Has anyone ever said anything to you that cut you to the quick? Then, when you approach them asking why they would say something that hurt you so much, they deny having said it? I’ve regretted things I have said and skirted around the issue in hopes of avoiding having to be held accountable for it. At some point in our lives, we all do or say something that we wish we could take back. By apologizing to the person you’ve hurt, not only are you most likely going to avoid further conflict, but you are owning your mistake.
Words hurt, but so do fists. I have heard many times that a person who physically abuses their children can’t help it because he/she grew up in an abusive home. To me, this belief does nothing but perpetuate the cycle of abuse. It almost gives permission to those who have been abused as children to continue that abuse. In turn, their children abuse their children, and so on. The cycle ends when an abuse victim takes ownership of his/her life and refuses to carry on with that mindset. Another cycle, one of nurturing and protecting their children begins.
While owning our personal actions is of vast importance, what about our professional ones? Say there’s a promotion that you really want to throw your hat in for, but another employee, who talks with the boss on a personal level, is also applying. Rather than working toward the promotion, you decide you wouldn’t get it anyway and don’t bother applying. In the end, you don’t know whether you would have gotten that promotion or not. It could be, that you were the one who was needed for the position, but now you’ll never know. Rather than becoming resentful of the one who got what you wanted so badly, you must own your decision not to apply.
Not taking ownership of our actions not only hurts others, but if affects us too. Guilt is a powerful emotion that can lead to a great deal of stress, and the fear of our actions coming to light creates a sense of paranoia. By far, owning what we do or say is much healthier.
Something to think about…