When it comes to empowerment, the web is saturated with “can-do” tips and motivation.
And they are great.
But something is missing.
People rarely talk about their downsides, mistakes, or shortcomings and when they do, it’s often with a prod to “get back up, shake it off, chase your dreams,” or any other number of generic platitudes.
And they’re all well and good. That’s why they sell. But they are missing one major question.
Who should take the blame for those downsides?
The answer? YOU!
I know, I know. You’ve been victimized. That’s true. That’s true of all of us. Sadly much more true for some of us than others.
And let me just say, I’m not talking about victims of abuse or other heinous acts here. I’m talking about being a victim of the downside of humanity.
Someone’s lack of kindness. An opportunity given to someone else that you felt should have been for you. Not enough income, etc.
I’m not talking about anything that verges on the criminal. That is a different story altogether.
But when we are not talking about those kinds of acts, we are posed with an interesting question. Such as, how can I take the blame for someone else withholding an opportunity from me? Or how can I take responsibility over the circumstances I was born into? If I didn’t get to go to a great school or get into a great college because of circumstances I did not choose, how can I take responsibility?
If you want to get out of those circumstances, you just do.
As long as you allow the “fault” to lie with others, you also allow the power to change your circumstances with others as well.
You’ve victimized yourself by stripping yourself of your power.
When you take responsibility for your state and where you go from here, you get back the power to make choices that overcome your parents’ mistakes or the socioeconomic condition you were born into.
Not a trust fund baby? You can still make it big and the power is in your hands.
When you take back the responsibility, you get back the power to do a better job to get that promotion that you felt you deserved, or to take your skills to a better situation so you’re not reliant on another flawed human being to have such control over your career.
The power is in your hands.
Now your future is no longer controlled by the whims of others or your previous circumstances.
And you may become surprised by the opportunities you discover that never opened up to you before.
You have the power
If you’ve been here before, you know the purpose of this site is to give you your power back.
And if you’re here for the first time, now you know that too.
I don’t care who you are or where you’re from. If you’re more privileged or less privileged than me. We are all pursuing greatness in every aspect of our lives, whether we realize it or not.
And we all have an ability to mold our lives into what we want them to be. Each of us with unique challenges, but each of us also with the tools and the power if we choose to use them.
It’s you and it’s always been you
So gleefully accept fault.
Fault means that you are responsible.
(By the way, I will show you a personal example from my real life to show you just what I mean by all this. You may be surprised just how many learning situations you encounter on a daily basis.)
It’s only when you are responsible that you have the power to change your circumstances.
Didn’t get that promotion?
What could you have done differently?
Maybe that something is something you need to fix in yourself. Or maybe that something is a sign that you’ve allowed yourself into an untenable work situation and it’s time to take your skills into a better one. In any case, you have to keep moving forward and producing and in time your production will be rewarded.
So, if you didn’t get that promotion, either you need to up your game (likely) or you’ve been given a sign that it’s time to grasp that next opportunity (also possible).
Only you will know the answer and that takes introspection and a willingness and humility (superpower) to fix yourself if you are broken. But in any case, if you do not act, you have allowed others to dictate your future.
You dictate your future. No one else.
You see, if you do not take the opportunity to be responsible for your shortcomings, either personal or situational, you give that responsibility to someone else and, in turn, give them power over you.
So quit giving that power away and take it back for yourself!
If you take your opportunity to be responsible for the things not going right in your life, what might happen?
Only good things.
Perhaps you will level up and become the person who is worthy of that promotion. Or perhaps you will take the next step into a new opportunity that allows you to shine in a better way and prosper more if you ARE the person worthy of that promotion.
Do you see how this works?
Taking the responsibility always results in leveling up in some form. And in time, that will manifest itself in amazing ways, many you likely did not even know were possible, so you can have the life you always wanted, and keep going from there.
If you shirk the responsibility, though, it leaves you under the control of others.
Life is a master class
Once you see life as a series of opportunities presented to you for your benefit in order to overcome and advance, you will appreciate each new happening with excitement. Regret becomes a relic of the past.
Every day and virtually every situation in it presents an opportunity to learn, advance, and grow.
So find your responsibility in everything (good and bad), shore yourself up, and prosper.
A personal example
Just to show you how even the most trivial of situations can expose ares of weakness and help us level up into much greater things in life, here is a personal example.
The other day, I went to the grocery store on my lunch break to pick up lunch for myself.
I went to the cash register, was asked if I wanted to buy a bag for ten cents (in California you pay for the bags), and said yes.
It would be a bit of a walk back to work and not having a bag would have made things more difficult.
The cashier forgot to charge me and handed me my food, bagless.
Can you imagine?
“Can I get a bag?” I politely asked, knowing full well I already said I wanted one. (This happens at this store quite a bit.)
The cashier looked around, realized he did not charge me the obligatory ten cents and said, “I didn’t charge you, maybe I can give you a small bag,” and proceeded to get a tiny paper lunch bag with no handles that would barely wrap itself around my box.
I asked, “is that going to fit?” instead of the more appropriate “can I get a regular bag with handles, please?”
The cashier replied “yes it will fit” and proceeded to stuff my box of food into this tiny bag which served as nothing more than wrapping paper.
Since I am generally an easy-going person and like to find ways to make things work (sometimes an appropriate response, sometimes not), I did not politely assert myself like I should have and instead walked away carrying my food in a totally useless paper wrapper that couldn’t fit a utensil.
Walking back to work, I began to think about what happened.
I could have spent that time thinking about how this cashier did not listen to the customer, should have charged for a real bag, or at the very least provided one when asked to make up for his error.
And all of those things would have been entirely correct.
But none of those things help me.
So instead I recognized the opportunity for growth and took the blame myself, even though somebody else screwed up.
I could have blamed him and been right. Instead I blamed myself as well and grew.
I realized my desire to get along caused me to not assert myself when I should have.
Had I done so, I would have gotten my bag, and he would have become a better cashier, which I’m sure he wants to be as well. He didn’t do poorly because he wanted to, he just made the wrong choice, as we all have at some point.
Because I recognized where I had responsibility, I carried no resentfulness, anger, or bitterness over being “mistreated”. Instead, I grew.
Small things have BIG potential
Even though this situation with the grocery bag may seem trivial, the potential it had to influence my future was enormous.
Remember before when I said that life presents us with a series of opportunities? If you really pay attention, we often see these opportunities when we need them, based on what we need to improve or change in order to overcome and reach the next level.
And if we don’t take advantage of them? You just might see these same opportunities popping up over and over again until we’ve taken advantage and moved up to the next grade. Life continues to get better and better.
This situation happened to me because I needed it to! I needed to work out an issue regarding my assertiveness in a low-stakes situation so I would be prepared and protected in higher-stakes situations.
My training ground for big things in my life took place in a line at the grocery store, over a ten cent bag where no one got hurt and nobody but me even knew the training was happening.
But since I recognized it, now I will be able to reap the benefits.
(Looking back, have you been through any training sessions you didn’t realize were happening at the time? What can you take from them now?)
At one point, I might have thought this was just a meaningless, minor interaction.
Actually, it was one of the most important I’ve ever had.
This seemingly meaningless interaction will serve me well in my personal life, my relationships, my business, everything. My future growth and success in all of these areas and more has now been supercharged because of this interaction over a measly paper bag, but only because I said…
“It’s all my fault.”
Never dismiss the small happenings in your life. They could be setting you up for huge success later.
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