ULFBERHT

A Question About Taking 100% Responsibility

9 posts in this topic

I work as a technician using CAD/CAM software in a woodworking manufacturing business. In the past months and years, I've proven my value and skill in the business and have worked my way up to become something of a manager. It's a small business, maybe twenty employees, but even though everyone knows everyone and we're all friendly, the guys come to me for answers when the head honcho isn't around and look to me for answers.

Recently, I've been given more responsibility for oversight over the whole business. I've wanted this responsibility, but damn has it gotten heavy. This week we've had several equipment failures, we're behind on several of jobs, and I've made two big mistakes in the past two days due a programming error in code that I wrote, which has now cost us a big chunk of time and money.

What I'd like to know is, how responsible am I for everything going on at work, and in my life generally, right now? I feel like I intellectually understand that I should accept 100% responsibility for my life. I understand that it's a stronger position from which to solve problems. However, I don't really believe it. When things get difficult, I hear my internal dialogue looking for an excuse, someone else to blame, or otherwise some way of escaping culpability. I can tell that although I understand it, I don't really act as if I take 100% responsibility for my life, and that might be a problem.

I accept that the programming error was certainly my own, and I'm going to fix it, but what about the equipment failure? What about other people half-assing their work? That all affects me even though I didn't have anything directly to do with it. Or maybe I did. Am I responsible for those things, too?

I want to help make this business I am a part of better than it's ever been, but at the same time that I'm looking for other people to blame for these various issues, I can't help but feel that maybe my own orientation, attitude, habits, perspectives, and actions are affecting my reality in more ways than I can immediately see. If that's true, than maybe my own psychology and behavior is the solution to all these problems.

Any thoughts?


"Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know', and thou shalt progress." - Maimonides

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You're confusing responsibility with blame. It's very common. But the fact that you're 100% responsible for everything that is occurring in your reality doesn't mean you have to assign blame to anyone. In fact, assigning blame makes taking responsibility harder, which is exactly what's been happening to you.

You can think of responsibility as ability to respond instead of react. Blaming someone is a reaction. Responsibility is seeing things for what they are and choosing an appropriate action to take.

Don't blame yourself for not being able to take 100% responsibility. ;) It's a hard thing to do. Requires very high consciousness.

For example, if you have a problem with other people half-assing their work, the problem is that you have a problem with it. Look inside for the part within you that half-asses work. Learn to love that part and you will stop blaming others. Regarding equipment break down, how does that make you feel? Why is it not okay?

Can you see the goal here? The goal is to widen your range of what you find acceptable so much that you will accept everything at all times and then taking responsibility becomes easy and natural.

 

Edited by Pallero
more thoughts

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@Pallero this is good. I need to get on with my evening routine, so I can't finish it tonight, but I will tomorrow.

It's funny. In recognizing this responsibility thing, I'm unpacking a lot of other emotional stuff that goes along with it. I confuse responsibility with blame, blame myself and others, and then brow beat myself some more about how I shouldn't blame others and shouldn't blame myself, and then brow beat myself some more about how I need to get my shit together, both emotionally, and professionally, so this nonsense at work stops happening.

By the end of the day I feel beat up because, well, I've been beating myself up! Interesting. Beating yourself up doesn't get you anywhere...

Edited by ULFBERHT
grammar and spelling

"Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know', and thou shalt progress." - Maimonides

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"Beating yourself up" is what we are taught to do from culture. We live in a society of reward and punishment since we went to school.

You are not alone.

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Hi @ULFBERHT I think that we are 100% responsible for our actions, and other people are 100% responsible for their actions. I don't think we are responsible for what results happen (such as equipment failure), since we can't control the outcome directly (because sometimes even when we take all necessary steps, machines still fail).

Your co-workers are also responsible for their actions, so if a 'collective' error occurs, then there's no need to feel bad. The correct response I think is to be curious and figure out what went wrong and how it can improve. You don't mention anything about your boss or employer blaming you, so I hope nothing along the lines of that happened.

Cheers!


I review self-help courses to find out which ones are good and not good: propelyourwealth.com

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Many great points already made.  

As a leader of a group, taking responsibility of things that aren't your fault is an opportunity for creating a positive culture in your work place.  This action is a statement that 'I am hear to stay', 'no more excuses', and 'I have all of your backs (employees)'.  This does not mean that you do not pull people aside and work on resolving past indiscretions, and make adjustments to prevent further breakdowns.  

Alternatively, if you do not take the responsibility, you will create a culture of 'finger pointing' from top to bottom. Ultimately, creating a toxic workplace environment. 

 

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1 hour ago, ULFBERHT said:

It's funny. In recognizing this responsibility thing, I'm unpacking a lot of other emotional stuff that goes along with it. I confuse responsibility with blame, blame myself and others, and then brow beat myself some more about how I shouldn't blame others and shouldn't blame myself, and then brow beat myself some more about how I need to get my shit together, both emotionally, and professionally, so this nonsense at work stops happening.

By the end of the day I feel beat up because, well, I've been beating myself up! Interesting. Beating yourself up doesn't get you anywhere...

No, it doesn't. :) It's very good that you've become aware of this fact. Beating yourself up doesn't get you anywhere. Like @Brittany said, we learn to beat ourselves up from our culture. We are taught that we have to force ourselves to do things that we don't want to do, to get to places where we don't even want to be, to please people we don't like. LOL

When we beat ourselves up, we are working against ourselves, in resistance. It feels difficult and bad. This is not the fastest way to where you want to be. The fastest way is to work with yourself, not against yourself. Blame feels bad - that's resistance. But taking 100% responsibility always feels good and empowering.

But you cannot take responsibility for something you are resisting and disliking, right? So don't force yourself. First try to understand those things. Look within and find those things inside yourself and look at them with compassion. Responsibility will come naturally. It's not something you do. It's something that appears naturally when you learn to love yourself and every possible person, behavior and circumstance that there could possibly be.

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@exhale excellent point. That's what I'm trying to do.


"Teach thy tongue to say 'I do not know', and thou shalt progress." - Maimonides

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