Early on in my entrepreneurship journey I learned the importance of taking personal responsibility for my part in every situation. Prior to this I was the person who blamed everyone else for…well, everything. It was never my fault for why something didn’t work out.
The thing about that kind of attitude though, is that it doesn’t get you very far in life. I had to realize that I could either continue blaming everyone else and have no success, or start to take personal responsibility for my life and change everything. Spoiler alert—I chose the second option.
Years ago I had a pretty terrible misunderstanding with a friend that actually fractured the friendship beyond repair. I had not set any boundaries and as a result, I let myself get more and more frustrated until I had no choice but to say something. When I did, my friend did not receive my words well and exploded at me.
When I reflect on that time and the pain that came with it, I see where I could have set boundaries to begin with and not let it get to the point it did. Was my friend right in accusing me of terrible (and untrue) things in their anger? No, of course not. But I can see where I could have made changes in order to get a different result and I know I need to do that moving forward in new friendships and in business relationships.
The beauty of taking personal responsibility in every situation is that it makes you really teachable. Instead of jumping to blame someone else for the situation, you can look at it rationally and objectively and consider how you could have done things differently to change the outcome.
It takes a high level of leadership to be humble enough to admit that you could have made better choices. When you mess up, apologize. Be open and willing to change when needed if that change is going to ultimately help you become a better person and better entrepreneur.
It’s when we lose our teachability and assume that we know it all or that we’re always right that we begin to get into trouble.