Radical Responsibility is the – occasionally uncomfortable – act of taking direct, firm, and consistent accountability for our thinking, actions, and responses. It calls on us to "blow up" victim mode, refusing to stay stuck in patterns that are NOT allowing us to thrive, progress, or achieve our next-level best.
It requires us to take a critical approach to exploring what our ownership is in holding onto external expectations and judgements. Instead, it demands sole focus on oneself, our wants, and our desires.
Here's the thing … to change ANYTHING in your life, you have to take Radical Responsibility for EVERYTHING.
I realized some time ago that I was giving so much of my power away to other people and then holding them accountable for how it made me feel. I would ride the high of others' praise and wallow in the lows of the actions they took that brought me down.
Why would any of us ever give away ownership of our happiness, why would we put that weight onto the people around us?
This dynamic can appear in any relationship, whether personal or professional. Often, in a romantic relationship, we can put a huge power imbalance into how our happiness or self-confidence are measured based on the reciprocations and validations we're receiving from our partner.
This leads to immense pressure on the other person to consistently be responsible for keeping us in a state of "high" – and often leads us to be accountable for their experiences and emotions in turn.
While this may not seem entirely negative – the act of giving and receiving joy – it is the implication it has on our ability to self-regulate and take ownership in ALL areas of our life that requires a shift to Radical Responsibility.
I started this year with the word "embodiment." I always choose an intention at the start of the New Year and work toward what it means for me. In 2021, my intention was Immerse – and let me tell you what a learning lesson that one proved to be.
Embodiment is the integration of something in alignment with my thinking/mindset, my nervous system, and my actions—mind, body, and soul.
But I want to fill you in on what I quickly learned on my journey to embodiment … you can't embody anything without first taking Radical Responsibility for yourself. I learned this early on, and from there, I have experienced some truly stomach-flipping moments… times when I've needed to shine light into some dark corners.
I did it without self-blame or martyrdom, though. That's key. This is 100% ownership WITH self-empathy and compassion. The recognition that learning and growth are paramount to our success and that lessons aren't always easy, comfortable, or pretty.
When we focus our time, energy, and efforts on what is in our influence - OURSELVES - it is an act of self-empowerment. Accepting that our experiences are not controlled by what happens TO us but rather by how we respond and accept the role we play in the navigation of experiences in our life.
This leads to another critical observation. Taking Radical Responsibility for yourself also means recognizing that other people's treatment towards you reflects their inner state and that we must suspend our autonomic tendency to "make it about us" - which, ironically enough, begins from understanding how your body is triggered when you feel someone is mistreating you.
For more on understanding the autonomic response we experience in situations where our fight or flight kick in – which is a response to our environment, both internal and external, I invite you to check out my blog Why It’s Not Enough To Think It, You Need To Feel It Too.
When I began to distance myself from the need for external validations and took Radical Responsibility for my thoughts, actions, and responses, I was able to lean into the experiences in my life that DID elevate me and bring me joy. I was able to begin embodying the next-level versions of myself and continue to work on meeting new goals by accepting that I don't always have complete control. I was able to heal and grow in ways I never imagined. Still, it IS up to me to decide how I react or respond.
I made a non-negotiables list and at the top of it was the stipulation that if it requires a fake smile, it's a no. So, my challenge to you is this … write down your top 5 non-negotiables. Post them somewhere where you can easily access them. Maybe that's a note on your phone, a tab on your computer, or a post-it in your bathroom.
Use these non-negotiables to guide you and inspire you to take Radical Responsibility in your own life. Understanding that YOU have sole ownership over your thoughts, actions, and responses in any given situation – and how powerful is that??
Believing in you,