Is it time to stop shirking your responsibilities as an adult? Check out our crucial clues it’s time step up, take responsibility, and take control.
We’re all adults now, so today I want to talk to you about one of the most important things you can do for yourself — take control of your life. Now is as good a time as any to learn the art of responsibility.
Here are five areas of your life you should watch to make sure you’re leaning in and taking responsibility.
First, Clean Your Room
No, really. Cleaning your room, your personal space, is the first area you should start taking responsibility for. It may sound silly, but how many of us have clothes on the floor right now? The bed’s not made, you can’t find important things, you’re losing your keys all the time. These are all signs of not being responsible.
Be honest: what goes through your mind when you visit someone for the first time and their place is a mess? Don’t you wonder why they didn’t bother to pick up?
I know when my place is not tidy and things get disorganized, I feel more stressed out. I feel disheveled, my thoughts become disorganized, and I struggle to get work done.
There are lots of studies showing a link between clutter in the space around you and negative effects on thinking, energy, sleep, and all that important stuff.
So take responsibility for the condition of your home and what your environment looks like. It has a huge impact on your ability to think clearly and be a leader.
Hi Ho, Hi Ho, It’s off to Work We Go
Even if you work from home, you’re still working with other people. It’s time to step up and take responsibility there, too. Just because you work for somebody else doesn’t mean you don’t have any to take initiative.
Maybe you’re happy to just show up, punch in, punch out, and hope nobody notices anything, good or bad. That’s not how you get ahead in this world, though. As you advance in your career, you may have to manage other people. You may need to become a leader.
You can start right now by taking the lead on that project when it’s offered. Be the first one to step up, instead of looking around the room hoping someone else raises their hand. These small actions can pay huge dividends over the course of your career.
You may even need to clean up your attitude at work. If you don’t like the people you work with, just the thought of going in and seeing them every day may irk you. That attitude, full of negative energy, will rub off on people around you, no matter how hard you try to hide it.
You may think you’re fooling them all, but people can feel contempt. Eventually, your boss will probably detect it and may even start to distrust you. Instead, look for ways you can benefit the company. Put a genuine smile on your face. Step up, be responsible, and think of ways to increase profitability or make things run more smoothly.
Pro Tip: There’s no “I” in team. If you want job security, learn how everyone’s job affects everyone else’s job. The more positions you know and understand, the more indispensable you become. You’re no longer just a cog in the machine, you’re an integral part of what keeps the machine running.
When was the last time you told a teammate or co-worker how much you appreciate the job they do or gave them praise for a job well done?
Unfortunately, most of us only voice our opinion when things go wrong. But if you let people around you know you recognize they’re doing a great job and appreciate it, they will remember you and go above and beyond again and again. Take responsibility by giving positive feedback.
Own up to Your Mistakes
Lots of people want to run from this one. They don’t want to focus on their mistakes. But we’ve all made them, and we have to own them. Trying to run from them is fruitless. Just understand there will be times when you absolutely screw up, but there are always lessons to be learned. Find the lesson, the humor, or the silver lining. Stay positive, even in the face of bad decisions or wrong choices.
Then, open up your journal and write it down. You’ll thank us when you’re 80, eating applesauce, and can’t remember your screw-ups. Remembering the events that shaped you into who you are is a good thing. Owning your past is an integral part of your overall growth and development.
Birds of a Feather
Who do you surround yourself with? Are you taking responsibility for the people you’re investing time into? Are they worth it?
Too many times we hear, “Well, I’m not really friends with them; I just work with them.” That’s not a good reason to be hanging out with them. We say this all the time: time is your most valuable resource. Why would you spend it with people who are not high-value, not supportive, and not helping you meet your goals?
You might be surprised how differently you end up doing things when you have the right people around you. It’s easier to get stuff done when you feel supported. If you have friends who are hustling, it naturally spurs you to get out there and be productive as well. Take responsibility for the people you allow into your social circle.
You Are What You Think
Do you take responsibility for your thoughts, or do you allow them to hold you back and tie you down? What kind of filter do you view the world with? Do you see everything and everyone through rose-colored glasses? Great! You should be seeing all the wonderful things in life over focusing on the negative side of everything.
So, you didn’t get the job you interviewed for. Does that mean you’ve got no talent, you’re never going to get ahead, and you’re just not worthy of anything better in life? No, it does not. But if you allow those negative thoughts to thrive, they’ll begin to shape your mood, energy, and eventually, your whole outlook on life.
Some people think they can’t control their thoughts. But if you make the conscious effort to push the negative thoughts away and replace them with positive ones, eventually the negativity dies and it becomes effortless to be positive.
Practicing this habit actually rewires your brain to start looking for positive things instead of negative ones. You can take responsibility for the thoughts you have by retraining your brain to think more positively.
Over time, as people begin to recognize that you always have something positive to add to a conversation, more people will want to hang out with you.
Pro Tip: One of the easiest ways to train your brain is to use a book we recommend constantly here at The Art of Charm. It’s called The Five-Minute Journal. Take five minutes, literally, to write down something you’re grateful for every single day.
Take responsibility in your personal space, your work space, your mistakes, your social circle, and your thoughts. Then watch as you transform into a high-value person whom people seek, want, and welcome into their lives.