What am I responsible for?
This is not the most pleasant question to ask when you feel that life is unfair.
Who wants to claim responsibility for something when it all seems unfair?
And answering this question honestly will make you understand that you, too, somehow contributed to these unfortunate circumstances. Not necessarily caused them, but you are not totally innocent.
Being totally innocent means you are a victim. And victims have privileges, despite being in unfortunate circumstances. Victims don’t have to do anything and aren’t responsible for anything, either. They are sympathized with and often cared for.
Being responsible for something directly makes the argument that you are a victim invalid. You are responsible for something, and therefore you have something to do (or to not do).
I have talked a lot about responsibility and the victim mentality in previous articles. I will leave links to those articles below.
For now, ask yourself: what am I responsible for?
Maybe I am responsible for my own reaction. I am responsible for my own emotional sanity.
I am responsible for taking myself out of toxic and unsafe environments.
I am responsible for making enough money to take myself out of such environments. I am responsible for learning and sharpening my skills to do that.
I am responsible for stopping the demoralizing habits that are hurting me and those I care about. I am responsible for taking on better and healthier habits that will take me to a better place.
I am responsible for taking care of myself, even if I don’t love it; heck, I am responsible for accepting it and coming to terms with it.
Claim your responsibility.
Here are the links to the articles about the concepts of responsibility and victim mentality I mentioned above:
Am I asking for what I need assertively?
Am I asking for what I need at all??
Don’t expect people to figure out what you need and then give it to you. That is wishful thinking.
One of the reasons people feel that life is unfair is not getting what they want and need. For instance, when people don’t treat them in a specific way. When they don’t receive help during tough times. When they don’t get a promotion or a bonus.
It is important to clarify what I mean by the word “ask” in this context. First of all, I don’t mean “beg” at all.
It’s about this: if you need help, ask for it (help, not a rescue!). If you don’t want a specific kind of treatment, speak up. If you want something from someone, let them know you want it without hinting that you may want it and leave it for them to understand what you fucking mean.
Recognize your needs. Ask for them. And ask assertively.
I am not telling you that people will give you what you need when you ask them. Some will. Some won’t.
But it’s the simple act of asking that makes the difference.
First, it makes you realize that your needs are your responsibility. It’s you who needs to go out there and try to get them. When you passively sit and expect people to figure this shit out and give it to you, and grow resentful when they don’t, you are basically giving up your power and refusing to accept your responsibility.
Second, given that you ask assertively and confidently, you will be able to know where and how you can get your needs met. You will get closer to where your needs are met and further away from where they are not.
Third, you will not feel as though life is unfair. You know your needs and you are pursuing them boldly and assertively. And you realize that if they aren’t met here, there’s another place for you where they can be met. Plus, you are doing your best to take care of yourself. No reason to grow resentful!
Not to mention that it’s a form of accepting responsibility for meeting your needs. The previous question is where all this shit revolves.
But let’s take it a step further…
What can I learn?
I don’t care how knowledgeable you are, there is always something to learn.
And trust me, when life seems unfair, there is something to learn. More accurately, something that you need to learn.
Slow down and listen.
Take time to explore your inner world and examine your situation.
What is the lesson?
Don’t rush the answer. Keep asking until you reach a satisfying answer; an answer that makes your heart and mind come to peace.
I recently made a mistake and left a secure job to pursue a company startup with one of my friends. Things didn’t work out and I realized that that company wasn’t the right place for me.
I was excited at the beginning, but I regretted joining this company even though it initially seemed like a great idea.
So, I quit. I left it.
My old job didn’t accept me back. And they have the right to do so.
The situation looks like this: I made a decision and it turned out to be stupid. I lost both of the things I had.
But those were my decisions, and therefore my responsibility.
I accepted that and stopped blaming whatever and whoever I was blaming.
It’s on me to get myself out of this new lifestyle that I got myself into. It was sucking my soul. And I knew that getting back to my old job wasn’t a guarantee, but that is one of the consequences of my own decision.
There comes the next part of asking for what I want and need.
I sat down with my friend and told him that I quit. I told him I no longer can be part of this. I communicated my dissatisfaction and pointed out that my decision has to do with what is right for me; not what was wrong with the company.
I went back to my old job and spoke with the manager about getting my job back. He informed me that they had hired new people, but if something came up, they would contact me. I respect his decision the same way they respected my decision when I left.
Doing this didn’t make my life amazing. It didn’t make my situation better. Actually, it was devastating, but it was the right thing to do.
It made me come face to face with my mistakes and see my situation for what it really is. And being face to face with it, I have no other options but to fix it and learn from it.
There are probably some lessons that I picked up subconsciously and they will manifest themselves in the future in similar situations. But I cannot rely only on that. I need to be more conscious of them.
By the time of writing this, I realized that I learnt a few things from that new company. I learnt a few skills and exposed myself to a different market.
Leaving my old job allowed me a lot of time to work on this site.
Those were the good things.
The bad things are a lot. The first one is how I stayed in a place that sucked my soul. It was clear, at least to me, that being in this new company wasn’t making me a better person. And I know myself; if I am not growing, I can’t stand the place.
But I didn’t leave because I was scared of leaving. “I would sound like a coward, I would have no source of income, I would prove myself wrong!” I thought to myself.
I sacrificed some of my needs, too. I sacrificed my financial freedom and stability. That was OK until I realized that I was sacrificing my identity, too, by pretending to be someone I am not.
And yeah, I am not entitled to leave and come as I wish. People have responsibilities and they have to take care of themselves without me. And they can.
But the main lesson that I had to learn was this: asking for help.
I am the type of person who finds it difficult to ask for help. Even from those who are close to me and who really care. I just can’t do it even though I believe that not asking for it is bad. Call it pride. Call it ego. Maybe an insecurity. Perfections. Whatever! And this is not something that I am proud of.
I learned my lesson and asked my family for help. It wasn’t easy for me, but it probably was what I needed to learn from this chaos.
(Again, help and not a rescue!)
Now, I stopped that lifestyle which I hate, and I accepted the consequences of my decision, I have to create a lifestyle which I choose and love. I don’t hate myself because of these bad decisions, and I am proud that I stopped doing what was consuming my soul.
And it’s time to move on. It’s time to build something new.
I hope my story showed you how the process of learning something looks like. It’s non-binary and chaotic, but it can produce order. And I hope this article helped you look at life differently when it seems unfair, or when the shit hits the fan.
Life is unfair, isn’t it?
It could be. Who knows for sure?
However, dwelling on its unfairness will make it even more unfair. And it will make you forget that you have what it takes to be in a better place despite the difficulties: a mind, a heart of a warrior, and a burning desire that would burn you if you didn’t act upon it.