7 Success Strategies: Part 1: Be Responsible

“The price of greatness is responsibility.” ~ Winston Churchill

This article is the first in a series called “7 Strategies of Successful Women Lawyers.” While there are many success strategies that I see successful and thriving women lawyers employ, these seven are the most prevalent, most powerful, and most relevant.

The first success strategy is “Be Responsible.” Sure—you may think of yourself as responsible, as a “responsible” adult. But truly taking responsibility for your practice, your life, and all the results you experience is a very different matter. What you are experiencing did not just happen to you. Consciously or nohttp://www.flickr.com/photos/marcobuonvino/4433752930/t, you created your reality and the results you are experiencing.

The emotions you are feeling are those that you choose. Anytime you have felt a specific emotion, you chose it. You either chose to be joyful or saddened. You either chose to feel powerful or victimized. You either chose to feel gratitude or discontent. You made a choice to feel the feelings you experienced.

The actions you take are those that you choose. Any action you have taken is one you have chosen. You either chose to take the action you knew would move you forward or you chose to sit back and wait. You either chose to speak up when you needed something or you stayed silent and complained. You chose to take the actions you took, and you reaped the results of those actions or inactions.

In every moment, you have a choice. You have a choice in how you’re feeling and in how you act. Beautifully, we therefore have the choice in every moment to choose a better feeling and a better action, to make our future brighter than what we are currently experiencing.

The first strategy of successful women lawyers is to “Be Responsible.” Take responsibility for your own actions and reactions. Only you can choose how you feel, act, or react to the world around you. Responsible women lawyers know that in order to succeed, you must stop blaming others for what you are experiencing and, instead, choose to be responsible for your own reality and your own destiny. It’s up to you and no one else.

Yes—things happen in life that we cannot control, and we must respond to them. But we are the masters of those responses. We are “able” to choose our “response”—we are “response-able.” Do you choose to think in terms of what you “can do” or “will do?” Or do you use language like “I can’t”, or “I have to”? Instead of living life on the defensive, play the game of life on the offensive, choosing the “plays” you want to run, throwing the ball where you want to throw it.

Don’t waste your time and energy on resentment, guilt or worry. Resentment is a failure to forgive others. Guilt is a failure to forgive yourself. Worry wastes time and focuses on situations that you cannot control. Instead of worrying, take actions that will prevent the situations you are worried about—a much better use of time. Resentment, guilt and worry are enormous time and energy wasters, and they allow you to avoid taking responsibility by blaming everyone and everything but yourself. Start fresh now, in the present moment, choosing to feel empowered and capable of making choices that move you forward.

So become responsible. Take responsibility for the thoughts you think, the feelings you feel, and the actions you take. Only then will you also be in control of the results you experience. Successful women lawyers know and fully understand this strategy—and now you do, too. Start using it today and you will find that you not only feel better when you choose better feelings, but you will also experience the freedom that comes only with believing that you are responsiblhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/amoration/2553900155/e and capable in creating the business and life you desire.

TODAY: Where have you been irresponsible, reactive, and playing on the defensive? Take control of your thoughts, feelings, and actions. Be responsible for yourself. Today, release resentment and guilt that have been holding you back. Quit blaming others, and chart your own course, starting now!

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