I was at a self-help seminar my Uncle Bob was teaching, and I shared how down I’d been after going through a battle with cancer and that the Prozac I was taking for depression just made things worse. I still had no drive. No vision. No real excitement about life.
didn’t coddle me. Instead he challenged me. “How much responsibility are you
willing to take for where your life is at?” he asked.
not like I can take responsibility for getting cancer. That wasn’t my idea of a
“Got it. But
I didn’t ask you to take the blame. However, what will you take responsibility
circle on a piece of paper, he put a line through the middle.
is the ability to respond,” he said. “Let’s say you take 50% of the
responsibility for where your life is now.” He pointed to one half of the
circle. “You still have no control over—no ability to respond to—the other 50%,
right? Like someone could slap you in the face, and you’re not to blame for
being slapped. That just happened to you. But . . . if you block the next slap,
then you’re taking responsibility. You’re using your ability to respond—which
would change the outcome.”
words I experienced a light-switch moment that would literally change the
trajectory of my life. I realized how much control of my life I’d given up. How
sorry I was feeling for myself. How I’d come to see myself as a victim—and
victims are never winners; they are always victims. Even when I wasn’t being a
victim, I was still flitting aimlessly through life, letting it happen to me
instead of making it happen.
I didn’t want
to be a victim, nor did I want to be aimless. I wanted to be a winner. More
than that, I wanted to be a warrior. That became my metaphor.
this excerpt from my new book The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child, I
let readers in on one of the biggest a-ha moments of my life. Learning to take
responsibility—not the blame—for my own life empowered me to stop feeling
like a victim and start being a warrior. Yes, I had cancer in my 20s and then
depression. That wasn’t my fault. But I realized that I wanted to take 100%
responsibility for the way I responded to it. I could mope about it and feel
hopeless and helpless, or I could learn from it to make my life better.
about you? Do you want to be a Brain Warrior who takes responsibility and makes
your life happen, or a victim who has no control? How much power and control
over the outcome of your life do you want? Take some time to think about your
life and how much control you’re giving away to others. Have you been giving
away 50% control, 75%, or even 100%? When you really examine your life, you
might be surprised by how much you’ve relinquished to others.
a true Brain Warrior, you need to commit to taking 100% responsibility for your
life. This includes being accountable for the way you think, feel, and act.
are 5 tips to help you get started:
The Relentless Courage of a Scared Child is written by Tana Amen, a New York Times bestselling author, neurosurgical ICU trauma nurse, and vice president of Amen Clinics. In this compelling and candid memoir, Tana shares how she was able to find healing after experiencing a terrifying childhood of abandonment and abuse and how she has become a champion for others who have experienced trauma. It offers an inspirational look at what’s possible for anyone in need of healing and hope. Order your copy here.