The One Mind Shift That Will Change Your Life

When it comes to personal development, true purpose and happiness there is one shift that will generate the most benefit (and, yes, change your life): Taking responsibility. This is not an easy thing to do. It is much easier (and feels better in the short-term) to blame others for our woes and put our attention there. But it’s much more beneficial for us to carry our own burdens. And not just carry them, but examine them. Turn them around, explore, investigate and analyze them. Work out those demons. The only way to do this is to own them.

When you own your piece of every situation, you take back control. One distinction I must make is this means taking responsibility for your OWN burdens. You cannot take control of someone else’s. Taking responsibility means taking responsibility for what you bring to every relationship, goal, experience and situation. You can’t control others and you certainly can’t control all the events that occur in your life, but you can control YOU and how you react to life’s many twists and turns.

The next question then is, How? How do we turn that mind shift into action? Here are 12 ways:

  1. Focus on your strengths – During challenging times, we tend to focus on our shortcomings and weaknesses. A mindset on what we are lacking will not usually show us the best way out of a situation.
  2. Be clear on your goal – Whatever the situation is, you have to have clarity around what you ultimately want to happen.
  3. Focus on what you can do – It’s common to feel trapped in circumstances we are not in control of. However, there is almost always something we can do to improve any situation.
  4. Consider your options – We tend to consider the two most obvious options. We can either do this or we can do that. But there are always more than two options. Consider all the possibilities.
  5. They’re wrong, you’re right, so what – Spending a whole lot of time on how you’ve been wronged, shafted or victimized will do nothing to change your situation, no matter how right you may be. Being stuck in that thought pattern only leads to learned helplessness.
  6. Change your view – Easier said than done, but when you consider other views of your situation, you may find a solution right out in the open. Imagine how various people in your life would view this situation. You don’t have to agree; you just want to try on their perspective.
  7. Reassess frequently – Look back on the steps you’ve made and determine what you did well, what could have gone better, and how you would handle it differently now. In other words, learn from your actions.
  8. Get resourceful – Just because you’re taking responsibility, doesn’t mean you can’t call in reinforcements. Asking for help IS taking action.
  9. Know the difference between ‘action’ and ‘perfection’ – When you take responsibility, you are stepping up to take action, not to be perfect. Trying to be perfect will get in the way of moving forward.
  10. Mitigate your weaknesses – We all have them, but if they are taking power away from you, you need to take steps to strengthen them. (See #8)
  11. Trust yourself – You have a ridiculous amount of knowledge and experience. You have the answers within, you just need to trust that and then seek them out. You’ve got this!
  12. Know when to take the lesson and move on – When we take responsibility, it doesn’t mean we just keep showing up for the sake of showing up. After we’ve given what we feel is our best, we may have to take the lesson from a situation and move on. That’s not failure; that’s growth.

Share some goodness: what’s a situation in your life, that once you took control of your role in it, things changed for the better? Share in the comments section.

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  1. I’m glad I’m not the only one in the mitigate your weaknesses camp. It seems like it is trendy to talk about emphasizing your strengths now and giving up on your weaknesses, but every time I’ve invested in working on something – from public speaking to understanding my google analytics – I’ve been happy I did!!

    • Nice to know we have each other on the weaknesses team should we need reinforcements! 🙂 I so love that you chose to comment on that aspect!! Thanks much, Erin!

  2. confession time . . . i still tend to get stuck in #5. very stuck. (and i hold grudges too. 🙁 ) but i’m working on it! such good advice – thank you, april – dwelling on it will do NOTHING to change my situation.

    • Good for you for being so clear on the ones you’re getting stuck on, and for being so honest about it here, April! You are Badass #1 in my book!! I’m glad the post helped! <3

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