Self-Responsibility Starts With an I

Self-Responsibility Starts With An I

Asking Questions and Making Choices

“Take your life into your own hands and what happens?

A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

—Erica Jong

 

 

In the following three scenarios what do the people have in common?

 

Josie is a woman in her twenties. She still lives at home with her mother who makes all Josie’s important decisions: how to spend her money, who to go out with, even what clothes to wear. Josie is anxious and depressed.

 

Matt ordered a new printer for his office. When it arrived he discovered it wasn’t compatible with his computer. “Those idiots,” he ranted, “why didn’t they tell me this was the wrong printer.”

 

Sally and Jerry had a big fight. Now Sally’s tossing and turning in the bedroom while Jerry beds down on the sofa. Neither one is getting any sleep and both think the other should make the first move to apologize.

 

If your answer was “Hey, no one is taking any personal responsibility here,” you’ve got a good eye for human behavior.

 

Because what Josie and Matt and Sally and Jerry all have in common is a lack of self-responsibility that leaves them dependent, impotent and victimized. They’re caught up in blaming others for their problems and waiting for somebody else to come along and make their life right. Unfortunately, they’re going to have a long wait because, in the words of self-esteem expert Nathaniel Branden, “No one is coming.”

 

This is the good news. Your life is in your hands. You get to make the choices, elect the options and take the actions that come with self-responsibility. It’s through the door of self-responsibility that personal power and independence enter, often hand-in-hand, bearing gifts of confidence and self-esteem.

 

Be clear though, self-responsibility is not the same as feeling responsible or accepting the blame for bad things that have happened or situations that are painful. We don’t all enter the world with the same trappings, and people, events or circumstances have wreaked trauma and caused wounds from which many are recovering. Self-responsibility means that when you have worked through your grief or anger or other issues, you can ask yourself: Now what am I going to do? What options do I have?

 

At the other end, self-responsibility doesn’t mean becoming so self-reliant you don’t ask for help when you need it or seek others’ opinions or points of view. And it certainly doesn’t mean you have to know everything, make every decision alone or take on the world single-handedly.

 

Rather than a heavy burden, self-responsibility can be a source of joy. Knowing you can create the life you want by accepting responsibility for yourself is a great freedom. Even saying the words aloud can produce a feeling of power and strength. Try it.

Mindset: How do You Keep a Positive Mindset?

Think Positively for Maximum Growth and Proper Mindset

Turn on the news and you’ll get an earful of how bad things are—not only in your community but around the world. Head to the coffee shop and conversations will battle for your attention as folks around you discuss their woes. It’s enough to make you want to bury your head in the sand. Not good for your mindset.

Yet, when you can harness a positive mindset, the sky is the limit. A positive mindset not only helps you get through the tough times, it helps you profit from them and continue to grow and succeed.

The trick, of course, is actually being able to think positively in tough times. Here are a few tips and ideas to help.

Gratitude

Gratitude is one of the most powerful emotions human beings are capable of. It’s right up there with love as a potent and significant emotion. It can transform the worst experience, erase a negative mindset and set you up on a path of continuous positivity.

One of the easiest ways to stay in a state of gratitude is to create a gratitude habit. Start or end each day by listing the things you’re grateful for. Also consider turning to gratitude when you feel negative emotions sneaking in and taking over.

Focus on What Is Working

If something is always going wrong, rest assured something is also going right. The trick is to focus on the things that are working. So make a list. Right now, make a list of the things that are going right in your life, in your business and in your relationships. Print the list and hang it in a place where you often feel overwhelmed. When negative thoughts begin to creep in, take a glance at your list. Read it aloud if it helps. Absorb it and change your thoughts.

Create Positive Surroundings

Surround yourself with things that you love and people that support you. Emotions are contagious. When the people around you are negative, it’s easy to become negative, too. However, the contrary is also true. When you’re surrounded by positive people, it’s much easier to feel positive.

When you’re surrounded by things you love and things that make you feel good, it’s easier to focus on the good. Make your home comfortable. Place personal pictures on your desk. Buy pillows and blankets in colors that you like. Paint your room or office a color that makes you smile. Change your surroundings and change your life.

Personal Care

Taking care of your mind and body makes a huge difference in your ability to stay positive. Exercise, eat well, get plenty of sleep and take time during the day to meditate. A little self-care goes a long way.

When it comes to maintaining a positive attitude, it can be a real challenge during the tough times. Small things matter and can make a big difference. Take care of yourself. Surround yourself with people and things that make you smile and remember to focus on what is good in your life. If you have to, make a list and keep it handy.

