Taking Ownership of Ourselves

Ever listen to someone make an excuse? Or worse, listen to someone complain? Yes, of course. We’ve all experienced this before. But despite the unpleasantness of being on the receiving end of an excuse or complaint, it doesn’t seem to prevent us from having our own. Why is that?

Well, I was doing a lot of thinking about this while I was celebrating my 36th birthday cutting the grass and pulling weeds—a task I actually really enjoy because it gives me time to think. When I think, I tend to focus on ways we can improve as humans. So, naturally I started thinking about what it might be like if we never made excuses or complained about things ever again.

I’d never really considered myself to be someone that made a lot of excuses or complained regularly, but I knew I’d done both many more times than I could count. So, as I was pulling what must’ve been the 100th weed, I decided that I would do my very best to refrain from excuses and complaints moving forward.

Has it been challenging? Absolutely. Is it unrealistic? Not at all. Have I learned anything? You bet.

What I realized is that excuses and complaints are really just a defense mechanism for taking ownership in our lives. When we don’t want to be held responsible for something, we make an excuse. When we feel something is unfair or unjust, we complain. Refraining from excuses and complaints leaves us with only one choice: to take responsibility for our actions.

There is a sense of freedom that comes with completely owning every action, every decision, every success, failure, breakthrough, mistake, triumph, shortcoming, etc. in our lives. There is a palpable confidence that radiates from within when we truly embrace ownership of ourselves. The fear of failure washes away and mistakes are shrugged off easily. Authenticity and trust go up.

It’s time to stop making excuses, and start owning our actions. It’s time to stop complaining, and start taking action.

What if the next time we felt compelled to make an excuse, we didn’t? What if the next time we felt like complaining, we calmly voiced what we wanted in a constructive and positive way?

P.S. For the record, I didn’t just do yard work for my birthday. My wife took me out on a wonderful date, of which there were definitely no excuses or complaints.