The person who treated you hurtfully, who judged you, who disappointed you… Their responses to you were set in motion long before they ever met you. This is not about you.
You? Now? Your influence and power lie in stopping for a moment and choosing your response.
Note: This is not analytic philosophy or epistemology. It is not “The Truth”. It is just my attempt to point to a truth about human interaction.
When we feel pressure, a common instinct is to flee. Sometimes fleeting is wise (e.g. from an abusive relationship) but oftentimes it is not.
There is no universal law here. Facing the pressure and taking it on (yet again taking on more responsibility, and complaining about it) may be terrible advice. On the other hand, you may know yourself as one who has avoided responsibility, who has failed to follow through, who has allowed opportunities to slip away. If so, then consciously and choosing to take responsibility is likely to give you power in your life.
Not taking responsibility randomly, for the first thing that pops into your worried brain, or that someone asks you to do. Not for something that you’ve had guilt feelings about since childhood. Rather, for something that will turn you into a better person, something that might involve uncomfortable changes, that you’ve been avoiding for months or years. No universal law and no simple rule for choosing when to face and went to flee, but these may be signs of a responsibility that will give you freedom.
Freedom is the ability to set your schedule, to decide on the work you do, to make decisions.
…When in doubt, when you’re stuck, when you’re seeking more freedom, the surest long-term route is to take more responsibility to make something happen may be your wisest option.
– Seth Godin’s blog