Taking 100% responsibility



“You are 100% responsible 100% of the time. There is nothing of your world 
that is not of your own making. When you realise this deeply you are FREE!”

Jacqueline Mary Phillips


Not according to the plan…


At my place of work, the final year students undertake projects of their choice to pursue and investigate a particular aspect of science related topic. One of my students decided to look into teaching Chemistry at a local secondary school in view of progressing to becoming science teacher.  He did the required background checks and we contacted the school that we have worked closely with in the past, in placing this student.


Emails were exchanged earlier in the autumn to sort out starting dates as planned, except the placement didn’t actually happen. Why? Because I did not email the follow up to finalise the actual dates and terms of work for this student.


It is my responsibility


Don’t get me wrong I had all the intentions of contacting them etc, but the fact is I didn’t. I became aware of my defensive thoughts such as ‘Well he could have reminded me…’,  ‘I forgot, I didn’t mean to…’ . Then ‘Oh no I should have remembered to contact the school…’

This last thought I put it through the SEJ process when I noticed the heightened feelings of guilt and worry. I felt tight and I certainly did not take action that was required.


When I hit upon a perfect regulation that felt true for me it was the same ‘I should have remembered’. But this time it felt different, I felt humbled and a feeling of humility came in realising the truth that it definitely WAS my responsibility to act on the students’ behalf, after all I am his project supervisor!! The fact was plain and simple for me to see and unlike earlier I actually could see clearly what action I needed to take.


With this clarity the first thing I did was to apologise to the student, and took action to rectify what was needed to be done. The SEJ showed me what and how I need to act with true clarity, but also gave me the sense of freedom that once I took the responsibility of practicing the SEJ and following the 4 x 4 process I found my own empowerment. I was no longer tied to the old belief of ‘I should have remembered…’


We ‘teach’ children and young people about taking responsibility, but I feel as ‘adults’ in their lives when we take full responsibility of our own thoughts and actions, instead of blaming or attacking them we will be far more effective and empowering role models. Don’t you agree?


Dr M Howard-Kishi


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