Thursday, April 28, 2011

Take Responsibility. Take Back the Power.

We've all been there. Feeling kicked and down. Like the world (or maybe just one or two people in the world) are against us. Like we are innocent victims.

We get cheated on by lovers. Betrayed by friends. Ousted by employers. Wronged by family. Chased by debt collectors. And we tell people our sad stories. We explain that things "are the way they are" right now or forever because of what happened to us.

But imagine the power we would seize if we took some responsibility for where we were in our lives.

When I got laid off in 2003, I felt like someone had slapped me in the head and thrown me in the gutter. My wails of woe were loud and constant. But at some point I realized that I had a hand in my fate. A big one. I chose to go into an industry that is rocked by change and lost clients and reorgs more often than not. I also chose to have a less than stellar attitude from 9 to 5. So although it stung like a mutha when I got let go, the good news was that because I had played a part in the whole situation, I could wield my power to cast myself into a new one.

Same thing when I got cheated on. It wasn't fun, but it also wasn't entirely his fault. I'd made a decision to be with someone I knew was probably trouble. I chose to stay with him even though the relationship was riddled with my criticisms and his retaliations.

Stepping back and asking, "What was MY role in this?" helped me see (over and over) that I had the ability to influence every place I'd landed in my life. And I think that's amazing. Victim, schmictim, right?

We're all going to have bad things happen to us. But the place we choose to go after those things happen is totally in our control. Every single day is a chance to turn things around or take a different route to get you closer to where you really want to be. You just have to start by looking at yourself and admitting that maybe you could have done a few things differently. Once you know what they are, do them.

A little responsibility goes a long way. Take it and go power yourself up!


LesleyG said...


Jane Moneypenny said...

Yes! Love! Although I also have the opposite problem where I'm TOO hard on myself and take too much blame for things out of my control! What a hard balance to find.

Scribe said...

I'm all about self reflection, and as one therapist suggested "look at yourself and take responsibility for your part." It's the accountability that is most important and the nerve to dust off, learn from it and move on. It's the part of my journey that leaves me excited and scared at the same time.

Sizzle said...

I really couldn't agree with this more.

Anonymous said...

Dude, if we ever had a philosophical debate, it would be epic. One for the history books. Talked about for generations to come.

And the best part is, because it's philosophy, there's no "winner" and "loser".

Unless the beer was bad, that is...

Mandy_Fish said...

Been there, agree with that.


blakspring said...

perhaps the best seller you are meant to write is a self-help book :)