When you Function with Gumption, you take 100% responsibility for your thoughts, actions, and interactions with others.
To Function with Gumption is a simple concept. But I’ll readily admit it’s not so easy to do.
Here is why being personally responsible for these 3 things is so challenging:
Taking 100% responsibility for your thinking requires daily diligence. It’s a never ending battle. You need to be aware every minute, hour-after-hour. You’re fighting your lizard brain. You’re combatting your primal instinct of fear. You need to resist the constant urge to flight or fight.
Here is the thing.
When you become fully aware of your thinking, you start to realize that everything is a choice.
And with that recognition, you start to be free. You’re free to choose positive or negative thoughts. You’re free to banish negativity, fears, blame, annoyance, and even anger. You’re free to Function with Gumption.
That’s not to say I don’t regularly feel negative. I have my fears. I want to blame others and circumstances. I do become annoyed and angry. But I try to catch myself quickly when these feelings occur. I give myself permission to feel those thoughts and then make a conscious choice to think differently. When I think optimistically, my feelings do change.
Taking 100% responsibility for your actions requires discipline. It’s the discipline that comes with honoring the commitments you’ve made. It’s a choice to live your life with integrity.
It means making a plan and working your plan.
It means doing the things you don’t want to do right now so that you’ll have the freedom to do the things you want to do in the future.
When you become fully aware of your actions, you realize that every action is a choice. You’re free to act on whatever you want to do at any given moment. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way because you’ve made a commitment to someone else. But as a person of integrity, you honor your commitments. You complete whatever action is necessary at a given moment. Your actions demonstrate what it means to Function with Gumption.
As a creative person, I have to fight the urge to do the things that I’ve previously committed instead of dreaming. I’m easily distracted by shiny, new objects. Scheduling time to do and then acting during those times frees me to creatively dream at other times. Consistent, small, baby-steps of action helps me get things done, honor my commitments, and live my life with integrity.
3. Interactions with Others
Taking 100% responsibility for your interactions with others means choosing that the other person is never to blame for a mis-communication. It’s your job to make every communication work. It means giving up completely the bandaid of blame.
This is tough.
Blame is easy – it’s also a dead end.
In order to give up blame you have to allow the other person the freedom to choose for themselves. You employ persuasion as your means of influence. You seek to understand. You concede concerns. You grant space for another to face their fears. You grant others permission to Function with Gumption.
I find interacting with others much easier if I’m first responsible for my own thinking and my own actions. If I do my part to stay positive – it helps others be positive. If I do what I’ve previously agreed to do, then I’m much more willing to help others. Feelings of blame (i.e. defensiveness) mostly arise when I haven’t done my own homework first.
Being 100% responsible for your thoughts, actions, and interactions with others requires taking an honest look in the mirror.
Being responsible for your thinking requires choosing optimism when negative feelings arise.
Being responsible for your actions requires keeping the promises you’ve previously made.
Being responsible for your interactions with others requires a sincere desire to help instead of blame.
Easy to do? No. Simple concept? Yes.