Taking 100% Responsibility

If we all shrunk in our ability to serve simply because we feared what others might think, where would we be as humans, what great achievements would have forever lingered in the dustbin of broken dreams?

– Brendon Buchard

Responsibilty

Recently I did an amazing workshop and one of the concepts I learnt was taking 100% responsibility.  There are times we get stuck in our situation, feeling like a victim. Thinking to yourself – I am not good enough, I have taken a long break Or Why me. A lot of negativity can set in with such thoughts.

I have been there myself, but there is a way to get out of the loop. There is a way to create life of your vision. Your own life, not anyone else’s vision of what your life should be like. The first step is to start taking 100% responsibility.

Taking 100% responsibility is about getting out of the stories our mind is telling us. It is our mind telling us we are not good enough.  It is our mind wanting us to believe that we are victim of the situation.

Here are some tips on what you can do to accept 100% responsibility to take charge of your own career and your own life without blaming anyone else and without holding anyone else responsible.

  1. Love yourself, appreciate what you have created. Look at everything in your life that is going well.  It could be your kids, your health, your education, your partner.  Find gratitude for what you have. Certainly there are wonderful things happening. Your accomplishments are just as important as your missteps. Congratulate yourself on your successes.
  2. Stop being the victim, Change your mindset. Remembering that it’s your own life, if you find yourself in less than ideal situation, wonder into how you have created this situation. This could be frightening when we start looking at ourselves instead of finding someone else to blame like our parents, society, husband, circumstances, education etc. Always remembering there is a choice and that choice in your own.
  3. Explore the purpose of your life beyond just earning money or being in a career because someone else wants you to do so. Ponder over the question – What do I really want? The best way for me is to sit in a comfortable position, close my eyes and start going inward while asking this question to myself. This question can apply to any situation. As you answer this question for yourself, you might get clarity on not just your professional career but the choices you are making in your life. Being on a break is a great time to take a step back and start creating your ideal life. Remember your ideal life is about you and the choices you make. These choices are what determine the outcome of life, as opposed to what ‘happened’ to us. Can you step outside your belief system, can you change your perspective on life?
  4. Make friends with your inner critic. Inner critic is the voice in your head that continues to create self-doubt.  It tells us we are not good enough or finding reasons of why we can’t be successful. Inner critics love making stories. The inner critics keep us in a state of monkey mind by continually keeping us from reaching our fullest potential. The best way to deal with this voice in your head is to acknowledge it. Once you have acknowledged it, then ask your inner critic to be your ally, your friend. Instead of always telling you that you are not good enough or putting fear in you, ask this voice to become your ally to help you to achieve your dreams.
  5. Shift your perspective – If you have been defending yourself and telling yourself reasons of why you haven’t been able to make progress, I invite you to shift that perspective to learning. Learning about yourself and take action based on what you find.

 Shifting Perspective- An Exercise

Here is a wonderful exercise that can help you shift perspective and take actions. Find one issue or a difficult situation in your life. For example – I am not able to find a job after career break? Ask yourself following questions in order

-          How am I creating this? How am I responsible for this?  - The way I am creating this situation is that I have not worked in a long time and my skills are not up to date.

-          is there more to this situation than what I am accepting? Is there anything I don’t want to face? I actually don’t want to go back to corporate life but I am afraid to do anything else

-          Why am I keeping this situation the way it is? What’s my motivation?  I am not keeping the situation, I am trying. Maybe I am not trying hard enough because I don’t really like the corporate life

-          What would I rather be experiencing? – I want to be putting my skills and education to use, but I want flexibility

-          Think of one action  that is time bound, realistic, specific – Think of 5 different ways to earn money while putting my skills and education to use and having flexibility in my life by end of this month.

Contributed by Anshu Singh

Anshu worked as technologist for 20+ years in California when she realised her passion of changing lives and helping people. She is a certified yoga teacher and brings positivity in lives through yoga, energy healing and breath work. She is strategy advisor for relauncHER- an initiative to bring experienced women professionals back to work.

Challenge Yourself

Last week, I was preparing dinner and suddenly realised there is no atta (flour) at home. I panicked. What should I do? Rush to the grocery shop or call the grocer to deliver it or ask someone in the family to get it fast. Pause. I told myself- It’s ok if there is no atta. Let me not buy atta till next weekend and see what happens. For the full week I treated us with some interesting unusual dishes that otherwise I would not have explored.

“If something that you’re doing doesn’t challenge you, then it doesn’t change you.”Challenge yourself

Challenging yourself from time to time is a good way to practice and prepare for the unexpected challenges that often come up in life and help us to be in control. We usually fall into routine because it’s easy, manageable and predictable. But our routines will not take us in direction of greater heights. We need our daily dose of challenge.

Here are few simple ways of making yourself uncomfortable:

  1. Go for a digital detox- Try it this weekend- no computer/phone/TV.  Enjoy the real people around you.
  2. Figure out one thing that you are scared of. Promise yourself to do that for one week consistently.
  3. Go Backpacking- Rather than taking an all inclusive luxury tour go backpacking. Pack basics and travel local, eat local, stay local.
  4. Learn something new- pick up a hobby, a language, a new skill-driving, cooking anything. Make it a project and take it to completion.
  5. Identify one expense head that you can cut back realistically. Now invest the amount you save.

 

When you get out of your comfort zone, you explore new possibilities. New routes open for you. You get creative. You explore the unexplored. Making yourself uncomfortable and challenging yourself will help you grow your skills and knowledge and above all give you the belief that You Can!

Let us know how you are going to challenge yourself in the comments below.

