One of the most important principles of personal development is that you take 100% responsibility for your life.
It’s important to understand what responsibility is, especially in relation to blame.
What does it mean to take responsibility for your life?
noun: re·spon·si·bil·i·ty \ri-ˌspän(t)-sə-ˈbi-lə-tē\
the state of being the person who caused something to happen
It’s essential to understand that you are the common denominator in your life. You are present at EVERY interaction, activity, decision, event, and experience that happens to you! You are the one, and the only one, that determines how you are going to respond or react to everything in your life.
With this knowledge, YOU must realize you are completely responsible for all of your successes and failures and of your happiness or unhappiness.
This is different from being at fault or to blame for something. Some events are things you may not want at all, yet they still happen. Car accidents, assaults, and burglaries are not things we want; yet they happen. Casting blame or fault comes as a form of chastisement, whether belittling oneself or belittling another. Ultimately, it’s how you respond to the situation, undesirable or not, that determines the final outcome.
For example, if one finds themselves mugged and beaten-up one night, they have choices which may be:
- Be fearful for the rest of ones life and not go out at night anymore,
- Take responsibility and enroll in self-defense courses, empower themselves and rebuild their self-esteem,
- Or do nothing and blame others, the police, themselves for not preventing it.
Blame and responsibility are on opposite sides of the spectrum. One brings on depression, and the other raises self-esteem and facilitates healing.
Blame is a negative, depressive state, which halts growth.
Responsibility is a proactive, positive state and allows active change.
If you don’t understand the concept and practice of responsibility, you will feel stuck in your life and you will fall into a victim mentality.
The negativity of excuse making will prevent you from succeeding. If you find yourself in your current position, personal or professional, claiming your problems are someone or something else’s fault, then you really need to take a hard look your life. No matter the situation, there is always a solution you can apply.
How to take responsibility of your life:
- Be willing to see your situation differently
- Make no more excuses and no more blame
- Listen to your thoughts – thoughts turn into actions
- Look for solutions and be proactive about them
What do you do when you’ve done something wrong or said something hurtful?
When you take responsibility and acknowledge that you’ve done something wrong you move into a positive proactive state. It can feel uncomfortable, but this discomfort is temporary because you are taking measures to correct what you’ve done. You are in a state of humility and openness.
How to take responsibility when you’ve done something wrong:
- Take ownership of your behavior and admit your misconduct.
- Apologize for it, and be sincere!
- Correct what you’ve done. Do your best to fix it and make amends.
- Don’t do it again.
Being honest and showing humility when you’ve been hurtful will improve your relationships dramatically; but you must be sincere and committed to improving yourself so you do not repeat the hurtful behavior again.
Taking responsibility for your actions is the key to being a genuine person.