How are you complicit in creating the conditions of your lives that you say you don’t want?
While this sounds like a bit of a riddle, more often than we want to admit, we are taking part in the things that make us mad, sad, or unhappy.
In an interview titled The Coach with the Spider Tattoo on the Tim Ferriss Show, Jerry Colonna shares this bit of wisdom from his book Reboot: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up.
The question is posed by Colonna to prompt self-reflection on aspects of our life that we find challenging or unpalatable. By focusing on our complicity in creating those conditions (rather than making ourselves responsible for them) Colonna suggests that we should be better able to understand the ways in which we may alter the situation for the better.
I value this prompt as it forces me to reflect on the many ways in which I have invited problems into my life and continue to do so to this day.
It is much easier to put the blame on someone else and identify an external locus of control in our lives. There are also some circumstances where we are unwilling or unable to make a change to address the situation.
We also need to be honest and identify times where we accept responsibility for actions and circumstances. Identify when we are complicit in creating the conditions we do not want, rather than placing that responsibility on others.
Doing self-work is often dreaded and feared. We don’t want to put a critical lens to our lives and belief systems. We don’t want to consider the fact that we’ve been wrong, silly, or stupid. This fear of failure also blinds us as we strive for self-improvement. Instead we continue to complain, avoid responsibility, and pass the burden on to others.
The good news is that the self-work is always waiting in the background. It is waiting in the back of your mind lifting weights and getting stronger.
This creates an opportunity to set boundaries for ourselves. We can identify the mindsets and behaviors that will positively impact our lives and make them a reality. An opportunity to do the hard work. Make changes and take responsibility for our lives and actions.