Own Your Part

When I went through the most difficult challenge of my life, I made these five commitments that helped me come back better and not bitter. I shared them in a subsequent book, Where Will You Go From Here?: Moving forward when life doesn’t go as planned.

  • I will not feel sorry for myself.
  • I will not stare at the closed door.
  • I will direct my thoughts. My thoughts will not direct me.
  • I will dig deep to unearth all the courage I need.
  • I choose to believe all things work together for good.

But this week, I feel compelled to challenge you to consider one more commitment to help you grow through your mistakes and challenges:  Own the role you played in your setback.  Own it. Not to beat yourself up, but to avoid repeating the mistake.  Owning your role means letting go of blame.

The most successful people in life are often the ones who fail the most. They overcome their fears and go for it – whatever “it” is. They live fully, not wanting to fail, but also not afraid to fail.  They know that failure and mistakes offer the opportunity to make tweaks by learning what works well and what doesn’t.

What setback or challenge are you dealing with right now? What role did you play in the situation? What would shift if you admitted your role? When the situation involves others, and you seem to be at an impasse, it is powerful to simply acknowledge the role you played in the whole situation. It requires humility. It requires honesty. Both humility and honesty open the door to authentic relationships.  You can be dead wrong, but if you own your part, grace and forgiveness can emerge.  “I was so wrong about that. I am sorry.  Here’s what I would like to do moving forward.”

When the setback or mistake affects only you, you need to be just as humble and honest with yourself. In my biggest life setback, I did all that I could to fix the problem. Much of the problem wasn’t anything I created. It was simply the circumstances that presented themselves. However, there was one part I could own:  I didn’t wait on God before I had proceeded down the path that created the problem in the first place. In other words, if I had been patient, the whole mess would have never occurred. It wasn’t something I liked admitting, but it is was empowering because with one decision I could have saved myself the big mess I had to clean up.  It was a new perspective that gave me new wisdom that empowered me to make the right decision the next time around.

I don’t know what situation this applies to in your life right now, but I hope you’ll stop a moment and consider the way in which it is time to own your part. Let go of the blame and think critically about your choices. You have the power to change your entire life, but only when you look honestly at the choices you make and make adjustments that empower you to make better choices as you learn and grow along your journey.

My challenge to you this week: Own your part in the challenges you face.

Journaling assignment: What setback or challenge are you dealing with right now? What role did you play in the situation? What would shift if you admitted your role? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you.

Stop Overthinking It

In a conversation with an old friend this week, I was reminded of my own advice as I shared with her about a decision I was making. “What are you waiting for? The timing couldn’t be any more perfect!” she said. “If I’m honest, I guess I have some fear about it,” I admitted, to her dismay. “You? What are you talking about? You are one of the most courageous people I know!” she said emphatically. Unbeknownst to her, the conviction of her statement woke something inside of me. “You don’t let fear stop you. What are you talking about?”

Her words were few, but they were the jolt I needed. Sometimes, you need to be reminded of who you are and your track record of perseverance. If you’re still here, you’ve no doubt conquered some big decisions. If you are in decision mode this week, I want to remind you of this:

It’s possible to think too hard about a decision.

If it is time to move forward, yet you find yourself going back to the drawing board, asking the same questions, mulling over what’s already been mulled over, you’re probably thinking too hard. If the decision is important to you, fear is inevitable. But it’s not a stop sign. Your decision could be a next step that takes you from one season into the next. There will be some uncertainty. You will be out of your comfort zone. But soon enough, you’ll have a new comfort zone – and a new reality. It’s all a part of the process. Embrace it. Make your move. Expect fear. And do it anyway.

My challenge to you this week:
Don’t overthink it. Move forward with the decision that’s pressing you.

Journal about it:
What decision are you overthinking? What are you afraid will happen if you move forward with your decision now? Who is the wise friend who can speak truth that will encourage you to stop procrastinating and start moving forward? Leave your comments below; I’d love to hear from you!