Individual Responsibility Starts With You


We have all heard that if you put it out to the universe, it will come to you. This focus on extreme positivity can be debilitating because it’s never that simple. Also, the constant bombardment of social media can only make things worse because everything looks so easy. Many overlook the most essential part, what are you going to do to make it happen?

As a graduate of Northwood University in a small town of Midland, Michigan, there was a class that still stands today that left such an impression on me. That course was Philosophy of American Business Practices taught by the great late Dale Haywood. I decided to pursue my Marketing and Management degree in the good ole USA was to get that deeper understanding as to how Americans think, and market themselves in this global economy. They are the best at what they do, and what an opportunity it was. The tough lesson for me to learn in this class, as a Canadian living in a Pro-Republican American school, was the concept of less government intervention and an increase in individual responsibility. The general theme was that individuals need to be responsible for creating their perfect life and not dependent on government or social programs to pick up the slack. As a Canadian, many of us think differently. Inclusion is a big part of what being Canadian and our culture is built on.

This article is not going to get political, nor am I going to dig deep in my thoughts on that topic. I’ll save it for another day. What I will be focusing on are the similarities that can be made when looking in our own lives. Are we looking at what we do every day to move ourselves forward to that ultimate goal? Or are we waiting for someone to make it happen for us? Your own individual accountability is your responsibility.

There are constant obstacles that are affecting our daily lives. It could be an interaction with a colleague, boss, missed promotion, personal job satisfaction, or that daily commute to work. For many individuals, what I call the “Excuse Factory” starts working. This mental factory starts pumping out many reasons as to why things didn’t go their way, putting blame on others, no one understands me, or even worse criticize your own great ideas because worrying of failure.

"Your own individual accountability is your responsibility"

Let us try to eliminate some of these challenges by digging deeper, and here are some questions that you can use to help move you forward. Grab a paper and pen and work through some of these questions.

How long have you been feeling this way?

Adding a timeline to your scenario allows you to determine if this is something that you haven’t addressed or it could be a systemic problem that you might not be able to change. Ask yourself, why it has taken this long to do something about it? Is there support that I require to make this happen? Fear and worry are big factors, but leaving it unattended will continue to build stress and regret.

How is this situation triggering a reaction in you?

An important part of understanding you is what is engaging your ego. Is this a fight or flight situation? Taking a moment to ask yourself, why do you feel this way or what are you protecting yourself from? If you can begin to understand the cue(s), it can better prepared you for future situations, and change the reaction. How you have like to the situation to go? What could you have done differently?

How much of this situation do I actually own?

It allows you to remove yourself from the equation to add some perspective and clarity. Placing ownership gives the opportunity to understand the energy that is required to make this successful. Don’t get caught into too much finger pointing here. Look at how much of the situation can you actually control. If you can’t, use your energy into another activity that could benefit from it that you are really passionate about.

If you had unlimited resources, how would you change this situation?

This is one of my favourite questions to ask. It’s a no hold barred opportunity to think real big. At times, it can be a true reflection point. Remove those limitations and determine what you think may be required. Once you get to that point, ask yourself what else? Dig deep and build that plan.

Have you told anyone what you want?

It’s never easy to become vulnerable. Telling those around you might initially put you in that place, but once you start you will quickly find out that a weight will be lifted off your shoulders. Not all will agree with you, and that is okay. The more you share new connections are made. I can’t tell you how many times I would mention a goal that I had, and someone knew another person that could help. People want to help people. It is in our nature and a great opportunity to find out more information.

What is your first step that you can make today to get closer to your goal?

I know vegetarians do not like this analogy, it does drive a point, and I’ll make a compromise.

How do you eat an elephant or large vegetable? One bite at a time.

Start small and celebrate those wins and build yourself to take responsibility for your actions, and be that person you want to be. It’s not an easy task but don’t allow someone to tell you can’t do it. Part of that statement will always be true because you can’t do what you haven’t tired.

I hope you enjoy this article. If you are interested in more topics like this one, check out the article section on our website. New content is added weekly. Don’t miss a post a Yellow Brick Road post on your feed by getting on our Monthly Newsletter. Click here to subscribe.

As always, your Yellow Brick Road awaits you!

James Amarelo CEC - Founder

Yellow Brick Road - Coaching and Consulting

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