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Owning it: Take Responsibility for Your Success

Take control of your success

Stop right where you are, where you are listening, I’d like to ask you to do something for yourself. Something powerful that will give you control of your life and your success from this day forward. If you are near a mirror – look into your own eyes. It is time to change your mindset. Tell yourself that YOU are responsible for you! From this day forward – you will not blame other people for where you are, you will not have a victim attitude, you can and will take charge of where you are in life. You WILL take charge of where you are going from this point forward. I want YOU to decide what it is YOU want and what you are going to do to get there. From now on – YOU are responsible for how much your life improves from here.

Deal With Your Past and Move Forward

I don’t care if you are 18 years old and you were raised in hard circumstances or if you are 30+ years old and you have been stuck in a dead-end job for years and don’t think you can do anything else. What do you actually want? Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself. What have you done to take charge of yourself? Have you let life happen, or have you honestly taken the steps to go after the life you dream of? Think back to conversations with your best friends about your situation. Have you blamed someone else for where you are today? Do you think people are against you, where you work? If so, why do you stay? Do you think you made too many mistakes already and this is just the way life will be from here forward? Have you done everything you can to get things moving the way you want?

Playing the Victim Is a Roadblock to Your Success

It is time to take 100%, full responsibility for where you are and who you will be in the future. This is one of the most empowering things you can do for yourself. Forgive (maybe not forget), those who hurt you in the past, after all, this is for you. You cannot hang on to anger and pain. Deal with it, then push yourself to move beyond it. There is light on the other side of pain. Think of the man who broke your heart, or the dad who wasn’t there as you grew up, maybe you never even met him. Do you want these people to have control over your life for the next 60 years? The memory of who you “wanted them to be” is not who they actually “are.”  It is time to come to terms with these feelings that make you feel or act like a victim. Do you honestly want to be 27, 36, or 45 years old and still blame someone who hurt you in your childhood or when you were 23? Life is so precious and should be lived robustly.

No one is “Facebook Perfect”

Furthermore, spending all your time looking at social media, imaging who you wish you were, watching other people’s “impossibly perfect” posts about their beautiful life, while you let your own world fall apart around you, while you allow life to happen TO you, is going send you down a dark hole of nothing.

This is NOT who you are. This is NOT who you will be from today forward. You will own your life and as a result, you will own who you become! Your success will feel SO good when you get there because you will know how hard you worked and the deliberate steps you took and the mountain of pain you had to overcome. This is YOUR life. Own it.

EXERCISE: What are you responsible for?

First, make a list of everything you are responsible for:

  • Taking care of yourself (basics, food, clothes, home – having a source of income.)
  • Caring for your children, if you have them
  • Your long-term health
  • Work-related responsibilities
  • If you made commitments to pay for things like a mortgage, student loan, or a car loan.
  • Planning for your future dreams, goals, plans
  • Other things that only you know. Example: Do you lead a church group, watch other people’s kids, have elderly parents you care for, or participate in clubs or hobbies that create additional commitments?

1. What are the items on your list that you believe you are managing well and feel like you already have accepted full responsibility for and also that you WANT to be responsible for? Circle these items in green.

2. What you are supposed to be responsible for, but you have not been managing well or that you have been ignoring? Make sure you capture these items on your list too – if you should be responsible for them, then you are responsible, you cannot delegate responsibility. Once these are on your list, circle them in yellow.

3. Do you want to be responsible for all these things? Are there any you could change? Circle the items you want to change in red.

For the items that are yellow, some of them may be easy to get in order, it could be as simple as paying off an old $125 cable bill that has been haunting you. Some things that you know you need to take charge of and get in control might be harder, so you will need to write out an action plan. This will be very similar to making a SMART goal.

Create your action plan for the items you WANT to be responsible for

  • Write the desired end state
  • List the steps it would take to get from where you are today to where you need to be to get that issue in control
  • Start listing those specific action steps in your daily task list (in small chunks) and start doing one baby step at a time.

For the items that are red, put some thought into these. If you really do not want to be responsible for them anymore, are there any that you can just stop? (Not ignore.) Can you just stop doing them and the only person who would really notice would be you? If so – decide today that they are in the past. Make a commitment to stop. If there are things that others are depending on you for, or that you are responsible for paying for, then you will have to make a plan to properly transition away from these. In some cases, it could be as easy as a phone call saying you can no longer volunteer for something or transitioning off a side project at work. If it is a big responsibility that you want to get rid of, then do the same steps as in the yellow section.

Create an action plan to get rid of things that you DON’T WANT to be responsible for

  • Write the desired end state
  • List the steps it would take to get from where you are today to where you need to be to get that issue in control
  • Start listing those specific action steps in your daily task list (in small chunks) and start doing one baby step at a time.

Start a new list – a list of dreams of who you want to be two to five years from now. Dream big enough to make it fun. How do you define your success? In this list do you see new things you are responsible for? Can you picture yourself owning this life? How does it feel?

  • Prioritize this list, based on what you want the most
  • Take the top 1, 2, or 3 items and break them into SMART goals.
  • Create small actionable steps that you can take to reach those goals
  • Work those steps into your daily plans.

If you actually do the steps we’ve laid out where, you will not believe how empowered you will feel. You will not believe how GOOD responsibility feels. You will actually feel the earth shift and the momentum push your forward!

Planning ahead to say NO

I have never heard better explanations on HOW to say “no” than all the ways to say “no” from Tim Ferriss. He has a book and a podcast called, Tribe of Mentors.

A couple examples of “no” responses from Tim Ferriss:

  1. I am struggling so much with my own to-do list that every time I knock off one of my own items it seems to spawn 10 more, just in the hopes that I’ll get to the point where someday it becomes shorter rather than longer, I’m saying no to all outside invitations or commitments for x period of time.
  2. I realize this is a great opportunity and I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself later for saying no, but just for my sanity right now I can’t commit.

The Tribe of Mentors book is FULL of these kinds of examples and that is just one tiny piece of the overall content. Learn to say no, prepare to say no. Say it quickly and often, when you know in your heart that is what you really want to say.

Another inspiring, thoughtful author is Seth Godin.  Click here to read what he wrote on his blog about saying “No.”

Create a plan to manage all the things you are responsible for

Do you have a good plan to manage all the things you are responsible for?

Getting Things Done

One good method for capturing everything you are responsible for in one trusted system is “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  I have been using his method for ten years, some years better than others.  It is simple, cheap, and makes perfect sense.  Now, if you go read about it – you can get pretty complex with the GTD method.  Still, starting out you can keep it easy and then build as you get your head around the concept.

Tools that can help you capture your tasks

Here are some tools I use, but there are so many other ways out there.  I would love to hear what tools you use!

  1. Pocket Informant Pro
  3. Outlook
  4. Google Keep
  5. Google Calendar
  6. Evernote
  7. A paper planner (like the Full Focus Planner)

Think: What Would a Warrior Say?

I know you are strong, I know you want more, and I know you are capable of becoming a warrior!  Today you begin to take charge of your own success.  Think of other warriors you might know, for example:  a Navy SEAL.  What would a Navy SEAL say when they have a difficult mission ahead of them?  Would they say they are too tired and just stay in bed?  NO!  They would say:

“This is what we are going to do.  We will take direct action, we will get this done, we will not sit back and allow this to happen to us.  We will take responsibility, we will own this, and we will make this happen.”

That is who I want you to be and that is who you will be when you decide to be a Warrior and be responsible for your own success!

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