I’m breaking a golden rule today.
A few weeks ago, I was helping a friend with some copywriting for her website.
It was good copy, but there was this one thing…
She used “the R word.”
While reading a sales page or the homepage of a website, have you ever noticed how there’s often some allusion to the idea that the problem you’re struggling with is in no way your fault?
Your weight gain is the food industry’s fault, not yours.
Your dwindling bank balance is The Fed’s fault; it has absolutely nothing to do with your spending habits.
Well, that’s because in the marketing industry, “responsibility” is a four-letter word.
Tell the average person that they’re responsible for how their life is going, and they’ll shut down. Deflect. Find such an idea to be utterly preposterous.
Accepting responsibility can feel yucky. It evokes an anxiety, a vulnerability, a threat to one’s sense of self.
Responsibility connotes a plunge (sometimes bellyflop) into the unknown. It surfaces the very scary possibility that our sense of unworthiness and incompetence will be confirmed if and when we fail. The vulnerability leaves us exposed, undefended from attacks.
Our defense against responsibility is to justify. Instead of doing what deep down we know we should do, we make ourselves feel better about our passivity by placing blame on everyone and everything but ourselves.
It’s my spouse’s fault. The government’s fault. The kids’ fault. The patriarchy’s fault. Feminism’s fault. The IRS’s fault. The woke liberal’s fault. The right-wing conservative’s fault. The economy’s fault. Putin’s fault.
Even if you feel like all or some of the above are truly to blame for how your life is going, none impart exemption from taking responsibility, from being “able to respond” to life’s inevitable difficulties in a way that moves you forward with power instead of keeping you stuck under the weight of self-imposed apathy and fault-finding.
In my opinion, taking responsibility is when one fully reaches adulthood.
It’s when we’re faced with obstacles — those big and small — and say to ourselves, “if it is to be, it is up to me.”
It’s when we think, “it’s not what happens to me, it’s what I do with it.”
It’s finally accepting the path to your better life for what it really is — a long, long journey replete with hopes and disappointments, elation and anxiety, victory and vulnerability.
Anything else would be naive, a fantasy, a reason to wear your virtues on your sleeve to avoid accountability.
It’s an abdication of personal power that reinforces a distorted perception of one’s inferiority.
It’s catching a glimpse of your power and then turning away.
Because with great power comes “the R word.”
You can’t have one without the other.
On today’s QOD, Jim Rohn shares the list of people and things he once blamed for how his life was going. Then he discovered the truth: that the only person responsible for his failure and success was himself.
Enjoy today’s quote. Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!