What does it mean to really take ownership of our responsibilities?
I have thought about this a great deal recently as I have had conversations with folks who are struggling either financially, in business, or in their personal relationships. There is an overwhelming tendency to assign blame and fault when it seems that people should just step up and take ownership of their particular situation.
Taking ownership does not necessarily mean that we have all the answers today, but it does imply a certain measure of responsibility for our own contributions to where we are. It also means that we take responsibility for the change(s) necessary to put us on a different course.
I have seen a pronounced lack of ownership by people in their jobs. The bystander effect accomplishes nothing and leaves undone things that could easily be handled if only someone had just stepped up and taken ownership. If we all assume that the proverbial someone else will “handle it,” we never step up and take a risk and will never enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. Stop watching, folks, and start doing!
- If you’re in a troubled relationship, or healing from one that has ended, take ownership of where you are (and get really honest with yourself about how you got here).
- If you’re in a financial mess, take ownership of where you are and get out of debt (I really like Dave Ramsey’s assertion that no one is too good to deliver pizzas as a second job to hammer down their debt).
- If you’re failing in your professional life, take ownership and get brutally honest about where you are, why you’re there, and make the changes you need to make to thrive and succeed.
As always, the answers truly are within each of us. We may not even like the answers at first, but when we take ownership, straighten our spines, and march forward with the clarity that comes with ownership, things change. They bring a sense of satisfaction that only comes from doing and not watching.
Today is a new day, and all of the yesterdays prepared us for today. Ditch the watching and finger pointing and take actionable ownership immediately. You will stand taller, smile more sincerely, and live a life that is free of guilt and fear. You will live a life of ownership.
Are you taking ownership? I challenge you to share with me your new ownership initiatives in the comments below.