We tend to take responsibility for our successes, but we create stories for our failures. If there is an area of our life that we are not doing well, we usually have a story around it. My boss doesn’t like me. I have a slow metabolism. I don’t have time to log my food or prepare meals. I don’t see a path forward in my career, so there is no point in doing more than I must. They don’t pay me enough. I don’t have time to read or take a course. I don’t have the resources. I don’t know the right people. I don’t have time to work out.
These stories protect us by shifting the responsibility. Blaming things outside our control serves to insulate us from self-incrimination. The reason we feel physical and emotional discomfort is to force us to act. Pain causes us to remove our hand from a hot stove, and we instantly learn not to touch it. When we create a story, we don’t feel the pain we should be feeling. It is like a medicine that treats the symptoms of a disease but doesn’t address the underlying cause. Remove the pain and, the lesson is never learned.
Taking ownership is empowering. When we take responsibility for everything good and bad in our lives, we can fix them. When we fall into the trap of blaming others for our problems, then we are held hostage. We must wait for them to fix our problem, and we could wait forever for that to happen.
The problem with our excuses is that many of them are valid, but that doesn’t mean they are outside our control. Your boss doesn’t like you. You can either become too good to be ignored, or you could find another job. Your metabolism is slow. A lot of people overcome a slow metabolism. There is no shortage of body transformations on the web. Many of these people share their strategies to help others. We have the power to overcome any obstacle, but it all begins with believing we can.
The secret to doing better is taking responsibility. When you realize that you are both the source of your problems and the source of your solutions to those problems, your life changes. “Real difficulties can be overcome; it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.” —Theodore Vail.
Learn more, Let’s Get Real, Let’s Get Motivated.