Success doesn’t just happen.
Successful people are almost always focused, motivated, and decisive. You know what else? They own their actions. From their fitness to their portfolios, successful people “own it.”
Why? When you take 100% responsibility for your thoughts and actions, what you are really doing is claiming your power. You are putting yourself in charge. For some folks that sounds intimidating. But if you aren’t happy with every aspect of your life, the universe is telling you it’s time to make a change and own your choices.
Harsh Truth: Your results are, straight up, the product of your actions, so if you don’t like where your life is at—be that at work, in your relationship, or even in your own skin—the only person who can change that is you.
Blaming and complaining seems to be a national epidemic; we are almost conditioned to point the finger at outside influences every time we find ourselves in an unpleasant situation. We sit at a desk in a job we hate. We shovel cookies down our pie-hole and lament that we can’t zip our jeans. We look longingly at the couple in the park holding hands while we scroll on our smartphones. And we point to someone or something else as the source of our dissatisfaction.
Take the three examples I just gave.
Let’s break it down.
You’re stuck in a job you hate. You feel trapped by the money, your mortgage, health benefits, etc. But what would happen if you stopped pointing to the reasons you are miserable and you asked yourself, “How do I make this job work for me?” or in an even more radical approach, you identified what you really want to do and started taking steps to do it? Enroll in a class. Talk to your boss about restructuring your position. Start interviewing. Nothing changes unless you change it.
You hate your body. You eat out of stress, boredom, or habit. You blame holidays and a heavy workload. But maybe, if you said, “This is MY body and I want to love it,” and you owned every bite you put in your mouth, your jeans would loosen up and you might start feeling a little better about yourself. As much as it sucks to admit it, you make the choice to eat the cookies and you make the choice to go to the gym. Your health, like every other part of your life, is your responsibility and if you’re not happy, only you can change it.
You see couples looking happy, connected and in love but you feel disconnected and isolated. You blame your job, the kids, or your partner for how dissatisfied you feel. What if you looked at how your actions create distance? Are you setting down your phone and turning off the TV to interact with the people you love? Are you making thoughtful gestures and communicating your desires clearly without anger or blame? You CAN have the relationship you want but it takes your full commitment and a willingness to accept 100% responsibility for your half.
The unifying principle in all three of those scenarios is that failing to embrace your responsibility keeps you stagnant in an unhappy place; for things to get better you have to identify the problem, want it to be different, and own it. If you want something better for yourself, you can absolutely make it happen. I’m saying the first step is to recognize like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, you’ve had the power all along. Looking at your life without the blinders of blame can be painful. But the pain is short-lived if you use it as a lesson for making better choices and don’t beat yourself senseless. Don’t get bogged down in yesterday. The past is gone and the present is fleeting, but the future is ripe with possibility.
Do you want a better life?
Are you tired of where you are?
Do you think you deserve more?
It’s time to let go of all the excuses you’ve used as a safety net and claim your life. Once you take back your power and you begin to own your success, you will be amazed at how much stronger and braver you start to feel. All that blame and fear is crippling. That’s a truth I think we all accept. The very first step toward changing your life and making it better is taking 100% responsibility for the whole amazing thing.