Are you happy with your life? Your work? Your relationships? Your financial situation? Your living environment? Most of us have some things about our life that we’re not happy with. Often we fall into the trap of blaming external causes for why we’re not happy and successful.
I am surrounded by adults who aren’t satisfied with their jobs while blaming the economy for forcing them to stay, or their bosses for their work environment when, in fact, they are choosing to stay and aren’t doing anything to either make their work environment more pleasant or shift their perspective.
Many people I know aren’t happy in their relationships, yet they would rather blame their partners for their unhappiness then take action to change what needs to be changed.
I work with teenagers around pregnancy and sexually transmitted disease (STD) prevention, substance use and academic success. When getting the news of an unintended pregnancy or STD, teens have blamed the condom company for making a cheap product or their partner for not using condoms. One teen even blamed her situation on her parents, stating that they wouldn’t let her go on birth control so that’s why she got pregnant.
I once had a student tell me it was my fault he couldn’t graduate despite the fact that he chose to reject every opportunity I gave him to make up his assignments and missed classes.
Jack Canfield, author of the Chicken Soup for the Soul Series and The Success Principles, refers to blaming and complaining as “having a reference point of something we prefer that we are not willing to risk creating”. He goes on to suggest we consider the following formula:
E + R = O
E stands for all the “Events” in our lives.
R stands for our “Responses” to those events.
O stands for the “ Outcomes” we experience.
Jack teaches that the outcomes we are experiencing in our lives are the result of our responses to the events that are occurring. He further suggests that we don’t have control over the circumstances and events that show up in our lives, nor can we control the behavior of the people in our lives. For example, we can’t control our bosses, our spouses, and the economy.
However, we do have control over responses. The thoughts we think, the choices we make and the actions we take in response to the events. In fact, our “R’s” are really the only thing we can control. And so by changing our responses to the events that happen in our lives we can create better outcomes.
So let’s be honest, taking a full 100% responsibility for everything in our lives can be difficult and feel overwhelming, especially to start. So how about taking 5% more responsibility to start?
Get pen and paper or power up your laptop and complete each of the following statements:
“If I were to take 5% more responsibility for my life and well-being, I would …”
“If I were to take 5% more responsibility for living my passion, I would … “
“If I were to take 5% more responsibility for the attainment of my goals, I would …”
“If I would take 5% more responsibility for the success of my relationships, I would …”
If you really want to make lasting changes, improve your self-esteem, and increase success in your life, take it one step further than this activity and consider joining my Take Back Control of Your Life 14 Day Challenge. It's a simple, powerful and FREE way to get started on your way to creating the outcomes you want in your life. The 14 Day Challenge takes place in a private Facebook group. I promise it will be worth the little bit of time and effort you put into it and you'll be pleased with the results that you'll see as you begin to remove some of the blocks that have been standing in your way of success, happiness and fulfillment.
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