I spend a large part of my life waiting; Waiting for conditions to be favourable enough to do something or be someone.
As a student, I was waiting to complete school so as to start earning my own income. When I started working, I was waiting to become older so as to have more credibility and influence. When I progressed in my early adult life, I was waiting to become a mother because I thought that would officially categorise me as a mature adult which would in turn command more respect and, again, influence.
Alas! Now that I am a mother, I realise that my time is demanded in even more areas and I found myself saying that there is not enough time to do the things I want to do.
Again, waiting for the future to make possible the present. Sounds silly, isn’t it?
It turns out that the conditions were never favourable enough, and they never will be unless I make a mental shift in my attitude.
And this shift, everyone, is to truly understand what it means to be responsible for yourself and your life.
Now, most of us think we know what that is; and the truth is most of us really don’t. Myself included. I am just beginning to see how I have not been responsible and to deeply comprehend how my life will transform as I start to move more into that.
What exactly does 100% responsibility look like?
Let me first give you some case examples of what it is not.
A. Giving your power away to the situation or environment
If you identified with what I shared earlier in this article about waiting for the conditions to be favourable, that’s an example. Here’s another:
A couple’s marriage is on the verge of breaking because the wife feels that she is unable to get any love and affection from her husband who is perpetually stressed and overwhelmed with his work. When he was holding a managerial role, he attributed his inability to give at home to his busy-ness at work. Later on, he lost his job and instead of using the freed-up time to reconnect with his family, he again repeats the pattern of attributing his behaviour to the stress of finding a job or building a business. He feels bitter and resentful about the situation, and expects that the other people around him should understand.
In essence, the core belief behind such an attitude is, “I can not (do/give X) until (Y has happened)”.
B. Giving your power away to other people
Believe it or not, we give our power away not just to people who are currently in our lives, but also those in the past!
In hypnosis and Freudian therapy methods, we see how one’s past experiences can have a strong and lasting impact on one’s present and future. Having been trained in psychology and hypnosis, I believe that. However, the coach in me also sees how much more powerful it can be when we combine that awareness of the past with a willingness to take responsibility for the future.
Here’s another case example.
A middle-aged man spent much of his adult life drifting, never really staying long in a job or in a hobby. He has beautiful dreams and passions, yet he finds it difficult to commit to them. His time is spent feeling troubled about his problems, and talking about people. He believes that he is who he is today because of how his parents have treated him (in the past), his hard life, and that he often loses his temper because he is provoked by others – friends, family or strangers.
I see people like that around me, and I have a lot of compassion for what they must be going through in their own minds.
In essence, the core belief behind such an attitude is, “I am (as such) because of you”.
All of these examples are victim-mentalities. We feel that we are powerless victims of life’s circumstances, the economy, the market, the government, our competitors, our neighbours, our bosses, or our loved ones.
Now, take a deep breath, and let it go.
Feels heavy, doesn’t it? This is what you are carrying around inside of you, when you put yourself in the position of a victim, and not take 100% responsibility for your life.
What then is 100% responsibility? You are still asking.
If you ask those who have truly gotten it, like great teachers and leaders Wayne Dyer, Oprah Winfrey, Tony Robbins, Michael Hyatt… they will tell you that it is to take 100% responsibility for everything that you experience in your life and in your space.
“This includes the level of your achievements, the results you produce, the quality of your relationships, the state of your health and physical fitness, your income, your debts, your feelings—everything! This is not easy.” — Jack Canfield
I think it will take me a while to get to that level, but I am practising every day. I know that abundance and life’s deepest rewards await on the other side.
What triggered me to step out of my mentality of victim-hood was a series of experiences and realizations that all happened within a short period over the last weeks.
Some cosmic shifts? No idea. I’ll simply call it a growth spurt. Who says only babies can have growth spurts?
I was in the middle of my pattern of justifying why I don’t have time to pursue my dreams – because I am a mother to a one-year old, and our parents live on the other side of the world and thus there is no one to help with babysitting – when I realized what I was actually doing.
I was indirectly telling Little Hurry, “Mommy is not able to go for her dreams, because of you”.
Gasp, what a horrible lie! I can’t believe what I have been indirectly saying all this time! Imagine placing this huge responsibility on an innocent being who is still trying to make sense of the world, and who is an overflowing fountain of love. My heart broke.
My mindset was slowly shifted as I see how others accomplished great things despite their “lack”. I heard stories of single moms who went on to build thriving businesses, of people who left their conflict-ridden countries to rise strong as a minority in their new countries and eventually become leaders.
And me? I am sitting here, comfortably in a safe country, well-provided for. If they can achieve what they did, there is no reason why I can’t.
Decide. The moment I decided to change, and to take responsibility for my excuses, everything changed. I started seeing solutions and abundance everywhere. And this can happen for you too.
I was afraid of taking 100% responsibility because that would mean giving up my comfort. I now realise that when I do so, I open myself up to other feelings and experiences which are more satisfying than comfort.
If there is something in this article that spoke to you, and you are convinced that you want to make that shift, great!
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