Personal Responsibility - Owning What's Your's & Letting Go Of What's Not.
There is an assumption that when you reach a certain age that you are an adult in all of your glory,
that you are a mature individual and you know how to navigate your life.
To be honest, this is a little off key, I’ve come to know that being an adult and being mature is much more than achieving a certain age group.
For me, one of the best indications of adulthood/maturity is your ability to take personal responsibility for your thoughts, feeling, and actions. This indicator truly challenges each of us.
We are bombarded by a blame culture that is riddled with deflecting our mistakes and mess-ups by making them someone else’s fault. This comes with no reflection on what we have done or the impact that it has had just a finger pointing exercise that leaves everyone reeling.
Taking personal responsibility for yourself destroys the blame game when we do it properly. There is a saying that when you point your finger at another person three fingers are pointing back at you. Personal responsibility looks at those three fingers and acknowledges and owns up to them before pointing the finger if pointing the finger at all.
As an adult stepping up to the plate when we have done something wrong or offensive means that we are stepping into our maturity. You don’t need to take responsibility for anything that you have not done. You just need to take responsibility for what you did do.
Now when I talk about taking personal responsibility my expectation is that you take what is yours. It is not your responsibility to take on what is someone else’s. This is where we go wrong at times, we take personal responsibility for ourselves AND everyone else. That is not our job. Don’t allow anyone to blame you for something (including yourself) that is not yours or that you did not do.
When we take responsibility for our stuff we are giving other people the space to take responsibility for there’s. You cannot be responsible for other people’s mistakes, offensiveness, inappropriateness etc, you can only be responsible for your own.
So, take responsibility for what is your's own it, own up to it and then let it go.
- It can’t keep eating you internally if you name it
- It can’t have any power if you name it
- It can’t continue to be held against you if you own.
So, take responsibility, make the apology and then move on.
Whether it’s work, personal or relationship situation it’s important that you raise your hand up and accept what it yours.
It’s easy, especially in relationships, to make the demise of your relationship the other persons fault without ever taking an inward look to see what you did that supported the breakdown. We are so busy blaming the other person that we have not stopped to truly assess the situation from both sides of the fence.
I remember several years ago hearing myself talk to my husband complaining about what I felt he had not done and expressing how it had affected me. I could, actually, hear myself in a surreal way and I looked at my husband and saw the blank look on his face that said, “I don’t know what you are talking about or why you are saying this.” It was in that moment that I had a revelation. I’m so busy blaming that I haven’t even considered that he doesn’t see it the way I do. So, I stopped, backtracked and started again, looking at it through his eyes and, also, through the lens of “what part of this is mine?”
This experience really changed how I approached issues and I started looking at what was my personal responsibility - first and then looking at his. I try and apply this in every area of my life. To look at what I am responsible for and what I am not. When I discover the bit that is mine I happily put my hand up and say, “This bit is mine, I’m responsible for it based on my thinking and my actions.” It’s liberating because I don’t need to try and take everything on board, I don’t need to attempt to be the martyr. I don’t try to outrun my responsibility, I own up to it.
Hey, it’s better that I step up and take responsibility rather than having someone point the finger at me or me just point the finger at them.
So, when it comes to maturity and adulthood. If you want to feel better about yourself and interact better with others, then drop the blame game. It serves no one, least of all yourself, in the long run.
Own what is yours and lets others own what is theirs.