I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the concept of taking 100%
responsibility for our own lives and the results we create.
It got me reflecting on what ‘taking complete responsibility’ actually means. And what it looks like. Also some of the ways we resist doing this, and even sabotage our own efforts to do so.
For example, we may not achieve our financial potential in our careers because we are plagued by insecurity and self-doubt and don’t believe our knowledge and skills are worth more. Women are particularly guilty of this.
Or when going back into the workplace after a period of being home with our kids, we may take a job below our capabilities because we don’t have the confidence to put ourselves forward for the role we really want.
The Blame Game
Instead of acknowledging these unhelpful behaviours, it is often easier for us
to blame our lack of responsibility on somebody else, such as our husbands.
I’ve certainly been guilty of this.
Passing the buck is so much easier than taking a really honest look at
ourselves and doing the work of overcoming our self-doubt and the
obstacles in our way.
And of course our ‘reasons’ for passing the blame feel so compelling! It really is his fault!
Here’s what’s struck me this week:
When we don’t take full responsibility for every aspect of our lives – our physical health, our emotional health, our financial health, our careers, etc.,
We do ourselves a great disservice.
In absolving ourselves of our responsibilities, we give ourselves the message that we are not up to the job. We believe we are incapable of taking care of our own needs.
And when we believe that lie, we are more likely to delegate the job of taking care of us to our husbands.
And then blame him when he too falls short!
That is a recipe for powerlessness and frustration, amongst other unhelpful feelings.
It is also the very opposite of self-love, self-care and self-belief.
I want to focus on financial responsibility, because I know that the fear of surviving financially is what prevents so many women from leaving unhappy marriages.
The question I’d like to ask you today is:
How much responsibility are you currently taking for your financial circumstances?
I’m not talking necessarily about being completely financially independent in your marriage. Maybe you have a long-standing agreement with your husband that he is the main or sole breadwinner.
What I am talking about is having cultivated the inner knowing, trust and confidence that you are fully capable of taking care of yourself financially, should you choose to. And having some evidence to back that up – or at least, be taking steps to build that evidence.
Cultivating that inner knowing will look different for each of us.
Here are some examples of steps we can take to build it:
- Having a thorough understanding of your joint financial circumstances in your marriage – incomings, outgoings, assets, expenses, debts, etc.
- Knowing how much your monthly expenses are including mortgage and bills, when they are due, the amounts and who they are payable to
- Knowing the account details, logins and passwords for all of your financial affairs
- Becoming informed about your legal and financial position in the event of divorce
- Continually developing your professional skills so that more job opportunities are available to you
- Negotiating a salary increase with your boss
- Stepping out of your comfort zone and charging what you are worth
- Starting your own business
- Doing an inventory of your marketable skills and/or retraining to become more attractive in the job market
What would be possible for you if you had complete belief in your ability to take care of yourself financially?
And how would that feel?
I know how tempting it is, to keep your head in the sand and pretend your financial destiny is out of your control.
But at what cost to you – emotionally, physically, spiritually, financially?
The hard truth is this:
No-one can change your life, or your financial circumstances, except YOU.
I’m not saying it will happen overnight.
You may have to take a hundred, or even a thousand, tiny steps to get there.
And some of those steps will undoubtedly call upon you to build your courage muscle.
But you only ever have to take one small step at a time.
Here’s what else I know:
You can do it.
You are capable of so much more than you give yourself credit for (note to self!)
So here is the challenge I’d like to leave you with this week:
Action: What is one small step you can take in the next week towards taking financial responsibility for yourself?
Are you willing to take that step? Why or why not?
For me personally, it means moving forward with an exciting new coaching programme I’ve been wanting to offer for ages – procrastination be gone! I’ll be ready to tell you about it very soon!
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