I was discussing with a group of clients the difference between our thoughts and facts, a concept that can take a while to really understand. And one coaching client said it brilliantly:
“It’s not what’s going on; it’s what I think about what’s going on.”
When we think it’s about “what’s going on” we give power to what’s “out there.” That’s when we blame our feelings and actions on something or someone outside of us. You know…
- My coworker needed last-minute help on a project…I had to work overtime.
- He always runs late…it makes me so mad.
- She offered me wine…I didn’t want to be rude and say no.
- The office manager brought in a box from the Brown Butter Cookie Company…those are my kryptonite!
- It was too dark when I got home…I couldn’t go for my walk.
Notice that the locus of control is outside of you: a co-worker, friend, partner, food, time of day.
Here’s the thing. You can give away that control, and most people would nod in agreement as you told your story. But does it get you what you want?
And if it’s a rarity, probably no biggie.
But if you regularly locate responsibility for your feelings and behaviors outside of yourself, you’ll stay stuck.
Did you hear that?
If we blame other people and things for the fact that we’re not keeping our commitments to ourselves – essentially, not making ourselves a priority – there will always be something or someone to blame. And that doesn’t require any change on our part.
And, we stay stuck.
Any of those examples resonate somewhat? Take a look at where you might be using “what’s going on” as an excuse for not following through. For not doing all the things.
In his book, The Big Leap, Gay Hendricks talks about conflict in relationships and the idea that “if both people will claim 100 percent responsibility, there’s a possibility of ending the conflict.”
What if we take 100 percent responsibility for our thoughts, feeling, and actions? Not so that we can beat the crap out of ourselves, but so we can reclaim the power of our decisions.
What difference would that make in your health and weight loss? For that matter, in your work and relationships, too?
Give it a week. Take 100 percent responsibility for all of it. How can you use that to significantly move yourself forward?