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Living in Radical Responsibility
Radical responsibility means taking extreme ownership of all aspects of your life. This means what you have (and what you feel you lack) can be traced back to one common denominator: you.
I’m going to tell you a story I heard from a popular comedian. He said that he went to 4 high schools growing up. He failed to make friends at the first one and told his mom he wanted to leave saying “everyone’s an a**hole there.” So he changed schools and again came to his mom asking to leave saying “everyone’s an a**hole.” Same thing at the third school. Looking back now he can see that it’s unlikely that everywhere he went he was surrounded by a**holes. And that he, in fact, was the problem.
Now, I want to make an important distinction. Perhaps you grew up being abused. Or maybe you recently received a scary diagnosis. I want to emphasize that these things are not your fault.
And. Regardless of whether something bad happened in your past, recently, or will happen in the future, it is your responsibility to take ownership over your response.
Take a moment to ask yourself this question: Where do I absolve myself of responsibility in my life? Where do I say “I can’t” or “This is beyond my control?
The victim mindset is a seductive one because it allows us to believe that things are happening to us, rather than because of us. This mindset leads us to believe we have no control over our lives. It can lead to feelings of helplessness, despair, and resentment.
On the other hand, the responsible mindset is an empowering one. It allows us to take control of our lives, to recognize that we are responsible for our choices, our actions, and ultimately, our experiences. This mindset requires a willingness to look inward, to examine our own beliefs and behaviors, and to take ownership of the results we create.
It can be challenging at times, but it ultimately leads to a greater sense of freedom, self-respect, and fulfillment.
The truth is, we are all capable of living in either mindset. We can shift from victim to responsible and back again, depending on the circumstances of our lives.
When we are committed to radical responsibility in all areas of our lives we begin to see the world in a different way. We start to recognize that we have more power and agency than we may have previously believed. We become more resilient, more adaptable, and more able to navigate the challenges that life inevitably throws our way.
Cultivating a Responsible Mindset
How can we cultivate a responsible mindset?
- The first step is to become aware of our thoughts and beliefs. We must pay attention to the stories we tell ourselves about our lives and the world around us. Are we constantly blaming others for our problems? Or are we taking ownership of our choices and actions? We must be willing to challenge our own thinking, to question our assumptions, and to consider new perspectives.
- The second step is to challenge our default thoughts and beliefs. Perhaps, in your journey of awareness, you realize that you are telling yourself a story that you’re bad at money. You don’t know how to manage it. It’s too complex, you can’t do it, and therefore your poor money habits are beyond your control. Call BS on yourself.
- The third step is to take action. And to be okay starting small! We must be willing to make changes in our lives, to take risks, and to step outside of our comfort zones. This may mean leaving a toxic relationship, starting a new business, or pursuing a new hobby. In the money example above, this may look like taking stock of every transaction you made over the last month and tracing where your money is going. Or maybe it’s checking out a book from the library that will teach you about managing money. There are so many free resources for you out there! Whatever it is, we must be willing to take responsibility for our own lives and to take action to create the results we want.
In conclusion, living in radical responsibility means taking ownership of our lives and recognizing that we are the cause of our experiences. This mindset can be incredibly empowering, as it allows us to recognize the power we have to create the life we want.
While it may be tempting to adopt a victim mindset, especially in challenging times, we must remember that we always have a choice. By cultivating a responsible mindset, we can navigate the challenges of life with greater resilience, adaptability, and fulfillment. So, let’s put on our responsible sunglasses and start creating the life we truly desire.