Take Responsibility

Things don’t seem to work out.
In the past month of April, over the course of three weeks I applied to 203 jobs. I got rejected 203 times. Not a very big deal. Prior to that, in 2021, I heard “No” 346 times. Outside of many things I did to make a living, I kept applying for jobs. May 8, 2022, will be the second anniversary since I got let go from my engineering job at Uber ATG. For two years, I’ve been trying to figure things out. It’s been a crazy roller coaster with ups and downs. I had some financial wins, however… however…

After the last set of interviews in April, I felt very positive and optimistic. It seemed as if I found “the one” – the job that fit me perfectly. Not one, but two job opportunities made my dopamine levels rise. One was in Montreal, another in Palo Alto, Silicon Valley. I went through three stages of the interviews. I was certain that if not one, then another for sure will work out. I was getting ready to move. A long story short, after some time waiting, I got rejected for both of the positions. Again… Odd reasons, nevertheless, it was a no.

I think that I handle rejections well, however this time I gave a crack. The problem was not with just these two jobs, but the accumulation of everything. Two years of trying. Two years of banging on so many different doors.

I needed to clear my head. My mentor said: “You must take responsibility. You need to take charge of everything that happened and will happen in your life. Unless you do – you will be miserable. It will eat you alive.” Hearing him say that made me angry. Wasn’t I taking responsibility all this time? It was all on me. I never tried to make up excuses. I never blamed anyone, but myself. That was a problem. I blamed myself. I burned myself alive. My inner critic perceived his words as a direct criticism. I did not understand what he meant. Only two days later I did.

He was not critiquing. It was not criticism. I realized how wise and deep his words were. I realized how much he cared for me. I felt like a fool.

Life happens to you until the moment you decide how you want it to be. God is in you – a creator is in every human being. Each of us has the creative power to shape the world around us. To take responsibility means to reclaim your creative power. To take responsibility means to put your hands back on the steering wheel. Unless you do – the life just happens. To take responsibility is to get back to the drawing board and draw a man whom you want to become. Taking responsibility has nothing to do with paying for your mistakes. It is not about blaming yourself for not being perfect and having everything figured out. There is no criticism involved. Criticism is victimizing. Not even a scent of it. It’s about reclaiming your power. It’s about bringing enthusiasm and energy back to your life. This is the only way to break the cycle. Taking responsibility is the way out. It’s the way through.

I also realized how big and powerful my inner critic is. He eats me alive. He uses fear, manipulation and shame to control me. To him: I see you now. I am not afraid.