Are you in charge of your life?
Recently I sat in on a training session to help a friend. She wanted some coaching on her facilitation so I stayed in the back like a fly on the wall collecting technical points for us to review afterwards.
During the day then I got to watch the interactions of people – one of my favorite activities – and was struck by the degree of victimhood in the room.
Understand that this group were all mid-level professionals many with advanced training in their fields. They were not dumb.
Yet there were some familiar and worn themes:
- My boss is the problem
- Nothing ever changes in my department
- You can't tell people anything
- Its better not to try anything – don't rock the boat
And so on.
A veritable soup du jour of defeatism wafted through the malodorous training room.
Who's To Blame?
Over and over the dynamic of looking for a bully and a victim emerged: people seeking someone to blame and someone to hold harmless. Vindication of their resignation to inaction.
My friend is pretty savvy though: she never bought into this. Every time a new drama was relayed – with increasing emphasis of “you don't understand” thrown in for effect – she said the same thing:
What Have You Done About That?
Again and again as people tried to illustrate how their situation was somehow different she calmly repeated this mantra like a yogi settling in for a good practice in the morning. What have you done.
Do you really need someone to blame?
Look in the mirror.
Yes there are challenges in life – bad things, as it were. Bosses who seem unsupportive, co-workers unwilling to collaborate. The promotion not received, project not approved or budgets left underfunded. And that's just the professional component of our lives.
But how do we respond to these challenges?
Going to work does not absolve us of personal responsibility
We manage many facets of our lives in an adult fashion. Our romantic relationships, financial elements, fitness, culture and so on. Where we live, how we love and what we immerse in and ignore. All as adults.
So why go to a workplace, physical or virtual, and blame someone else for what we choose to accept.
Extraordinary things of good and bad nature occur all throughout life. Yet its how we respond that makes the difference between a life lived and a life endured.
What have you done about that?