"What did you not do?" -Eric Thomas
This question is a weighted one and I wonder, are you willing to ask yourself this question? Are you willing to examine your choices and hold yourself accountable? If you're getting uncomfortable or anxious right now, I get it. Not too long ago this would have really triggered a passionate response from me. I spent much of life rehearsing why I shouldn't be able to achieve my goals... I had a codependent single Mom; my Dad wasn't in my life; I was emotionally abused; I was in a bad car accident that caused PTSD; I'm black...But what I never did was rehearse all the reasons why I COULD or SHOULD achieve my goals. This kept me in a victim mentality and unable to hold myself accountable for the decisions I made.
Now, now, before you accuse me of blaming the victim here, know that I have struggled with that line too. Individual's experiences are real and shape how they show up in the world for sure. However, the reality is that no one is ever going to show up to save you. You have to make the decision to improve your life regardless of your circumstances. YOU have to change the story. Yes, you might need help, but only you can make the choice to receive help. Only you can hold yourself to the fire and ask "what did I not do?"
This is why I incorporate mindfulness into my coaching programs. Every day you need to spend time in solitude, questioning your thoughts, beliefs, habits and choices. You need to be able to understand why you do what you do so that you can change your behavior to align with you goals. Let's say for example that you keep finding yourself in relationships with partners who cheat. Their behavior certainly isn't you fault. However, what is it about you that allows you to be attracted to and engage in this type of relationship? There were certainly women who recognized red flags and disengaged from them. But not you...why? How have your life experiences led you to this point? When you're able to look inward, you can often find the answers you need to change the trajectory of your life. Again, you might need the guidance and support of a professional to facilitate this process, but YOU have to get that help.
My approach to habit change is generally pretty delicate. However, I've lived both as a victim and as a victor. I so firmly believe in the need to step up and take ownership over your choices. The reality is that at some point you have to get tough with yourself and ask the hard questions. You have to be willing to search out and identify your weaknesses. When you get in the habit of doing this regularly, you can then begin to create new boundaries to support your goals and hold yourself accountable to them. Living life as a victim, as someone who life happens to, means that you'll never find out who you truly are or what you're capable of. You need to demand more from yourself and less from others. Stop using other people and circumstances to explain where you are. Look at yourself today, as you are and decide that you need to change instead of dwelling on the past or waiting for things to change.
Hold yourself to the fire so that you can unlock all the power you've been handing over to other people. You are responsible for you.
Thank you for reading,
There's a song for that: "You Owe You", Eric Thomas