Who’s in charge of your life? Who’s responsible for your successes and who can you blame for your failures? Resilience researchers use the word self-efficacy for how much we believe we control our environment. The less we believe we are in control, the more stressed we are. So, gaining control over our day, our dreams and our time is an important method of stress management.
This time of year, many people set goals for the year or resolutions. We aim to be better: physically, emotionally and mentally. We want to gain new skills or acquire new knowledge and even own new stuff. It’s a good time to find ways in which we can gain more control of our lives.
We do that by owning what we think, do and say. Knowing that we are at the steering wheel of our lives is empowering. If you want a new career or to change something in your life, you can initiate that change by making plans, researching ways to do it and by incorporating new habits into your life. That may be by exercising in a new way, signing up for a course or getting a life coach to help you meet your goals. Whatever you choose, it’s important to know that you are in control, you’re taking accountability for your life.
What does it look like when we’re not accountable? We are whiny and we blame others for the way our life is, or the way things turn out. We don’t take ownership of the things that we are tasked with in our lives. We think it would be great to have no responsibilities in this world but I don’t really think life would be fulfilling. To achieve anything important, we need to push through some of the less-than-exciting aspects of the job. For example, raising children can be so rewarding but brushing their teeth every night isn’t exactly thrilling. It’s important to acknowledge that there is struggle in achieving anything of significance in life.
So how do you show up? Are you whining about the things that you have to do? Or do you simply take on what you committed to and do the best job possible? Are you present and focused on what it is you are busy with? We all feel pressed for time and we all wish we had more hours in the day to get things done. No-one can gain more time but we can gain the perception of time through mindfulness. Ironically, the more we slow down and really focus on what it is we are doing,the more time we feel we have available. Trying to juggle six things at once is not the way to feel on top of things. That’s a guaranteed way to lose self-efficacy.
I can say with certainty that the people I engage with who are mindful and who take accountability for their lives, are the ones I respect the most. It’s hard to respect someone who’s blaming everyone else for their troubles and constantly trying to get out of their responsibilities. If you want to gain the respect of others, mindfulness and accountability will take you there. Imagine what would happen to your relationships if you owned your part in every failure and took ownership of your life.Follow me: