Self-Responsibility with a Capital I
Transformation requires radical self-responsibility (Part 4 of 6).
Chances are, if you’re reading this, you’re responsible. My audience is hard-working, dedicated, responsible people, after all. You show up for work every day. You pay your bills on time. You feed your family. You “adult” really well. But are you actually fully responsible?
I am responsible for my own thoughts and feelings.
Can you really own that statement? How often do you instead fall into a victim mindset? “She hurt my feelings.” “He made me feel like I’m nothing.” “They made me feel stupid.”
How often do you internalize or give meaning to an external experience? “I wasn’t chosen for the promotion because I’m not good enough.” “I wasn’t invited because something is wrong with me.” “I haven’t found love because I’m meant to be alone.”
How often do you project blame for an external experience? (Hint: Projecting blame is always a symptom of a victim mindset.) “I didn’t get the promotion because he took credit for my work.” “It was his fault that I acted jealous.” “She made me lose my cool.”
Let’s stop right there.
I, and I alone, am fully responsible for my thoughts and feelings. I can choose to be hurt, angry, or scared, or I can be excited about a new opportunity.
When someone honks at me, I can choose to internalize it and wonder what I did wrong, feeling badly about myself, or I can let it go. Perhaps he is having a bad day. Maybe he is rushing to the hospital to see a loved one. Or maybe my changing my mind, and direction, at the last minute frustrated him. In no case, does any of that change my value or worth as a human being. I can choose how I think and feel.
Likewise, when a friend isn’t available to get together when I’m in town, I could feel rejected, unwanted, invisible, or like I don’t matter. Alternatively, I could understand that my friend is really busy and may really wish she could see me. Or, maybe she no longer feels resonance and doesn’t prioritize the relationship. In either case, my value and self-worth are unchanged. I am responsible for my thoughts and feelings.
I am responsible for creating my own experience.
How often do we take on a victim mindset in our experiences? “Bad things always happen to me.” “I never get picked.” “I should have known it was too good to be true.” “I didn’t get anything out of that conference.”
I, and I alone, am responsible for creating my own experience. I am responsible for showing up in a way that makes me visible. I am responsible for my own success, however, I choose to define it. I am responsible for how I choose to respond when I’m angry or hurt. I am responsible for finding the learning opportunities in each experience. I am responsible for finding my own joy.
You’ve been responsible for yourself and others’ external experience for a long time now. You’ve made sure that physical needs are met. You’ve met expectations at work.
Take responsibility now for your internal experience. “I am responsible for the way I think and feel, and for my experiences.” Say it out loud. Own it. For with that responsibility comes true authentic power and the ability to transform your life.
Where in your life can you take responsibility for yourself in a new way? How might your life be different if you did?
Originally published at melissakaltmd.com on May 30, 2017.