Keep Calm and Carry On

Keep calm“I have been trying to return to work from past so many months, I feel so suffocated and frustrated…”  Job search especially after a career break is tough and often brings lots of negative energy. Self doubt, frustration of futile attempts, disappointments can leave us feeling worthless. But negativity and frustration only lead to a downward spiral. We need to trust ourselves during rough patches and keep going. But how? Let’s start with five minutes.

Brad Willis, a former NBC News foreign correspondent and now a Vedic scholar-Bhava Ram, shares some simple steps with Inc. to increase your calm and mental focus any time, even sitting at a desk- by taking five minutes to follow these eight steps. These are not very difficult meditation and yoga techniques but very simple easy to do steps with some proven big results.

1. Close your eyes.

Bring your attention inward, and notice that you are moving to internalized awareness. Set aside the distractions and stimulations of the day for the moment.

2. Listen to your breath.

Really listen, Bhava Ram advises. “Make it deeper, slower, smoother, and fuller.”

3. Feel your body.

Follow your breath as it reaches all of your body’s outer edges.

4. Feel the support beneath you.

That’s the chair you’re sitting on and the floor under your feet, but ultimately it’s the planet itself. “Feel the support of the earth,” he says.

5. Think “I” as you inhale and “am” as you exhale.

Continue repeating these thoughts as you breathe. This will deepen your calm and inner focus. “It’s implementing a yoga pose for the mind,”

6. Bring your awareness to your heart center.

The “heart center,” which is the fourth chakra, or energy point in your body, is a spot right behind your breastbone. Focus your attention there “as though it were the light of a candle flame,” he says.

7. Stay in the moment.

Remember that you are here in the present moment and that you have everything you need to solve the problems before you.

8. Remember that we are all connected.

“All of us are connected with all that is,” Bhava Ram says. “And in this state of awareness, begin to contemplate the task at hand.”

Give yourself this time every day to bring some positive energy, increased focus and self belief into your life.

How to Work from Home (Part- 2): Telecommuting

Dilbert © Scott Adams, Inc./Dist. by UFS, Inc.

Dilbert © Scott Adams, Inc./Dist. by UFS, Inc.

Many big employers in India are now offering policies and programme to assist their women employees through crucial milestones of life. Companies are making an effort to retain women in their workforce by providing them the option of working from home. Employers are recognising the need of a work environment that supports a good work life balance and in many cases it actually increases employee availability, productivity and retention.

Technology companies took the lead in India by introducing mobility suite of IT applications that allow access to office IT infrastructure from anywhere. This enabled work from home and flex time. Companies now offer various flexible working models to cater to different segments of employees who have diverse needs and priorities.

Work from home programs are blessing for women who have to take care of personal and social responsibilities along with their job. Such flexible work options help women to continue with their careers at critical life stages like child birth or elderly care.

Many employers generally are reluctant to hire a new employee who wants to work from home from day one. A better and feasible arrangement is to work from office for initial months to familiarise with the company’s work culture and later switch to working from home. It’s an understanding between employer and employee if she would prefer a temporary work from home arrangement or would like to work permanently from home.

Work from home does not hinder ones’ career growth directly, but employees working from home have to work harder than their in-office peers to increase their visibility, showcase their contributions and to network. It takes lots of discipline and hard work.

In India, a common dilemma for employees is that working from home affects their career prospects and lower the chances of a promotion.  It is partially true however here are few tips to make remote working work for you:

-Self Discipline: Do not take work-from-home for granted. With liberty comes responsibility- you have flexibility on your time but deadlines should be always adhered to.

-Time Management: The success of telecommuting depends on effective time management. You need to decide your working hours and communicate it to your colleagues too. Mixing up work and home responsibilities will only increase your stress.

-Be in Touch: Do not isolate yourself. Stay in touch with colleagues at work so that you are aware of what is happening out there, attend office parties and get-togethers. If possible, plan to be in office for sometime (ideally no less than once a week).

-Effective Communication: When you are not physically present in a meeting, effective communication becomes quiet critical to help you in making your presence felt.

In the end, flexibility must lead to increased productivity to make remote working successful.

How to Work from Home (Part-1): Freelancing

Work from Home

Work from home broadly defines two scenarios: Either a person working for a company opts to work from home (telecommute) or a person works from home independently as a freelancer (self employment). Focus for this post is freelancing.

Freelancing is a good choice for those who prefer versatility and flexibility. Certain skill sets like designing, writing, translation, accounting, photography, social media, apps development are more apt for freelancing. Many freelancing sites in India are not legitimate thus searching and identifying the right freelance projects is not easy. There are plenty of good global websites that can help you find suitable projects worldwide as a freelancer for a small fee.

Below are key pointers to help you establish as a freelancer:

-Showcase your skills: Build an online portfolio, a blog or a facebook page as per your expertise. References from previous clients are a big plus.

-Research your client: Distinguish between legitimate work from home jobs and stay away from scams.

-Build Your Network: As a freelancer you will be working alone most of the times. Try to network with people in your domain by attending seminars, conferences etc.

-Use Social Media: Promote your offerings on social media like LinkedIn and Facebook.

-Know your Worth: Depending upon your experience level and expertise decide the amount you will be charging for your services.

Though it might be difficult to find well-paying clients at the beginning but start small and build your credibility gradually as a freelancer. Freelancers need to decide the optimum price of their services. Your earnings depend upon your expertise and the amount of work you undertake. For freelancers it is also important to keep themselves up-skilled in their domains. So they should consider re-investing a part of their income in their career growth through various trainings, courses and conferences.