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Why taking responsibility for your own circumstances is empowering and liberating

Jun 03, 2024

Thinking to create your results

The main premise of The Winning Edge course is that it’s the nature of your thinking which leads to your circumstances. It’s not what you think about, it’s the way you think about what you think about. If you want anything to change, it has to start with that nature of your thoughts.

If you want to be better, do better and to have better, it will all start with the way you are choosing to think about it. The foundation of The Winning Edge mindset teachings is the Thinking to Results® model – we explain that we create our results and circumstances in life because of the nature of our thoughts. If we constantly have thoughts whereby we believe we’re not capable of achieving great things in life, or that we’re not worthy of happiness or success, or that we don’t have the strength to cope with tough times in our lives, what are the chances we’re likely to believe in ourselves, or be able to handle life’s curve balls? Pretty slim. However, if our thoughts centre on believing we have the ability to work through difficult times and we have the resilience to cope, that’s when we have the inner self-belief and esteem to know we can do our best. Does this mindset 100% guarantee we’ll be successful in coping with the situation? No. But it does mean we are much better placed to find the resilience, resourcefulness and grit to keep moving forward; it means we will have the mental reserves when the chips are down.

Two of the most important words on the Thinking to Results model are over time. At points in our life, we will unfortunately find ourselves in the centre of circumstances which are not of our choosing in any way. In times of grief, shock, immense disappointment, or during times of heartache, it might feel nigh on impossible to sort through your thoughts. You may feel numb, on automatic pilot, going through the motions. There is absolutely no way you can think about the way you are thinking, to re-order the nature of your thoughts to feel the way you want to feel, to then act the way you want to act and thus get the results you want. Bereavement, redundancy, a medical diagnosis for yourself or for a loved one- a dramatic change in your circumstances, is certainly not a time when you just pick yourself off the floor, dust yourself off and carry on- that just isn’t realistic. That’s when you need to give yourself a break, take your foot off the gas and allow your brain to just be. Allow it to settle. Over time, you will be able to regulate your thoughts.

When what feels like the initial intensity of a situation passes and you no longer feel in the eye of the storm, over time, you have the ability to then begin to choose how you respond to what has happened. Over time you can carve out a new normal if you consciously take note of the nature of your thinking.

Your thinking is intrinsically linked to your circumstances. True grit, resilience and a mindset of absolute self-belief are powerful weapons that you can employ when you are working through a tough time in your life. What may have previously seemed insurmountable can be tackled. But only when you have allowed your thoughts to settle- when you have recognised that time is needed. Your belief in yourself that you are doing the best you can, is the catalyst for overcoming so many challenges in life.

Taking back the control

Blaming others for past events which you believe results in your present circumstances, whilst those thoughts and feelings are completely understandable, they are not helpful if these thought patterns prolong. You might hear: ‘My parents never took much notice of me”, “I was sent to a school which failed me,” “The company I worked for folded and I was left without a job.” Some life events and circumstances you have no choice over however, there are many people who move on from terrible things which happened either as a child, or as an adult, and who go onto make a hugely fulfilling life for themselves, thereby disproving the theory that awful circumstances result definitively in defining your life in a negative way. Yes, these circumstances can define you but it’s possible they create a drive in you– you learn from situations, become resilient and adaptable to change, resourceful and perhaps empathetic to others.

There are of course outcomes from choices we make which might not be what we had hoped for and many people refuse to take responsibility: “I invested my money in a get rich quick scheme and I knew it was a gamble but I can’t believe I’ve lost all of my money”, “My manager expected too much, so I left the job but I can’t get another one,” “We deserved those two holidays earlier this year, the trouble is, now we’ve no money to fix the boiler. Why does everything always go wrong for us?” And so forth. We make choices and it’s important that we own the consequences of the ones that maybe don’t lead to the best of outcomes, but those decisions were made by you, and you alone. Things might not have panned out how you expected and whilst some situations might not be your fault, it’s worth some introspection and asking whether they are your responsibility. If we look in the mirror, very often we see who caused the problem, but who can also create the solution.

If you think about the circumstances you want to create for yourself, it’s important to take it back to the nature of your thoughts which in turn create your emotions, the outward expression being your behaviour, which over time builds habits, leading to your circumstances and results.

Once The Winning Edge ethos of taking personal responsibility for your thoughts, resulting emotions and then actions is understood, it opens the doors to a much more liberating and empowered way of thinking- no more blaming others, no sense of victimhood- it’s taking ownership and creating the change that you want.

Life has its twists and turns and it’s down to you as to how you choose to navigate your way through it.

Programming the Sat Nav
Once you know this Winning Edge stuff, you can’t unknow it and therefore, it can kick away a few emotional crutches; sometimes, just sometimes, you really want to blame someone or something for either where you are in life, or for a poor choice you’ve made. Of course, you are perfectly at liberty to, but deep down, there’ll be that little voice telling you that’s it down to you, and up to you to get yourself out of this fine mess. That’s the voice that can get the nature of your thinking back on track, knowing that if you want different, you get to change things.

Who is running your life? If you believe someone else is, then that too is a choice. The trouble is, how long will you have to sit around to wait for that someone to come along and make things better for you. Is that your parents? The government? Society? You might be waiting a long time. Wouldn’t life be so much more honest and real if we could realise we're responsible for everything we believe, say and do?

Sometimes, intellectually we can ‘get’ this but emotionally, accepting it and applying it on a day-to-day basis can be slightly more challenging! However, once you are aware of this, you will find yourself giving far more conscious thought to your choices and why you make the ones you do.

Live a liberated, empowered and enriched life. Get in the driver’s seat and programme the Sat Nav so that you decide the direction your life takes, including how you navigate the unexpected diversions.

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