What is radical responsibility? Does the sound of it make you cringe and not want to even go there? Are you thinking that it’s not something you have to even need to think about, or it has nothing to do with? But… it really may.
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If you are stuck in life and feel like everything happens to you and you do not know why or you are constantly blaming everyone else but yourself for what happens to you, then you should keep on reading! Are you actually embracing the responsibility or taking ownership for each and every circumstance that you face in your life, each and every day?? Probably not, trust me when you make that mindset shift your life with dramatically change.
Today I was able to have my dear friend Andrea Johnson on the Fit Girl Magic podcast to talk with us about radical responsibility. She started as a client, became a dear friend and now we are collaborators! Andrea brought up Radical Responsibility recently on Instagram and the world literally stopped spinning for like 5 seconds and I said to myself I HAD TO TALK ABOUT THIS WITH HER! ESPECIALLY with all of the shit going on in the world right now! With COVID-19, there are so many people that we can blame, but it’s time we stood up and owned our own shit, responsibility and role!
Andrea is a marriage and family therapist and she knows all the things and has read all the things in the books, but she KNEW that she still had work to do within herself. In our life, the work is never done, it is a journey that we are on and the work is constant. We can literally know all the things, but if we don’t even implement them, then they are not impacting our lives in a positive way. And that is what responsibility is, implementing what you are learning to go from a place of victimhood to a place where you own your own relationship with yourself, your life and the context of your world.
Taking responsibility is less work than not taking responsibility….
Read that a few times and think about it… because it’s the truth.
One of the biggest roadblocks to responsibility is not knowing the difference between blame and responsibility. You have to know how to differentiate the two and a lot of people are not comfortable with that. And that’s a BIG ONE. It is SOO easy to blame everyone but yourself. Hell, it is even easier to blame YOURSELF rather than take responsibility for it. And guess what, self-blame is just as toxic as blaming someone else people!
Blame will come first, but you need to cross over to responsibility, and that is where people get stuck. They cannot move past it and get stuck on blame, blame blame. One of the first steps you can take to help you move forward to taking responsibility is differentiating between content and context. Content is what is happening and what is going on. The facts of life! Context is how I see the content and the relationship with the content. Content, coronavirus is a pandemic. Context is how I am relating to that experience of the content. What is my process, my stories around it and HOW I am handling it?
When people don’t know the difference it all becomes one and they feel like they don’t have control over their own life. How are you seeing and relating to the content that is going on in your life and accepting that? So, you have to think about this and check on yourself as to where you are right now? And it starts with the question, “WHERE AM I?”.
Picture a line and you are either above the line or below the line. Below the line, means you are reactive, rigid, righteous and you are angry. Above the line means you are open to your experience, you are present, you are not trying to force yourself into feeling a certain way, you are able to accept the experience and you are MINDFUL right now. Checking where you are is really important. Are you angry and pissed vs. open and accepting and present?? When you name that feeling, you are accessing a different part of your brain that allows you to start to move past blame.
There is also SELF BLAME that you have to move past as well. Self-blame around your diet, around your exercise and you make the scale your worth and you make what you eat your worth as well. Check-in with where your thoughts are going. If you write down your thoughts after dark negative thoughts of self-worth, write them down, look at them, and ask yourself the question, “where am I with this?”. And do the same as I talked about above, are you above or below the line? And if you are below the line, you have to ask yourself if you can accept who you are in life at that moment. Don’t skip this part of acceptance. A lot of people skip over it but it is the building blocks towards acceptance… can I accept who I am right now?
The 4 Questions…
Someone really amazing to look into is Byron Katie. She breaks acceptance down into four questions. These questions are intended to help you get over the bullshit and move you from suffering to freedom in 4 freaking questions!! (All you need to do is grab a book write down your thoughts and write down these 4 questions and answer them with YES OR NO.)
- Is it true?
- Can I know for certain that it’s true?
- How do I react to the thought?
- Who would I be without the thought?
These questions allow you to deregulate your system so that you can move from below the line to above the line. Where are you and how are you feeling. When we don’t feel, we bypass our feelings…
The 4 x 4 technique…
There are tons of techniques that you can use to think better, to relate better to other people and have a better relationship with your intuition and your body, so that you can get present and get to know yourself and what is really happening. Breathwork and active breathing is a way to focus on your breathing so that your body can down-regulate and get out of that triggered place.
The 4 x 4 Breathing Technique is when you do 4 seconds of inhaling followed by 4 seconds of exhaling and this is done 4 times and drawing attention to the breath each time. It is super important to make sure you are sitting with those feelings as you breathe. Close your eyes and breath….
Breathwork is so powerful and is an amazing tool to have in your toolbox when it comes to so many things. Check out Samantha Skelly who is just magical when it comes to breathing and breathwork if you want to learn more about it.
In order to be emotionally intelligent, you have to be emotionally illiterate. Some things to do to get there are:
- Name your feelings, not your thoughts!
- I feel that you are not doing what I need you to do, or I feel that this virus is completely taking over the world, I feel that I don’t have the capability to change the way I eat. Those are JUST THOUGHTS! (THAT is a thought, not a feeling!)
- Know the difference between saying I feel that and WHAT I feel.
- Am I sad? Am I angry? Am I scared? Name that actually feeling because there is NO THAT in this sentence.
- How is this feeling manifesting inside of you? If you feel sad, where do you feel it in your body? What is it doing to your body?
If you can unpack these feelings inside of you like a Russian nesting doll, you will be able to truly get to the essence of the feeling. You have to have a process to unpack everything. You CANNOT make progress WITHOUT a process! And it will take time. This does not happen overnight; it cannot happen overnight. It will take time and patience.
You taking RESPONSIBILITY is empowering you to make a shift in your life and be responsible for your own healing!
You guys know TONY ROBBINS is my man…. And he always says, “If you want a better life, you have to ask better questions.” Guys, If I am constantly wondering why is this happening to me, everyone is after me, BUT I never say to myself, “What can I do to change it?, “What is this teaching me?”, “What is the lesson in all of this?”, and “What can I do about this?”. To see a change, you must make a change!
You have to take action and start the process by pulling away from blame and moving to take responsibility and moving past that. But you have to simply start. What stops a lot of people from action is that it needs to be this big thing and you know what?? ACTION ISN’T BIG!! It is a series of small steps! Start where it seems easy. And be sure to give yourself grace along the way. It’s about grace and acceptance and doing what you can and knowing that it is enough.
THAT is radical responsibility. Accepting what it is and knowing you are doing your best. It’s a gentle process and it is owning your relationship with what is going on in the world around you. DO NOT feel like you need to jump straight into the deep end. I repeat…. Radical Responsibility is a gentle process and treat it as such!!
Alright, so like every podcast, I ask my guests what it is that makes them feel magical!!
“Taking responsibility and it really just is that. That empowers me, helps move me from that victim mindset to realizing that this world is a beautiful life and my relationships with others and myself is totally up to me. And that is priceless and magical.” -Andrea Johnson
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book radical responsibility https://amzn.to/3epaIKZ
Daring greatly Brene Brown https://amzn.to/3c9YXGX
Samantha Skelly https://www.samanthaskelly.com/pausejourney