ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE?

I’m guilty. There, I said it! I can’t blame anyone. I got myself here. The burnout I experienced last year that led to me resigning – I take full responsibility. Those ideas I thought should be implemented but never were – I take full responsibility. Those people who say and do things that upset me – I take full responsibility. And on and on…

You may wonder what the heck I’m going on about. If so, I’m talking about one of the Success Principles covered in Jack Canfield’s book of the same name. And here’s a brief side note: I’ll be creating easy-to-digest highlights of books that I have found to be helpful in promoting people to live what I call an “Ex-Ordinary Life”, and Success Principles is one of those books, so stay tuned or sign up to be notified whenever these start being released. You can also add a comment below, and I’ll add you to the waiting list (and while you do so, why not let me know of any non-fiction books you’d like to see highlighted?)

Now, where were we?…

Ah, yes… Principle no. 1: Take full responsibility for 100% of your life. Yikes! This one was a toughie to digest. I mean, why should someone’s absurd behaviour be my responsibility? And what if I’m mugged, or worse? Is that my fault? Well, that’s not what this means. What this means – at least as far as my interpretation is concerned, and how I choose to apply this principle to my life  – is that we all have a choice when it comes to how we act and react almost all of the time, thus shaping the current circumstances we find ourselves in. So, in the context of me burning out in a previous job role, I found myself blaming certain people, attitudes and policies for my burnout, when, in reality, I could’ve looked at things this way:

1. Accept the way things were, and get on with it

2. Try to introduce or campaign (more) for change

3. Accept that change would either not happen, or not happen on the timescale I needed, and move on

Instead, I wasn’t firm enough and kept accepting what I was told, hoping against hope that “this time” things would change. I remained in denial until it broke me, and I blamed “them”. Always them, and never me.

But was that fair? Months ago, I would’ve said yes. Now, though, I see that I should’ve taken full responsibility for how I felt; for my needs, desires and so on. I should’ve given myself an ultimatum and moved on sooner.

The funny thing is, I am now in a very exciting role that benefits from the past 7 years of experience, not to mention other life and work experience, and I wouldn’t change anything because I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the burnout I allowed myself to go through.

So, while I choose to take full responsibility for my actions and lack of action that brought about my burnout, I am equally grateful because those experiences shaped the path that led to where I am now.

But still, that doesn’t change the fact that we all choose what we do or don’t do every day, and too often we (or at least I) blame others for our circumstances, when in fact, there were most likely things we could’ve done differently; things we could have said or not said; bought or not bought; relationships we could’ve ended or initiated. And on and on.

So, the question is: will you accept 100% responsibility for your life, and if not, why not?

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