My deadline was fast approaching and I was still waiting on feedback from another guy. So far it hadn’t come through and until I heard from him, I couldn’t finish my job. That put my deadline and my paycheck in jeopardy and that, ticked me off. So I got all blaming and judgy, which of course didn’t help anything.
Then, I remembered, it’s all on me. I’m the missing piece, the common denominator to every situation that impacts me. I am creating (along with higher energy) my life and everything that comes into it. Of course, this sucks sometimes when the guy misses the deadline or I draw in the common cold, or a difficult client, or a boost in bills. It’s hard to realize that sometimes what I’m creating isn’t all that cool, but I am responsible for it just the same.
This isn’t to say that we aren’t impacted by the things that happen outside and around us. Of course we are. We are bumped around by plenty of external factors. But, how we choose to respond to those things will determine what kind of life we create for ourselves.
In Nothing Changes Until You Do, the new book author and speaker, Mike Robbins writes: “Imagine what our lives, our careers, our relationships would look like if we stopped blaming our experience on other people or external circumstances.”
Creating the Good Stuff
Imagine it. It is liberating. When we take responsibility for our behavior and all that comes into our lives we are free to create the life we desire. When we see everything that comes in as a product of our thoughts and behaviors, that means we are free to change it. We don’t have to wait on anyone else. We are not dependent on anything or anyone for our happiness, security, peace, comfort.
While this requires you to be accountable and responsible to all the less-than moments like when you miss the deadline or make a mistake or choke under pressure, it also means you get to experience all the goodness and success that comes your way. You are responsible for that too.
So instead of creating a world where you are the victim, where bad things happen to you, Robbins suggests you remember that everything in the world is happening “for” you.
“One way I like to remind myself about taking responsibility for everything that shows up in my life, is to change the word “to” to the word “for” in the question,” Robbins says.
Instead of asking “Why is this happening TO me?” which we often ask ourselves when things aren’t going how we’d like try asking “Why is this happening FOR me?” Robbins says. Or even “what is happening for me.”
This reminds us to watch for the opportunity and insight available in every moment and that changes how we related and respond.
A little self-compassion can help with this too, and Robbins will be back in Wednesday’s post to talk about that and other self-care tips in a special Q&A.