I’m currently obsessed with what “extreme ownership” of my life would look like. One of the many books I have enjoyed this year is a book by Jocko Willink and Lief Babin called “Extreme Ownership - How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win”. In the book Willink and Babin discuss the applicability of their Navy Seal training to business, management, and our everyday lives. I love this book for lots of reasons, one of which is the absolute and total admiration I have for the discipline and commitment it takes to become a Navy Seal in the first place. I am absolutely certain that without self discipline we can never be truly free. The great motivational speaker and teacher Zig Ziglar always said,
Zig was right and so are Jocko and Lief. This extreme ownership concept isn’t as common as it could and should be though. I don’t see it in many people but when I do see if I’m in awe, and try not to let that awe descend into envy.
I know that to take extreme ownership requires extreme honestly with ourselves. For me that requires that I audit the stories I tell myself - about myself and about my life. This can be panic-inducing stuff because these stories have a lot of my time and energy invested in them. When I audit them and make a bold declaration to myself that I will commit to living in a bullshit-free zone it can feel very, very vulnerable.
This year is also the year when I read every one of Brené Brown’s books and she is the Queen when it comes to vulnerability and shame research. If you commit to extreme ownership then you’re going to get hit in the face pretty quickly with vulnerability and shame. And so I come to the title of this post, the “Invisible Jury”. It’s so easy to imagine that there is some jury somewhere judging how we’re living our lives. Hell, maybe you have a visible jury too but often we’re just imagining and worrying what some nebulous “others” may think. So I say screw this invisible jury!
What if you really did totally own your own life? What would that look like? For me it involves relinquishing old stories that are just excuses. It means I have to stop playing the Busy Mother Card and the My Husband Always Travels Card, and any other excuse card. I decide to give up playing these cards, not because I can’t sell that story anymore, but for the very good reason that I don’t want to ever consider trying to sell that story anymore. Screw the Invisible Jury! I want to play with a new set of cards even if I don’t know the rules yet and may fall flat on my face.
What does extreme ownership look like?
It looks like dedicating ample time to crafting goals for 2019, 2023 and 2028;
It looks like refusing to negotiate with myself over any health or fitness goal - the run is scheduled for Tuesday at 10am so I go for the run on Tuesday at 10am period!
It looks like ditching blaming circumstances or other people;
It looks like asking for help when I need it;
It looks like prioritizing self-care so that I ensure I can perform at my highest level, always;
It looks like measuring progress and shifting course when necessary;
It looks like abandoning any behaviors I’ve adopted to numb emotion;
It looks like allowing myself to feel discomfort, to sit with it, to get curious about it and to build my awareness;
It looks like examining the people, situations, or issues that provoke anger, fear, envy, or any other negative emotion, in me and to working through the why so that I can release it and hold my space, with grace.
Extreme ownership is the most compelling view of life that I can imagine. It isn’t about having shiny prizes in my life. It isn’t about wealth or status. It’s about ending self-deception and growing the hell up!
I’m living for a jury of just one. That jury is me. I need to be living up to my standards not those of some invisible jury. So if you recognize yourself in any of what I’ve written, or you think that maybe you’ve invested in telling yourself stories that allow you to abdicate from taking full responsibility for your own life, why not drop a comment below and let me know which of the following three resources you might find most useful in your journey to full ownership.
Goal Planning Guide
- A How To Guide to uncover what you truly want and plot a course to achieving it.
Negative Behavior Detox Tool-Kit
- A Tool-Kit to reveal and address the negative behaviors that are self-imposed barriers to your advancement and success
Self-Care For Maximizing Performance
- A Recommendation List of the top self-care rituals and resources from some of the world’s top performers
Whichever resource is the most popular in the comments by the end of the year is the one I’ll publish first in Q1. It will be available as a free download - you’ll have to do the usual of giving up your e-mail address but I don’t spam people and you can just unsubscribe as soon as you receive the download so don’t sweat it. I’m on a brave journey to extreme ownership and I humbly invite you along if you’re up for it.
Memento Mori is my motto - Remember You Will Die - so I intend to live fully, every day, until that day. That means extreme ownership. Are you in?
You can get your FREE Goal Planning Guide when you sign up to my e-mail list here. Don’t worry I’m not some crazy e-mail ninja lady who sends out millions of e-mails. I’ll only mail you with occasional updates of free resources and new blog post notifications! Unsubscribe any time!
Check out my book, The Little Book of Good Enough on Amazon. It’s the ultimate tool for quieting your inner critic, ditching the self-doubt and owning your self-worth! It’s FREE if you have Kindle Unlimited!