Wow, how’s that for an impact at the very start? Extended apologies to anyone who may have been offended by the quote, but I was simply quoting.
This article is about taking responsibility and being aware of our behaviour and the implications of not taking responsibility. This is an action that holds us back from being the very best we could be.
How often do we catch ourselves not taking responsibility? Instead of doing something, we come up with ways to explain our inaction.
We all like to blame others, at times, for things that happen to us or those around us. We like to pass the buck as the saying goes. Blame others for our situation. It took me many decades to realise and understand that where I am in life today is based on the decisions I have made and the actions I have taken. No one else. It is all my doing! I could certainly show you a long list of the people that I believed had dictated my life. However, when I really thought about it, I realised it was all me. My decisions and my actions have brought me to where I am today.
That meant that if I wanted different things to happen then I had to make different decisions and take different actions.
A concept that I wish to introduce to you is about taking responsibility and not using excuses anymore. It is called being above the line or below the line.
I want you to picture a line and above the line is written:
- Take responsibility
- Think of solutions
- Look for the lessons
- Keep my power
Below the line are written the words:
- Blame others
- Make excuses
- Victim (give my power away)
Before I go into the whole explanation, I am going to start with an example.
If you’re a parent you’ll relate to this (if you’re not, just think back to when you were at school). It’s 7.30pm and your daughter is in tears because she has an assignment due tomorrow and she hasn’t started it yet. She’s angry because her sister is always on the computer, so she can’t get her research done. Her teacher didn’t remind her it was due, and you, her parents expected her to set the table, tidy her room … You get the picture.
This is a perfect example of “Below the Line Behaviour”.
Some more examples:
Late for a meeting – blaming the traffic rather than you not allowing enough time in case there was traffic or to just get a parking spot.
A report is due in one hour and your printer breaks down. You could blame the printer or perhaps you could realise that you should have had it ready the day before, that way, if there were any last minute problems they could be handled.
Your website gets hacked and the web designer hasn’t got a backup. You could easily blame him or take responsibility for not ensuring it was backed up.
It is time you stepped up and took responsibility that is called being above the line.
Our attitudes, state of mind, and moods when we are above the line are significantly different than our attitudes, state of mind, and moods when we are operating below the line.
Take a moment to think about how you operate, do you take responsibility or do you tend to blame others.
If you have blamed others in the past it is time to pause every time you hear the words “It’s not my fault…”, “I had no control…” The list of examples continues. The important part is to catch yourself when you realise that you are making excuses and passing the blame onto someone else. Then just think about what parts you had to play in this outcome. What decisions you may have made. What actions you had taken.
Think about how it could all be different if you had been above the line.
There is power in understanding the difference between below the line and above the line behaviour. There is immense power in actually living your life above the line.
“Be an inspiration to yourself and
you will be an inspiration to others.”