If you’re feeling stuck and hopeless, accepting responsibility can put you on the path to freedom.
Several years ago I was in a job I hated. My boss lied to me on a regular basis—but in a “nice” way. It was one of those things where he smiled to your face while he stabbed you in the back. On top of that, I was bored to tears with my work. And it felt as if the company was severely mismanaged and headed for disaster. What had started as an exciting and energizing opportunity had devolved into something that was no longer a good fit. I moped in my office with the door shut. I complained about it to my coworkers and my family. I felt stuck, depressed and discouraged.
The reality was that I was choosing to stay in that situation. I was responsible for my own misery. It was (and still is) embarrassing to admit that. And frustrating. I wanted my situation to be someone else’s fault. I deserved better. I was entitled to better. After all, I had been a loyal and hard worker and had been promised things, like more money. But they were empty promises. A carrot on a stick dangling just out of reach. If only I walk a little farther in faith, I can grab the carrot (of course, not realizing until it’s too late that the stick moves when I move, always keeping the carrot out of reach.) And that was a bitter pill to swallow.
What I had to do was accept responsibility for my situation. When I did that, the bitterness and resentment went down. But more importantly, I was able to get back to a place of hope that change was possible, and that I could pursue and implement that change.
If you’re feeling stuck right now in a situation or circumstances that are less than desirable, you need to accept responsibility for putting yourself there. We have choices and we have free will, and our circumstances are often a direct result of our choices. That may be embarrassing and frustrating to admit, but until you accept responsibility, you will stay stuck in a cycle of blaming others. Stuck in a cycle of being the victim. It’s a powerless place to be.
Conversely, when you accept responsibility, you become empowered to make a change. Think about it: if you got yourself into this situation, you can get yourself out. I strongly recommend the book “Who Moved My Cheese?” by Spencer Johnson. It illustrates this concept of accepting responsibility and overcoming our fear of change very powerfully.
So, starting right now, make the decision to accept responsibility for your current situation(s). Own them. Good, bad or otherwise. Accepting responsibility does not mean you have to like them, nor does it mean you stay stuck. It simply means that “It is what it is.” It means saying, “Ok, I got myself into this, which means I can get myself out, too.”
Four quick steps:
- Accept responsibility. Own it.
- Decide what needs to change. In other words, if it’s your job, identify whether it’s moving to a new role within the same company or moving to a similar role at a different company, or moving into a new role and new company altogether.
- Make a checklist of actions you need to implement to start moving toward the change you want.
- Take action.
Congratulations! Accepting responsibility is the first and hardest step in moving toward new things in your life.
For your advantage,
Are you in this situation now? What changes can you make to get “unstuck”? Please leave a comment below.