My Own Your Best mission is to empower you to take ownership of your life. Many cliche quotes and articles to do your best to achieve goals are exhausting and lack substance. Similarly, the overused and abused excuse, “I did my best.” It was time to take this on. First, I researched examples of taking responsibility for your actions and translated the results to real, actionable strategies so that YOU can manage your life now.
Here’s what I found. Insecurity plays a significant role in the failure to accept responsibility for your actions because many associate taking responsibility with admitting weakness. Thus, admitting weakness and even failure result in feelings of disrespect and unworthiness.
Now here’s what many don’t realize. Taking responsibility for your life is an example of strength and character. That’s two of the greatest wage earners of respect! No one is perfect but having courage to take responsibility for your actions also means accepting the responsibility to do better and grow wiser. What greater measure of self worth and integrity is there than the ability to reveal vulnerability and demonstrate growth?
There is a subtle yet powerful dialogue from one of my favorite movies, The Way We Were. Katie Morosky Gardiner (played by Barbra Streisand) displays heart-wrenching realization that her marriage to Hubbell Gardiner (played by the effervescent, stars-in-his-eyes, epitome of handsomeness, Robert Redford) was not going to survive. She speaks in a shallow breadth as her head rolls back in his arms and tears welling up in her eyes,
“Wouldn’t it be lovely if we were old? We’d have survived all this. Everything would be easy and uncomplicated; the way it was when we were young.”
Then Hubble responds, “Katie, it was never uncomplicated.”
To which Katie gently rebuttals, “But it was lovely, wasn’t it?”
“Yeah,” he whispers back to her, “it was lovely.”
Oh my aching heart! But they were doomed from the start, we all know this! Destined to be separated by their differences, even though they shared mutual love and respect. The things they loved about each other were the things that also tore them apart. As a result, they blamed each other.
The struggle to fully take responsibility for your life is real
It resonates with me and makes me wonder how can you manage your life now or at any time when there can be so much baggage on board. Yeah it’s a bit corny – it’s Hollywood. But that above dialogue comes to mind as a primary example of truly taking responsibility for your actions. As painful the struggle, whether relationships, career, low self esteem, finances, parenting – address the clutter. First stop blaming others, the timing or the weather. Then systematically identify and remove who or what is getting in your way of finding happiness, causing worry and anxiety and preventing you from living your best life.
How can we sustain ourselves and rise above in challenging, painful or uncomfortable situations? Our knee-jerk tendency is often to first wish away. Rather than confronting problems we often procrastinate and cuddle up to our heartache. Stop the lies you are telling yourself, stop allowing time to pass you by. It’s time to own it – to Own Your Best in thoughts, actions, and mindset … take conscious ownership (more on that later).
6 examples of taking responsibility for your actions, kabash the tendency to wish away your problems and manage your life now – right now:
- Internalize What You Already Know: All emotional pain can be temporary should you make the choice to practice a healthy mindset and stay in the present moment
- Time is of the Essence: The sooner you deal with your emotions or a situation, the sooner you begin to move forward. Not tomorrow, not after you lose 20 pounds, not when “it feels right” – you must do it right now
- Re-Group and Redirect: If you know in your gut you are not where you are meant to be, take the necessary actions to re-chart your course (find the best books to get you started, go back to school, find a mentor, research, make difficult changes your future self will thank you for)
- Resources are Waiting: Take advantage of tools and influencers who can provide you with the strategies you need to reset your path to manage your life now – today. Join forums to learn from others in your situation and share ideas – I bet that others are waiting to learn from you as well!
- Practice Being in the Now: It takes some time and practice, but the good news is that there is no deadline. If your thoughts constantly take you to the past, you will live there indefinitely and lose the opportunities of today. The past simply leaves you longing for what used to be or possibly immobilizes you with negative memories. By this same point, your thoughts, perhaps even worry and anxiety about the future can only steal away what is happening right now. So know that none of this is real. The past is over. And the future is only left to a wicked imagination. Therefore release the tendency for interpretation of either and focus on now.
- Take Conscious Ownership of Your Mindset: “Conscious Ownership” is the proactive, continual state of being mindful and responsible for all of your thoughts and actions. The present is the only place that consciousness progress can happen. I ask you to own not only your personal behavior, but acknowledge your thoughts that lead up to the behavior. Know your triggers – what makes you revert to dwelling on the past or worrying about the future? Be present and call yourself on it when you are not.
Taking Action and the science behind it…
To get a little scientific for a moment, Newton’s third law of motion says every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This famous quote is timeless and applies to more than just forces of physical motion. It’s true for every thought and deed we ‘put in to motion’. Where you are now, physically and emotionally, is a direct or indirect result of every decision and every response you have ever made. Hundreds of thousands. Think about that for just a moment.
On a flip side here, keep in mind that that a negative mindset, worry and anxiety, as well as complacency often lead to “inaction”. Consequently even the choice to “sit this one out” can have not only an undesirable impact on others, your circumstances and overall well-being but worse. What a tragedy it would be to make so many excuses that you not only fail at something but you let opportunities pass you by all together.
Therefore, until you make the choice to accept responsibility for your actions or your idleness – yet possibly worse of all, complacency – the ability to manage your life now or at any time in the future will simply not exist.
The Mindset Shift
So knowing we can’t skip forward to a time and a place where the current state of affairs is perpetually at peace, try to focus on this:
Get even with those who do you good. And pass on by those who do not. It is within our own abilities to control how we react. If you are sitting in a traffic jam, what are your options in the way you find yourself feeling and reacting? You can sulk and beep and curse. You can worry about how late you will be. Are these reactions creating a positive outcome? Is traffic clearing up with every beep, grown or negative thought?
So what is the consequence about to take place? Maybe it is the pit in your stomach or the tension in your muscles. Possibly the mental frustration. But it doesn’t have to be. Manage it – and take responsibility for your thoughts and actions in that moment – the Now.
Make it actionable by making a hands-free phone call to someone you trust with your emotions. Turn on the radio. Check out a podcast or an audio book. Above all know that you are where are meant to be in this moment like it or not. Finally, no matter what think positive thoughts.
Will traffic clear up?? Nope still in a sea of red brake lights. But your positive mindset will alleviate the mental strain. It may even give you some overdue peaceful moments you’ve been denying yourself in our busy world.
Manage Your Life
Therefore begin now. Peel back the layers preventing you from being the best version of yourself. Remove the self-doubt and the negative self-talk. Resist the temptation to make up an ending to a situation which causes you more worry and anxiety than the actual situation. Leave past lives in the past. Stop assuming the intentions of others – you are not a mindreader. Finally… finally focus on that conscious ownership you now have of your own mind to take responsibility for your own life. Put it work. You are the original owner, founder, and CEO of your life – and management needs you to manage!