So you’re working on something new. And it’s super exhilarating, especially when you’re first starting out! Lots of planning takes place. You get all your to-do’s in order. But then it happens.
At first you’re hopeful, but then that new project doesn’t work out like you thought it would. And you can’t figure out why. Things started off great, but then ended up so much more disappointing than you thought it was going to be. Joy always seems possible and exciting at first. But sometimes it ends up feeling like the pace car in a race–always slightly out of your reach.
If you’re feeling this way, I’d suggest considering the idea of responsibility. Taking responsibility for ourselves is hard. In fact, it’s downright scary. Accepting responsibility takes a lot of self-confidence and self-awareness. And yet it creates so much more happiness for us as entrepreneurs, because it empowers us to make change.
In fact, being nimble and having so much ability to influence outcomes is one of the greatest things about entrepreneurship! So we have to embrace it 1,000% — even when things don’t go as planned.
Let’s take a simple example of a broken promise we made. Owning up, making it right, and moving on clears our conscience and makes us lighter and more joyful. Furthermore, it gives us the opportunity to learn — why did we break it? Was it a lack of self-awareness, or were we aware but wrongly justifying our behavior in our minds because we were stressed out that day? Did we over-commit which put us in the position of having to go back?
Another example might be that you made a bad hire and that person just didn’t work out. It’s so easy to blame the team member for being a poor cultural fit, for under-performing, or even for being dishonest. Instead of getting caught up in what is wrong with the person, we can instead use this as an opportunity to shore up our HR practices and take responsibly for leading our organizations more effectively.
It’s important to note that taking responsibility isn’t allowing yourself to drown in self-blame and become the victim. That’s equally as toxic as blaming others! The idea is to rise above any kind of blame into a higher level of awareness.
One of our studio owners has a wonderful saying. “I can only own what I own.” Meaning she’ll own up to her part, take responsibly, learn from it, hear important feedback and then move on. But she won’t play the blame game or take responsibility for situations outside her control. No matter what comes at her, she sails through it quickly and always has a smile on her face. Our franchise support team is always amazed as to how well she handles obstacles in her life and business. She lives and breathes gratitude, and is a complete joy to be around. That joy comes from a foundation of deep personal responsibility.
Question: Have you ever felt a surprising joy from taking responsibility for a tough situation? How have you learned from it for the better? You can leave a comment by clicking here.