Here’s a quick look at this episode
- First, we’ll talk about life and how there are things that happen that we can’t control
- What does it mean to life in “effect mode”
- How can we move from “effect mode” to feeling empowered and in control of our lives?
Well hello there! Welcome back to the redefining Bold podcast. You're listening to episode number 16 and I'm your host Gwen Whitfield from theboldabode.com, where I guide warm-hearted women in their quest for a more organized, cleaner home and a more productive and vibrant life.
I want to see if you recognize this saying, and I'm pretty sure that I already know your answer. So here it is, this is the quote:
I mean right? I mean, right? Life happens.
We're going along beautifully, everything seems to be working out, we are living our best lives, and then life happens.
Accidents happen. Tragedies occur. Natural disasters pop up from out of the blue. And the couch the other day, and we felt that shaking. There was an earthquake.
Nothing you can do about that. We lose loved ones, we get sick.
All of this falls into that saying that life happens.
And so I want to accept that. Things happen that we cannot control.
And when we see life in this way all across-the-board, it's like the tail wagging the dog. I know for me, as a nine on the Enneagram, life has kind of happened to me.
Nines are very flexible and tend to go with the flow. I remember in about 2001 we lived in Richmond Virginia.
One of my oldest and dearest friends was there in med school, when we moved there for Morgan's graduate program. Little Morgan was about two years old and we will put him in his stroller and go for a walk on the streets in Ginter park. I loved walking there and admiring all of the old craftsman homes, is just such a beautiful environment.
And so this one morning as Karen and I were walking, we started talking about our lives.
And I remember saying you know, I really just want my life to be like a balloon floating in the clouds enjoying the sun and Floating freely.
I remember her getting this very quizzical look on her face, and say not me. I want to soar like an eagle.
And I laughed and honestly didn't know what to say. And now that I understand myself better, that makes complete sense. I have always kind of been tossed by the wind never knowing what I truly was called to do.
Life sort of just happened to me. Or did it?
When I think of back about my life, and I really get honest with myself, I can see the moments where I made decisions to take the path of least resistance. it happened with the college I chose, because I got a big scholarship to the University of Mississippi. Even though I was interested in architecture and there was no architecture program there, I went anyway. And then I tried several different majors, and landed in music education because again it was the path of least resistance. It was the place where I made the best grades and had the most success, and people telling me that's what I should do until I finally gave in and majored in music.
But in reality, these were actual decisions that I contemplated and made. I am responsible for choosing the college, and choosing to major in music. Those were things that I did. They did not just happen to me.
And so I was living in effect. I didn't want to own my decisions and be responsible for the choices that I made and so in my mind I told myself that I didn't have a choice. That this path materialized in front of me and I didn't have the option to make a different life for myself.
So if you're living in effect you might hear yourself saying these things with the word "because":
I can't because… I was late because… I didn't make it because… I didn't finish that assignment because…
When you live your life in effect mode these are the things you will hear yourself saying. So anytime you hear yourself say sentence with the word because, that is making an excuse for yourself. That is effect mode.
I went on the university of Mississippi because I got a scholarship.
I majored in music because it was the easiest thing to do and because my voice teacher said I should. Both of these situations didn't happen to me at all. But it's easier for me to make excuses for myself rather than take responsibility. It can be painful to look back on your life and realize that the decisions you made brought you to where you are. I never wanted to teach music . I might would have been a performer, but I really didn't wanna do that either. I remember in my very first voice lesson my voice teacher was trying to get me to take theory in case I wanted to major music down the line, and I remember telling her, “well I don't want to teach music and I certainly don't want to perform:. And she looked back at me and cocked her eyebrow and said that's “well, what I was thinking you should do.”
So how do we move out of this living in effect mode, what is the opposite of this? Where we want to be is getting the results that we truly desire.
So now instead of making excuses for myself and my past behavior, I'm taking responsibility for the decisions that I've made in my past, and the decisions that I making now and the decisions that I will make in the future. I'm 100% cent on everything. And you know what it's empowering.
And now, my life feels very very different. I used to feel trapped and stuck because I had no career to speak of. But now that I know that I chose these things, I know that I can choose something different. I don't have to sit and let life happen to me anymore. I can make the decisions to be focused, to work hard every day, to put my heart in my soul into what is calling me and that is to help other women like me create the life they truly want.
And so you can either have the results you want or you can make excuses for yourself it's not that just because you take responsibility you're automatically going to be successful. But when you take responsibility for the choices you make and the path that you walk, you can fine tune your approach until you do see the results that you want.
And so by learning this, there will be no more excuses. No more reasons for why this didn't happen or this didn't work. All of that is just language for being tossed in the wind.
David Key, my NLP teacher, says to create the life you want you have to move from effect to cause. You have to move from excuses to results. Creating change is your responsibility. Creating change is my responsibility. If you find yourself in a situation that you don't like, you always have a way out. You always have a choice you can make. Even if that choice is that you're staying where you are, and you own that, that is more empowering than sitting there thinking that you're trapped.
And the main thing that I want to say about that right now, is that just because you take responsibility for something in your life, does not mean that you take the blame for it.
Blaming yourself and having guilt about the results that you've gotten so far is a waste of time and energy. Something goes wrong in our lives, it's natural to want to place blame somewhere.
To blame yourself or someone else is to assign responsibility for fault or wrong. But to take responsibility it's just the fact of having a duty to deal with something.
Blame is very emotionally loaded. But responsibility is just a matter of fact. When you take responsibility, it's just a state of being. It's neutral.
Making excuses is just limiting ourselves and our decisions. But taking responsibility puts us in a place of empowerment where we can look at our results as feedback and find away change what we are doing, even if it's in a small way, to move us toward where we really want to be.
It's saying I am here, I made the decisions that got me here, I don't want to be in this place anymore, what can I do, what decisions can I take, what changes can I make, to get over here to the left by 3 feet.
So this week, I want you to do this. I want you to think about something in your life that you are unhappy with. Something that you have felt is really out of your control or that has happened to you. And I want you to look back over the decisions that you have made and see where you can take responsibility.
And I want you to brainstorm 10 different ways that would help you move forward towards where you want to be. There may be a lot of things you wanna work on, but I want you to just choose one. Start small. This can be an emotional process. So take a step back and look at it with some perspective and some neutrality.
OK so that is your challenge for this week, I'm doing the same thing. Just because I have learned all of this, doesn't mean I've mastered it. There's always more to learn, to tweak, and to grow. And we're doing it together.
Thanks so much for listening . I want to hear from you so email me at [email protected] That's [email protected] Tell me that one thing that you were going to take responsibility for and work on. It could be your nutrition, it could be your relationship with a friend or spouse, it could be your job situation. It could be anything anything you feel like by taking responsibility instead of making excuses will give you that empowerment that feeling of empowered.
I can’t wait to see how your life will change by doing this!
Thanks so much for listening and I will see you in the next episode.
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