The Secret to Creating Consistent Extraordinary Results
(Taking 100% Responsibility!)
In his book, “Success Principles,” Jack Canfield shares a story about working with W. Clement Stone, a self-made millionaire worth $600 million in 1969. He tells how Mr. Stone pulled him aside one day and asked him if he took 100% responsibility for his life.
Jack stutters, “I think so.” Stone replies, “This is a yes or no question, you either do or you don’t.” Jack goes on to assure him that he does indeed take responsibility for his life. Stone asks: “Have you ever blamed anyone for any circumstance in your life? Have you ever complained about anything?” Jack admits he has.
Stone then goes on to explain:
“That means you don’t take 100% responsibility for your life. Taking 100% responsibility means you acknowledge that you create everything that happens to you.
It means you understand that you are the cause of all your experience. If you want to be really successful, then you will have to give up blaming and complaining and take total responsibility for your life – that means all your results, both your successes and your failures.
That is the prerequisite for creating a life of success. It is only by acknowledging that you have created everything up until now that you can take charge of creating the future you want.”
It’s a simple concept, to refrain from blaming and complaining, and yet it’s a challenge to change a habit, especially one that everyone else has.
Like sticking to your diet, when everyone else around you is enjoying chocolate cake. It requires you to resist the impulses, tendencies, and trends that don’t really get you where you want to go.
Keep reading and you’ll find out how this relates to you personally. Then, I’ll share some action steps to help you become 100% responsible for the money you make in your business.
Three ways we avoid taking responsibility when it comes to creating extraordinary results
1. We make excuses
Anytime we make an excuse, we’re not accepting complete responsibility for our lives. We say things like: That’s just the way it is, I can’t… and I’m just not good with…
And when it comes to how we show up at work:
“That customer is always difficult and irritable. Every time the phone rings and I see their number on the caller ID, I know I’m going to have a frustrating conversation with them.”
“I know we’ve created an exciting vision for our workplace, but there’s nothing I can do to REALLY make it happen.”
“No one buys much of ____________ this time of year, we just have to wait a few months until sales picks up, because they always pick up during the month of ___________ “
2. We blame and complain
We blame the economy or where we live if we don’t have a steady stream of customers buying our products and services.
We blame our spouses for our financial and relationship challenges.
While we may be speaking some truth, blaming anyone or anything implies that we are powerless to change our circumstances, and so it gives us permission to do nothing.
I had one client who wisely told me, “I get so upset with the way my husband controls the checkbook- and I realize now why it’s easy for me to just blame him, because then I don’t have to do anything about it.”
3. We make commitments and break them on a whim
We make a commitment to market and reach out to prospects and potential customers consistently, yet as soon as the work week starts we feel instantly overwhelmed with the other tasks vying for attention in our business.
We have the intention to make a difference for every customer and everyone we talk to, yet as soon as we arrive to work we get overwhelmed with everything we have to accomplish that we start answering the phone and talking to customers in the way we always do – without the intention to truly serve, make a difference and make their day.
Taking 100% responsibility means taking the road less traveled-it requires us to break the habitual patterns of excuse-making, blaming, complaining, and acting impulsively against our better judgment.
Despite the challenge, we can be light with ourselves about it, laugh at our tendencies, and still walk the difficult, but rewarding path of change.
For now, I invite you to dive into the actions steps below, and enjoy the life of success that W. Clement Stone spoke of when he taught Jack Canfield about taking 100% responsibility.
Simple Action Steps You Can Take Today
1. Track your excuses. Write down or keep a mental note of when and how often you make excuses, complain, blame and do things impulsively, against your own better judgment.
Notice what you say to others, and what you tell yourself that keeps you from taking 100% responsibility.
2. Create new habits. Make a point to interrupt the speech and actions that don’t support you. Interrupt excuse-making, blaming and complaining, and replace them with “I statements” about how you feel.
Keep the focus on yourself – your feelings, your desires, your actions. Find ways to prevent impulse complaining and blaming.
3. Get support. Ask a colleague at work, your spouse, and family member or close friend to help you notice when you’re blaming or complaining. Ask them for help sticking to your commitments to make a difference for every customer, colleague or team member.