March 1st, 2015

30 Day Behaviour Change Challenge – Day 6 Response-ability

Where there is a will there is a way??

Where there is a will there is a way??

Are you response-able? Are you able to respond rather than react? Do you feel empowered in most areas of your life? Where do you most feel empowered? At work? At home? In your sports team? Where do you feel least empowered? Why? Is it a lack of skills and knowledge? Perhaps a lack of boundaries with others? Are you unwilling to take response-ability for changing your behaviour and changing your life?

Are you a pawn or a player?

Most of us have times when we act as pawn, allowing others to move us around to suit their end-game. Sometimes it is because we don’t have enough energy to fight it, see Day 4 –Energy Vampires, sometimes it is because of our ‘mindchatter’, see Day 2, at other times it isn’t an important issue, so we are content just to let it go.

A Pawn Uses Blame

There are some people that are forever in the pawn position, rarely moving to the position of a player. These people are forever blaming others for how their lives have turned out.

“Joe didn’t provide the information to me, so I couldn’t do my work.”

“We never go out because you don’t make time for it.”

“I just ran out of petrol because you didn’t put gas in the car.”

“Mum makes me fat because she is always cooking fatty food.”

It gets exhausting to live with these people as they do not take response-ability for their actions.

A Pawn Uses Justification

Why can’t you change your behaviour? Oh I see, there is this list of circumstances that prevents you. Do any of these sound familiar?

“I would exercise but the kids have to go to sport.”

“I used to like to play soccer but I only have time to watch the kids from the sidelines.”

“I don’t have time to cook, I work such long hours.”

Are any of these statements true? Well of course they are to some extent but we all have 24 hours in a day and those people who want to change their behaviour need to make different choices of how they use time.

A Pawn Uses Denial

As the joke goes “de Nile is a river in Egypt.” Some people use denial to avoid taking response-ability, often using the excuse that they did not receive some instruction or communication or that they did not understand it.

“You didn’t make it clear that I had to do X”

 “I didn’t get that email.”

“ The server was down again”

When you are response-able you clarify any issues and chase up information you need to succeed. That’s right, asking yourself the question, ‘What do I need to succeed?’ is a very different question from “Who is going to rescue me from myself?”

A  Pawn Uses Avoidance

There are some people who avoid any response-ability. They sign up for a behaviour change program but take none of the actions or they passively resist other people from helping them to achieve their aims. As a coach I have found that avoidant people are probably the most difficult to get to change behaviour as they refuse to engage with others or new ways of doing things.

Task 1: Identify one are of your life where you use blame, justification, denial or avoidance to shift response-ability for your behaviour to others. (We all do it)

Task 2: Make a plan to become response-able with this one behaviour. For example, rehearse actions or conversations that may help, schedule your day or week differently, say No. Don’t worry if it doesn’t work first time – that would be justification or even blaming yourself. Just test your plan and make any amendments as required.

To enable behavioural change, we need to take charge of our lives, becoming response-able in those areas that matter to us and live the life we have always imagined.