A Really Raw Story about Radical Responsibility
I just went back and read all of the notes I had in my phone from the last 4 years. (Because, airplane.) During that time I was helping to grow a start-up and had been collecting snippets and stories so I could write the success story of our company. Most of them are really raw and not fully developed - which makes for an incredibly true depiction of those years.
Well, it’s no longer my company when measured by my employment status. A little piece of my soul is definitely still there, holding out hope that the business will take on new life even though I’m not there.
This is a tough story to share, because it was a tough chapter to close. I was hurting from the stress and wild swings from “we’ve got this!!” to complete desperation, while trying to at least look like I was holding it all together. (Spoiler, I did not look like I had it together.)
This is what I have written down from exactly a month before I resigned:
It may seem strange to you that I’m using a story that ends with "letting it go" to illustrate taking radical responsibility. Bear with me.
Taking Radical Responsibility means owning your situation and the way you react to it.
We all know that the first step to change is admitting that you have a problem. Until the point when I realized that I needed to give it up to God, I was still "fighting the good fight". I thought I could work my way out of the problem instead of facing the reality that I was the one who needed to change. It wasn’t going to be some international investor or another brilliant org plan that would save me. I was the only one who could stop my pain.
Once I realized that I was the problem, it became so clear that I was also the solution. That’s when I prayed not for answers, but for the courage to make the change.
If you are not happy with something in your life, take a look at who or what you’re waiting on to fix it. Where are you offloading responsibility for your loneliness, weight gain, debt, or missed promotion? What external factor are you insisting is the hindrance to your success?
A really tactical way to shift the responsibility to yourself is by writing it down.
What does it take to fix the problem that you’re facing?
What needs to change?
What is the next step in creating that change?
What type of person does it take to fix the problem?
Based on that, who do YOU need to be?
I’m here to tell you that you hold the keys to your destiny. I know that sounds like the cheesiest line ever, but you're equipped with everything you need if you’ll just find the courage to pursue it.
One final thought -
You may look in the mirror and decide that although you know you are the problem, you’re not willing to make a change just yet. I’m truly more okay with that answer than I am with you placing the blame elsewhere. Keeping this in mind makes it easier to do the writing exercise above because you don’t have the pressure of immediately fixing it.
If that’s the case, you absolutely are NOT allowed to complain about it. You have the tools and you’re choosing not to exercise them. That’s your prerogative, but don’t minimize your power by complaining or blaming.
Find a piece of paper (or your iPhone notes!) and free write about the stumbling block in your life right now. Get all of the messy thoughts out of your head so you can start taking radical responsibility for your life.