Here’s some great news:
You can get an ROI (return on investment) from everything you invest in, and it’s easier than you think.
Before I explain how, there’s one thing you must first understand.
And even though it’s easy to understand, it’s hard to live by. But you can’t get far in life or business (at least not with your sanity intact) without it.
We’re talking about 100% personal responsibility.
100% personal responsibility for…
- Your actions
- Your non-actions
- Your thoughts
- Your feelings
- Your reactions to circumstances
- Your reactions to your thoughts
- Your reactions to your feelings
This is the ultimate form of adulting—showing up and fully owning ALL of which you have control.
Let’s break it down even further, so we’re on exactly the same page.
Then I’ll show you how to use this skill (yes, I believe it’s a skill you can learn and master) to get an ROI from every investment. I realize it might seem far-fetched and unrelated, but I promise you they’re so tightly connected that you won’t be able to separate them.
What exactly is 100% personal responsibility?
It means owning EVERYTHING over which you have control and not expecting anyone or anything to be the way you want in order to be okay.
The truth is, we can’t control our circumstances (the “facts” of the world, like whether or not it’s raining, the driver in front of you, or how someone else dresses), and we can’t control the past.
We can, however, control how we deal with all of these things.
We can control our thoughts about them, our feelings about them, and how we choose to respond.
In two bullets:
- We cannot control circumstances or the past.
- We can take full control of how we deal with those things.
Let’s look at a real life (my life) example of facing the issue of 100% personal responsibility in a situation I didn’t like being in. It’s a simple one but illustrates this perfectly.
A few weeks ago, the music at the end of a yoga class was louder than I liked.
As a HSP and someone with misophonia, it’s very uncomfortable for me to be around loud noises (unless I’m the one choosing to blast the music in the car for a sing-a-long).
The first step in taking 100% personal responsibility is to acknowledge the plethora of choices on how to handle this circumstance that I didn’t like.
Here are my choices and how they stack up with personal responsibility:
Choice 1: Quietly be pissed off and passive aggressively shoot the teacher mean looks but never say or do anything else.
I’m not taking responsibility for anything, not my feelings, my thoughts, or my actions. I’m just seething, and this does nothing besides build up unnecessary frustration inside.
My initial reaction was to do this. After all, the discomfort of the music was painful!
Choice 2: “Call her out” after class for being so inconsiderate of people with sensitive ears.
“Calling her out” is a way of projecting my anger and discomfort on her because I don’t want to deal with the internal discomfort. I’m asking both her and the circumstances to be different in order for me to be okay.
This is NOT taking personal responsibility, though a lot of people incorrectly think this is.
The shy girl in me doesn’t do this, though I often fantasize about it or simply do it inside my head.
Choice 3: Talk to her after class and ask if she could play the final song a little quieter.
This can be taking 100% personal responsibility but ONLY IF (1) it’s done respectfully and (2) I’m okay with her saying NO to my request.
Making a request isn’t about getting what we want; it’s about respectfully asking for what we’d prefer. If she were to follow up with a NO, I then would be called upon to take personal responsibility for my reaction to her NO.
I considered this option but decided to make another choice.
Choice 4: Bring earplugs to class.
This is taking 100% personal responsibility, as long as I’m not a drama queen (in my mind or out loud) when using them.
The following week, I brought earplugs to her class and used them during savasana. (I carry earplugs everywhere.)
Choice 5: Go to a different class with a different teacher.
This is taking 100% personal responsibility, as long as I’m not making a stink about having to change my class time because this teacher’s music is too loud or making drama about it (in my mind or out loud).
I liked the teacher’s style and the class time was ideal, so I decided against this option.
Choice 6: Knowing that the volume isn’t actually damaging my ears—it’s simply uncomfortable—continue to go to class and learn to make peace with the discomfort and use it as a personal growth opportunity.
This is also taking 100% personal responsibility, and it’s the most powerful of all of these choices but the most difficult follow through on.
After using earplugs the following week, I select this option the week after. It’s exhausting being run by my misophonia and hypersensitivity, and I’ve been doing a lot of work recently to let some of this pain go.
I recently decided to apply the ABCs to my misophonia, and it seems to be slowly helping. (Score!)
And really, I can’t expect the whole world to know about or accommodate my every quirky need. On my quest for taking greater and greater personal responsibility in my own life, this is a relatively easy one to start with.
Make sense so far?
Okay, now what you really want to know is…
How to guarantee an ROI from every investment
(Just checking: Did you skip that last section with the examples to get here? Go back and read it all. It’s crucial that you understand this idea of 100% personal responsibility to be able to guarantee your ROI.)
So what the heck does the loud-music yoga class have to do with making an ROI from every business investment?
When you fully, truly, 100% OWN your thoughts, emotions, reactions, and actions in every situation, you put all the power you can possibly have into your own hands.
Let’s illustrate this by looking at all the ways people don’t take personal responsibility with their business investments:
- Thinking that investing in a course or coach or product or whatever will be a silver bullet, no work required, just magical results.
- Being challenged or pushed by their coach or the course assignments in a way that makes them uncomfortable. Then because they don’t like that discomfort, they “call the coach out” or “offer a critique” instead of dealing with the discomfort and opening up to the growth that could come from it.
- Not fully showing up for the investment, whether that’s working through the modules, reading the materials, doing the homework, showing up for coaching calls, participating with the online group, or whatever is involved in the investment.
- Not willing to sit with the discomfort of a challenging exercise, being pushed by a coach, or not having things go exactly the way they think they should.
- Not asking questions or for help when they get stuck.
- Hiding, disengaging, or disconnecting when things are hard.
You get the idea. We’ve all seen people do all of these things. And if we’re being 100% responsible right now, we must admit that we’ve all done these things ourselves—myself most definitely included!
Now, as I said earlier, when you flip these things completely and take 100% responsibility, you put all the power you can possibly have into your own hands.
And when you put the power into your own hands, magic happens.
You have mental and emotional space to make a clear, level-headed decision.
You have the ability to choose the option that supports your growth, not stifles it.
You can see ALL the opportunities that could come from this situation, sort of like how I used the discomfort of the music to slowly work on desensitizing myself to sound.
You can use it to help you face the wild discomfort of growth.
You can see the various layers of what can be learned from EVERYTHING about the investment and get more out of it than you ever imagined possible.
You can remind yourself to take responsibility and get what you came for.
Because EVERY moment, every opportunity, every failure, is one you can learn and grow from. ALWAYS.
It might not be instant money in the bank, but you better believe it’s a return on your investment—and a big one if you take advantage of every single opportunity offered to you (because they’re nearly infinite in number!).
I mean, think about all of the things you’ve done that didn’t work out over the course of your life and how much you learned from those things!
When you take 100% personal responsibility, you can’t not get an ROI—period.
So if you ever hear anyone say “that program / coach / course / product gave me no ROI,” there’s only one thing you can be sure of:
That person didn’t take 100% personal responsibility for their investment.
And that says so much more about them than the actual investment itself.
Now the good news is:
Since you’ve read this far (go, you!), you’re among the few who are ready to go to this next level in business and in life, taking 100% personal responsibility for everything you have control over.
When you do, you’re guaranteed an ROI from everything you invest in. Because you can’t not get one when you show up this way.
And I think that’s a pretty darn good way to do life and business.
Now, I’m dying to know:
- What’s one area of business and life where you are taking personal responsibility, and how are you approaching it?
- What’s one area where you’re not, and how do you want to shift it?
- What questions do you have about personal responsibility and how to apply it in tricky situations?
Leave a comment here, and let’s talk it out.
I can’t wait to hear from you!