Over the past decade I have begun taking responsibility. Not just for the more obvious things, like forgetting to return a phone call or email, or not finishing an article by my self-imposed deadline, or even telling a friend or family member something that no one else had the courage to discuss with them. It was much bigger than these types of things. I began taking full responsibility for everything in my life. Everything. Every. Little. Thing. And for the big things as well.
Wither or Bloom as You Walk the Path – It’s Always Your Choice
I have written and spoke publicly about taking responsibility for everything that happens in your life. There is no blame, feeling like a victim, or wishing you had something someone else does when you take full responsibility. It’s a choice every single day whether we will wither like a plant that becomes dry and shriveled when not cared for, or bloom like a flower reaching for the sun. I find it so much easier to take full responsibility because it puts me in control of my destiny. Mindset is an area I focus on with the people I mentor because it’s equally as important as the tasks and activities we engage in each day in our online businesses.
This new attitude of taking full responsibility for everything in my life got its start once I came online. I no longer thought of myself as a victim of others or of my circumstances and decided that every little thing that came into my life was a product of my thoughts and actions. This changed everything and now I work with the people I mentor to help them re-frame their lives and achieve the great success they deserve.
I decided that by taking full responsibility for every detail of my life the focus of my existence could change. The cost of taking on the burden of accepting responsibility for everything that crossed my path would lead to the reward of having control over the outcomes. That was an attractive idea to me and so my pursuit of responsibility in exchange for control over my destiny began. My goal was to set myself apart from the people in my personal life and those who are a part of my “circles of influence” who place blame at least as often as they accept full responsibility.
This was a lofty goal for someone like myself, as it went against everything I had thought and believed up until this time. But I also believed it to be an important step in my personal growth and evolution and was willing to give it a try. In the recesses of my mind were my mother’s words to me when I first told her I had been diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer at the age of 37. Even though I live in California, I had been in Florida for several months and decided this was something I needed to discuss with her in person. When I arrived at her home she was just waking up from her nap. I sat on the edge of the bed and told her, without looking up at her. She took my hand in hers and calmly stated,
“You attracted this cancer to yourself.”
I remember jumping up from the bed and looking her directly in the eye.
“That’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. Why would anyone want to have cancer?”
“I didn’t say you wanted this. I said that you have attracted this into your life experience with your thoughts and beliefs.”
I changed the subject and left soon after. She had hurt my feelings and it would be years before I understood what she meant and how I could change the trajectory of my life by changing my thoughts, beliefs, and actions. A big part of that is taking full responsibility for everything, as I shared earlier.
Taking responsibility – full responsibility – for everything in my life continues to make sense. I’m going to share three examples with you that you may find helpful, or at least interesting as you consider taking on this strategy in your own life. My examples are based on my own experiences with relationships, health, and business.
Years ago I had a falling out with a family member. She and I did not see eye to eye on several things and the relationship fell apart for good when she sent me a scathing email about how I had made her feel. She accused me of manipulating her and her husband (my son) and wanting him to choose between her and me going forward. She went on about everything that wasn’t working in their marriage and how I was to blame for all of their issues.
At this time she was expecting their first child. I felt that the best thing was for me to back away from both of them and to work on repairing this damaged relationship after the baby was born. Ten years later she and I were still not speaking and a second child had arrived. It wasn’t until several years later, after I had embraced this concept of accepting full responsibility for everything in my life that I made the conscious decision to reach out to her again.
My goal and intention was to meet her where she was right then and begin the process of building a new relationship based on love, respect, and kindness. I knew I would have to tread lightly for my actions to be received as sincere ones. I am happy to report our relationship is moving forward and is still a work in progress. Everyone around us has benefited, including siblings, grandchildren, and family friends.
The second example I will share with you here is in regards to my online business. When I came online to start my business at the end of 2005 I was coming from a place of unhappiness and disappointment in both my classroom teaching career of almost twenty years and the real estate business I had been running from home for more than twenty years. By this time I had survived cancer more than once and had also gone through a serious work injury. I was exhausted from my daily routine and longed for work I could do from home.
The administrator at the school where I was teaching was a woman who demanded the school to run as an almost military operation. There was no laughter and no margin of error was acceptable. The challenge was to please her while also working with young children, most of whom came from homes and backgrounds that were not conducive to such rigid and structured systems and methods.
When I made the decision to resign from my teaching position at the end of the school year I knew it would be best if I could repair my relationship with the principal as well. I had done some reading about the topic of “changing your life, one conversation at a time” and began experimenting with this concept.
Every day I made it a point to speak with at least one person at school, in an effort to help them to change their perception about me. My reputation had been tarnished over the previous five years or so because of my strained relationship with the principal and only I could repair the damage.
My efforts were extremely successful! Within a few weeks the principal began saying some positive things to others about me, and a month later she singled me out at a staff meeting to thank me for something I was doing in my classroom. Mind you, I was not interested in seeking her approval, but her behavior and response was a huge step in the right direction for both of us. By the time I gave notice that I would be leaving at the end of June, everyone at the school was begging me to please reconsider. I definitely went out on a high note, and isn’t that what we all aspire to in our lives?
At the end of 2019 I found myself morbidly obese, or at least that was the term the doctor had written on the forms I received after my annual physical. I was taken aback by this but did not say anything to anyone about it. The truth was that I needed to lose at least thirty percent of my body weight to be within the guidelines commonly accepted by the medical community.
Over the years I had covertly placed blame for my weight on many people, situations, and circumstances. Now it was time for me to take responsibility for my health and to take action in order to change my situation for the better and forever. I first spent a full week journaling about the goals I wished to achieve and formulating my plan of action. I knew very well what did not work for me; restrictive diets that did not allow me to choose the foods I wanted to include, exercise programs where I was pushed to levels that brought on exhaustion and pain, and hypnosis to urge me to step away from the foods I loved.
Once I found a regimen that made sense my weight loss took off! Even my doctor is overjoyed with my progress and accomplishments. With each pound I found renewed strength and optimism and now I am looking forward to helping others along their own journey to improved health and wellness.
Taking Full Responsibility for Your Life through the Cultivation of Small Habits
I believe that if we take full responsibility for everything in our lives we are then able to take advantage of the adventures, experiences, and enlightenment that is waiting to unfold.
Often I have shared that during my first year or so working online, each time I write a blog post, or a short report like this one, or put together writing or audios or video to share with my prospects or my clients I would have preferred to do something else during that time. But instead of calling a friend, going to the movies, baking blueberry muffins, or going to my local shopping mall, each time I made the conscious choice to create a piece of content for my business first, and to then go on to another activity.
It’s not that I do not enjoy the writing, recording, and creating of content to publish online. It’s that I wasn’t in the habit during those early years. Once I cultivated content creation as a small habit I began getting up earlier each morning and thinking about my business differently so that I could accomplish my goals, all while creating the lifestyle I love so much. I so want you to resonate with this idea and concept so you may benefit as I have.
My goal was to change my life from the inside out and to take as many people as possible along for the journey. Of course, everyone is at a different stage and season of their life and some people will be more open to learning about what you are doing than others. Once we take full responsibility for our actions and the results they bring, everything changes in more positive and prosperous ways.
I’m author, publisher, and entrepreneur Connie Ragen Green and my goal is to connect with you if you have more than just a passing interest in getting started with an online business. I most recently released Really Simple SEO Tips and Keywords for Beginners and this is an excellent place to begin. Please take a look while it’s still at its introductory pricing.