There’s a very fine line between doing something on purpose and simply being the source of everything that happens in the world around you. It’s actually a very blurred line because there isn’t a difference between the two. What isn’t blurry to me, however, is the notion of personal responsibility for EVERYTHING.
We’re quick to assume responsibility when things go smoothly, but when star stuff hits the fan: we blame luck, karma, our ex, traffic, The Uni-verse, technology, those people, them, not us.
A super popular excuse for being late is: the horrible traffic. When I hear said excuse being disguised as a surprising phenomenon in this current day and age – I wonder if the Excuser thinks I’m actually buying it. What’s refreshing for all parties involved is when Late Arriver takes full responsibility and says, “I didn’t leave early enough to beat the traffic.”
Same event, different version. If you’re a victim of the traffic, you’ll make an excuse. If you’re responsible for the traffic (because you happen to be one of the drivers in that mess), then you’ll be a part of the solution and leave earlier.
Being responsible doesn’t necessarily mean you caused it. Being responsible means you’re in ownership of the current situation. When you make choices from the space of being responsible, it’s a win/win situation and no one is to “blame”.
What if your favorite restaurant permanently closed because business wasn’t improving? Did you cause that? Nope. Instead of wishing they didn’t close, how can you be in ownership of the experience? What else could you have done to support them? You could’ve spread the word to all of your friends on Facebook. And let’s say you DID spread the word to everyone you know and this restaurant became an overnight success – I’m pretty sure most of us would feel responsible for that wave of their success.
Responsibility isn’t selective like that. The world doesn’t continue to rotate around the sun while being separate from you.
This is not about self beat up or feeling “wrong”. This is about being in ownership and seeing what else could have been done. It supports you in the next opportunity to be a leader and being in ownership in every area. When you’re present and acutely aware, it calls you up to a higher game in life.
I choose to believe this world is a beautiful place. I’m also very aware that there are things like abuse, hunger, poverty, suffering, and pain. I can sit and talk about it, judge our leaders, and complain about what’s NOT being accomplished, while doing NOTHING about it – or I can be clear that I•▲M powerful enough to make a difference and put my money where my mouth is.
We’ve all experienced being lied to, possibly cheated on, betrayed beyond belief, and hurt on the deepest levels. In these moments, we feel like the rug was pulled out from underneath our feet. We feel the red-hot iron being pressed into our sensitive skin, leaving a burn mark that says “VICTIM” and the last thing we want to give is gratitude.
But what if you DID choose gratitude in these events? Every event is neutral and every perception is chosen. Yes, you DO have the power to choose – even when it hurts.
If you take anything from this blog, take THIS: decide, right now – in this moment, and every moment moving forward, that NOTHING happens TO you, and EVERYTHING happens FOR you. (Tweet-worthy!)
When life happens FOR you, you learn, grow, expand, and evolve. If you decide that something is happening TO you, you’re a victim, you have no voice, and you’re powerless.
When you choose to be responsible, you get your power back!
Can you relate with any of this? Is there something in your world that you cannot imagine taking responsibility for? This is not about right or wrong, it’s about contribution. I wanna hear your thoughts and questions. This is a great topic for a debate and I love hearing from my readers in the comments section below!
Love all that is you,
Jenna Phillips is a Total Wellness Philosopher, Certified Holistic Lifestyle Coach, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & the founder of her lifestyle brand I’m On A Mission. Follow her on Twitter and visit I’m On A Mission and be inspired.