“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.” – Stephen Covey
Leaders face new challenges every day. Some of them are money related, some are people related, some are customer related, etc. Some of those challenges are almost routine and don’t use a lot of the leader’s energy. Some are nearly all-consuming. None is insurmountable. There is one challenge, though, that if left unaddressed, leads to near total paralysis.
The challenge I’m referring to is one of belief. It’s the belief that the world swirls around like a tornado and the best you can do is just hang on and end up wherever it drops you. That whatever situation you’re in exists because of things you can’t control and therefore you can’t change it. That because of the government, the weather, genetics, competitors, generational differences, geographic location, childhood trauma – you get the idea – I’m in a situation and there’s nothing I can do about it.
First mistaken idea – you are who or what you are because of a bunch of things you can’t control. Wrong! Yes, outside influences have an impact, and those influences can create barriers, and some barriers can be very formidable. But in the end, you are who you are because of how you’ve chosen to respond to those outside influences. To suggest differently is just a cop out, a way to skirt responsibility for the choices you’ve made, a cheap way to feel better about your life. If you’re not happy about your life, take responsibility for it.
The best part about recognizing that you are who you are because of your own choices is that there’s hope. If your decisions got you here, then your decisions can get you out. You’re not permanently stuck somewhere because “that’s just how it is.” You can do something about it.
Who are you? Are you someone who’s always talking about what’s happening to you? About all the problems you’re dealing with that are just unsolvable? Unfortunately, I have conversations with people like that on a regular basis. The reality is that almost everyone I know falls prey to that kind of thinking at least once in awhile (yes, me too). It’s hard not to.
But even that way of thinking is a choice. You don’t have to accept your situation. You don’t have to be what other people want you to be. You don’t have to settle for less than your vision. Choose to be the person you want to be. Choose to have the life you dream of. Choose to have the business you want to lead. Choose – and see what happens.