[Note: This is the beginning of a 12-week series of posts that will discuss “choices” from the book Monday Morning Choices by David Cottrell.]

“The greatest power a person possesses is the power to choose.” – J. Martin Kohe

Is it possible to accept total responsibility to the things that happen to us? Does the buck really stop with us? Take a minute to think back on a work or personal situation that has happened recently in which you failed to accept responsibility. Instead, you may have thought, “If so-and-so didn’t do this-or-that we wouldn’t have this problem.” Is it possible to rethink that situation and take full accountability for what happened? Is it possible to not play the victim, but choose differently?

One of my main responsibilities is running projects.  I’m relatively new to my role in my current organization and my approach to project management is new to the project teams with which I work.  We are definitely learning together. There have been a few occasions recently where I have taken the “victim” role and placed blame on someone else when things went astray on the project. If I look back now I believe that in a number of those cases there was an opportunity for me to take on full accountability and not play the victim. I did have the choice and upon reflection I chose wrong.

We limit our own growth and opportunity when we attempt to use our “victimization” to not take risks or to remove ourselves from blame.