choices all the time. Some of your choices are likely on autopilot. What you wear, what you eat/drink, what tv shows you watch, what radio station you listen to, what path you take to work, etc. Lots of choices!
The key is to become intentional with your choices. Ask yourself what you want for your life, job, health, bank account, family, etc. When you visualize it, make choices and habits to help you achieve the outcome you desire. Becoming intentional with your choices is the ultimate way to take responsibility for your life. So many habits are ones we don’t even realize we have. Get deliberate with your habits. Choose to change, be successful, happy, etc. You are in the driver’s seat!
8. Easy Breezy
When you decide to take responsibility for your life, things will suddenly feel less stressful. You will be more confident in yourself, and things will start to feel less catastrophic and more ‘easy-breezy.’ “Easy breezy” is a state of self-awareness that you are in charge of yourself and in control of what you say/do to react.
Easy breezy is the opposite of blaming others. It’s the opposite of getting wrapped up in the drama, and gossip, and monkey circle.
How you choose to respond to things you can (and CANNOT) control makes things easy breezy. You are the one with the choice!
9. Most People Are Good -Seek it!
There’s a song by Luke Bryan called “Most People Are Good.” And I love it! It is so easy to judge others. It takes the responsibility off our shoulders and puts it on other people. Psychologically speaking, humans tend to judge themselves by their intentions and others by their behavior. I am going to challenge to see the good in people because MOST people are good.
Make it your new habit to look for the intentions behind people’s actions.
Have empathy. Walk in other’s shoes, even for just a moment, and you will notice your walls of judgment come down. When you have a conversation with someone, use your ears and mouth accordingly. Listen more than you speak and understand the person, not just to have a reason to keep up the conversation with your interjections.
People will see you as an interested, caring, GOOD person (which you are!).
It’s up to YOU to see the good in others. It’s not up to them to prove it.
I hope these nine ways to take responsibility help you make lasting habit changes in your life. When you take responsibility for your day, feelings, reactions, and thoughts, you will be free to be your authentic self. Just as I mentioned earlier, at first, it might seem uncomfortable, but soon you’ll be noticing the Baader-Meinhof phenomenon in real-time.
I look forward to hearing from you!