Everything changes when you take responsibility

By Deborah O’Rell

Twenty something years ago, while at a ten-day Tony Robbins seminar, I had a huge breakthrough regarding what my problem was, what was causing me the majority of the pain and angst I was experiencing. He spoke about changing your life by asking better questions.

At the time I was at the seminar, I was working at a place with people who didn’t like me and I wasn’t very fond of them either. I kept bemoaning my plight with ‘why are they treating me this way?’ or ‘why are they being so nasty?’

I was clearly pointing my finger at them, those evildoers, as the cause of my problem. At that seminar it hit me. My problem was I was asking myself the wrong questions.

In my head, I answered the questions with ‘they’re jerks, so, of course, they only know how to be jerks’. Or I’d swap out ‘jerks’ with other descriptive terms. They all had the same result. I was blaming them for my misery, my horrible lot in life.

We do this with our employers. Blame them for decisions we’ve been making for ourselves about our jobs or our careers.

‘They don’t pay enough.’
“They don’t appreciate me.”
‘They don’t treat me the way I should be treated or want to be treated.’
‘I didn’t get that promotion or bonus because they’re not recognizing how hard I work.’

So, not only are we not being paid enough or recognized enough, when we ask disempowering questions, we can only feel worse about ourselves. Because when the brain answers those questions, it can only be them or me as the root cause of the problem. The brain will fill in the blanks with ‘they don’t treat you well because you don’t deserve anything nice’. Or ‘they don’t like you because you’re a terrible, awful person’. These answers only make you feel worse and less empowered.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt

When we take 100% responsibility for our lives, we are empowered to take action.

Your employer may be treating you disrespectfully; they may not be recognizing all your unique gifts and talents. The question to ask yourself is why do you allow them to get away with doing that. Why do you allow yourself to be treated that way? What are you going to do about it?

The immediate, fear-based response to that question is usually something along the lines of a need for the money, to feed my kids or to pay the rent. A response that reflects you being stuck there and you have no choice in the matter.

But the fact is you do have a choice. You can decide that you deserve respect. You can decide you are worthy of recognition or more money.

You can have a conversation with that individual to try to understand and work it out. If that doesn’t resolve the problem, you can decide you are not going to stay there and be treated like this and begin the process of finding another job.

When you take 100% responsibility for your life, you can make different choices. Jack Canfield drove this lesson home for me in his book ‘Success Principles’.

When I decided I didn’t want to be treated the way I was being treated by my coworkers, I first had to look at myself. My behavior. How was I treating them? How did I feel about them when they did a good job?

When I saw my responses had been bitter, small, resentful or withholding, I recognized this was where I needed to start. I didn’t expect to win them over as friends, but I could at least become part of a solution rather than continuing to be part of the unconscious problem.

I also changed what I was making everything in my life mean. Is this a good thing or a negative thing? I could make the choice which way to go.

I decided that everything happens for my highest and best good. Every stinking awful and outrageously wonderful thing happens to help me grow and learn and find joy in my life.

When we take responsibility we can make our own choices.

If you’re ready to take charge of your life and make the changes you need, may I suggest a free course by Jack Canfield from his Success Principles: Success Principles 10-Day Transformation . I’d love to know if you found it helpful.