As a life coach I focus on a process I call, “Radical Responsibility”. It’s a term I borrowed from my mentor, Dr. David Hawkins, the author of Power vs. Force. It is the antithesis of being a victim. Instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” you ask, “How am I causing this?” In truth neither question is better or worse, they just give you a different experience of your life.
When you ask, “Why is this happening to me?” you are basically saying that there is a world out there that you have to deal with and you don’t like it. You are in resistance to the stimulus that you perceive in the world.
When you ask, “How am I causing this?” you are acknowledging that you are the creator of your experience. You are putting yourself into a position of power by saying, “The world is this way because of what I’m doing.”
Examples of Radical Responsibility
A client of mine has a big business with thousands of people involved. She complains that people don’t respect her. When I ask her the victim mindset question, “Why is this happening to you?”, the answer is, “Because I’m the big boss and everyone is jealous.” This answer makes her powerless to affect change. When I ask her the radical responsibility question, “How are you causing this?” At first the answer is, “I’m not! People are just disrespectful and jealous of me!” But with further examination she begins to see something else all together.
Together we discover that when people come to her for things and she can not give it to them, she tries to pacify them. She feels bad that they can not have what they want. It begins to become evident that people know how she’s going to respond and they are now trying to manipulate the situation to get what they want. She interprets their behavior as disrespect.
With radical responsibility we step back from the situation as view it in a new way. She is causing these “nasty” and manipulative responses to her decisions by not being a straight shooter and feeling bad for people. Their reactions are not disrespectful, they are what people do when they sense there is a way to get the decision to sway in their favor. In other words, when people sense weakness, they become dominant.
As soon as she saw it, she shifted. The awareness of it made her more flexible. New options for her response started to occur to her in the moment of confrontation. She felt powerful and the problems disappeared before her eyes!
You are the creator of your experience, not the victim of your circumstances. The world is responding to you, not the other way around. What area of your life can you apply radical responsibility to?
Who am I that is having this happen?
I am the source of all that is happening in my life.