To read more about the growth mindset check out: https://namastenourished.com/growth-mindset/

See previous newsletters for more reading: https://wandadavis.ca/newsletter/previous-newsletters/

How Do You Show Resiliency?

Bounce Back: Developing Emotional Resilience

Major disruptions are a “gotcha” we all experience at one time or another in our lives. We get fired, laid off or passed over; a loved one dies, leaves or gets in trouble; a project stalls or gets cancelled. The list, unfortunately, is endless.

For some, the impact of these hard times is overwhelming. Recovery, if it comes at all, can be painfully slow. Others show resilience and are admirably able to glide through these times fairly easily, bouncing back to a normal life again quickly. Resilience—the strength required to adapt to change—acts as our internal compass so we can resourcefully navigate an upset.

When unexpected events turn life upside down, it’s the degree to which our resiliency comes into play that makes these “make-or-break” situations an opportunity for growth. The good news is that each of us has the capacity to reorganize our life after a disruption and to achieve new levels of strength and meaningfulness. Though it’s easy to feel vulnerable in the midst of chaos and uncertainty, life disruptions are not necessarily a bad thing because they help us grow and meet future challenges in our lives. It’s a lot like a bone that was once fragile or broken, and is now strong from being used.

So how can you become more resilient? Here’s a look at seven key characteristics of people who demonstrate resilience during life’s curve balls.

A Sense of Hope and Trust in the World
Resilient people rely on their belief in the basic goodness of the world and trust that things will turn out all right in the end. This positive attitude allows them to weather times when everything seems bleak and to look for and accept the support that is out there. This approach toward the world gives them the ability to hope for a better future.

Interpreting Experiences in a New Light
The ability to look at a situation in a new way (a skill called “reframing”) can minimize the impact of a difficult situation. Resilient people take a creative approach toward solving a problem, and don’t always use an old definition for a new challenge.

A Meaningful System of Support
One of the best ways to endure a crisis is to have the support of another person who can listen and validate your feelings. Knowing that others care and will come to our support decreases the feeling of isolation, especially when tackling a problem alone. It’s important to choose people you trust. Don’t be surprised if it takes several friends, each of whom can provide different kinds of support. Resilient people aren’t stoic loners. They know the value of expressing their fears and frustrations, as well as receiving support, coaching or guidance from friends, family or a professional.

A Sense of Mastery and Control Over Your Destiny
You may not be able to predict the future, but you can tackle a problem instead of feeling at the mercy of forces outside of your control. Resilient people know that ultimately their survival and the integrity of their life values depend on their ability to take action rather than remain passive. Tough times call for you to tap into your own sense of personal responsibility.

Self-Reflection and Insight
Life’s experiences provide fertile ground for learning. Asking yourself questions that invite introspection can open a door to new understanding and appreciation of who you are and what you stand for. Giving voice to your thoughts and feelings leads to insight and helps transform the meaning of a problem into something useful. Resilient people learn from life situations and do not succumb to punishing themselves because of decisions made in the past.

A Wide Range of Interests
People who show resilience in the face of adversity are those who have a diversity of interests. They’re open to new experiences and ideas. Because their lives are rich and varied, it’s easier for them to find relief from the single mindedness and worry that often accompany a crisis.

Sense of Humor
Have you ever had a wry laugh during a difficult situation? The ability to see the absurdity, irony, or genuine humor in a situation stimulates our sense of hope and possibility. Humor has both psychological and physical benefits in relieving stress because it encourages a swift change in your perception of your circumstances—and when your thoughts change, your mood follows.

When you look to improve these seven areas now—rather than when adversity pays a visit—you’ll be able to bounce back more quickly.

Also, people who hire a coach are looking for change and if you are looking for big change, sometimes things will be quite different in your life. If you are resilient you are able to navigate the new waters with much more ease.

And as a teacher it is often observed that teens and children are not necessarily taught the skills of resiliency at home any longer. Too often parents are quick to solve any problems for their kids and give them anything they ask for. Technology has made it an instant gratification world. Kids today need more coaching in the skills of resiliency.

When life throws you a curve ball rely on your inner core strength to get you through things. Whether that curve ball is a small hiccup in your day or a bigger life event, you need to be flexible and adjust your sails so that you keep on sailing. More than likely, as you reconsider your plans and goals you will be presented with a lot more possibilities. You may need to let go of your original expectations, not resist and accept the new changes. But in the long run you may find that the new changes surpass your original expectations.