A friend asked me what I thought the ultimate in moxie is.

After giving it a think, then another think, then another, I had it: I believe that being emotionally and relationally mature—having the chutzpah to stand up for what’s happening in your life and your role in it, may well be the ultimate in moxie.

It’s being in a place of understanding that whatever is to happen for you and to you is entirely up to you. More, it’s an acceptance of that, and a willingness to acknowledge yourself as the supreme leader of your own life. When you get to this point, you’ll easily be able to claim your own wins, and you’ll never feel pushed around, or like a victim, and you’ll be able to accept all the great things and not-so great things that happen to you as products of your own, rather than as belonging to another.

When you accept that what's happening in your life and work is entirely due to your own choices, life begins to get really interesting.

Know that you are responsible for your actions and inactions. You are the only one leading your life. The balls you catch or drop, the decisions (fabulous or poor) you make, and the consequences and outcomes  (positive and negative) springing from your choices are all yours and belong to no one else. So when something good happens to you, instead of playing it down, own it!  Equally, when something you don’t like happens, instead of a childish tantrum, be adult; stand up and admit/own your mistake/problem/issue. No excuses, and no spin. Just admit to the truth of what happened, with no justification. Say, “I dropped the ball,” or, “I missed the deadline,” or, “I forgot.”

This last bit, when things aren’t happy making, is a hard thing for many people to get. They think that it means they have to take the blame for everything. Please, please understand that this isn’t about “taking the blame.” It’s simply about understanding that you put yourself in the position in which you find yourself.

By way of an example, your alarm goes off in the morning, you roll out of bed and stand up. Are you the person who put yourself there, with your feet on the floor, standing next to your bed? Of course you are. Are you blaming yourself for standing next to your bed? No, of course you’re not. You’re simply accepting the reality of what is—that your choices put you where you find yourself.

Need another? Ok..you drive yourself to the mall. In the parking garage, you see a space that’s open and you park your car there. Coming out of the mall, you approach your car and see that the light that was hanging over your car has fallen and landed on the roof of your car, seriously denting it.

Are you the person who put your car there? Of course you are. Are you blaming yourself for having put the car there for the light to fall on? No, of course you’re not. You’re simply accepting the reality of what is—that you parked your car in a spot and a light fell on it, causing damage.

Are things ever your fault? Are you ever to blame? I don’t see much point in using that language. You put yourself wherever you are. Period.

That’s no different in any situation. Just accept the reality that your choices put you there.

It’s only then—when you can own that your choices have put you wherever it is that you find yourself—that you stand any chance of owning the situation; of embracing the win or of making things right.

And if you just aren’t there; if you can’t seem to figure out how to stand up and say the truth and accept responsibility for what’s happened to you, at least do your best to refuse to play the game of blaming others. Always remember that when you point your finger at someone else, you have three others pointing right back at you. The more emotionally and relationally mature you become, the far more successful your relationships and your business will be.