This article is about taking back responsibility for your actions and results. Without this your results will be limited, based on someone else’s agenda and out of your hands.
Before we talk about why taking responsibility is important, I thought I’d describe what people are doing instead of taking responsibility.
Not even trying
When people try to do something important they have to feel it is within their power and capability to get the job done. If they don’t feel confident they can see it though, they are much less likely to even make a start at it. It becomes a pipe dream with little chance of realisation.
Sure some things can be delegated to experts to do for you, and that’s fine if that’s the case, but the responsibility for finding that expert is still yours, and if that expert turns out to be a failure, it’s your fault.
People are quick to make judgements about how external influences impact their lives. They like to complain about all sorts of things, such as what the government is doing to them, what their local councils are doing to them, what their neighbours, their boss. their work colleagues, their friends and family are doing to them. They complain about the weather, the traffic, suppliers, customers, big business, other voters, the car, the train service providers, other motorists, the list goes on. We like to complain, particularly in Britain, where we’re a nation of complainers. The recent EU referendum has perfectly illustrated the fact that we like to complain about others for the mess we find ourselves in now. “It was the leave campaign that got us into this mess”. “They lied to us”.
People are always blaming external elements for making their lives more difficult. They use all sorts of excuses why they didn’t achieve something, or to blame failure on some external event, person or thing. They didn’t have enough support, didn’t get the breaks, got let down by a supplier, bank bailed on them, weather ruined the day, lacked the time, money, knowledge, resources, got duped, were mis-sold.
We resist change
Many of us push against change because we hate uncertainty and ambiguity. We like to think we are safe in our comfort zone, we’re familiar with our surroundings and what is expected of us. There is a perception of stability in the status quo. In reality this is an illusion, particularly with the way technology is impacting all our lives. Things are moving faster, and we have to be prepared to move with them, otherwise we’re going to be left behind.
Relying on others
People generally like to rely on others for guidance, help and support. Many people like to be followers rather than being leaders, partly because if the proverbial s**t hits the fan, they can blame someone else for the failure. Lots of people don’t like to lift their head above the parapet for fear of being shot down, criticised, rejected. The result is they play it safe and fail to make progress.
Take back Responsibility
Change brings Opportunity
If we don’t push beyond our existing capabilities we’re confined to the world we currently inhabit. Our comfort zone becomes our limit, but as technology impacts our lives more and more that world is going to get a lot smaller over a short amount of time. To push beyond our little bubble, we have to break through our boundaries. This can be scary, because we are conditioned for self-preservation, and part of this means we prefer certainty and the status quo over change and uncertainty which brings with it, risk. We as human beings hate risk, and the unknown because risk equals danger. Instead see change as opportunity. There will always be winners and losers in any given situation. mentally position yourself to be on the winning side, by looking to take advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Be predator of opportunity rather than a victim of circumstance.
Complaining and Blaming are pointless
What good does blaming someone or something else for a failing do anyway? It might temporarily make you feel better about yourself because someone else messed up, it wasn’t you, phew. But after that initial relief, where does that leave you. You still haven’t achieved your aim. Instead you’ve tricked yourself into staying put and accepted the failure, instead of learning from and moving beyond it.
Abdicating control of the situation, and believing your life is subject to some unalterable master plan is also dis-empowering. Burying your head in the sand, might fool you, but the reality of the situation is unchanged. Having a victim mentality, blaming external circumstances for your problems, believing it’s not within your power to change, is the surest way to avoid improving your life.
Failing to take responsibility only delegates control, responsibility for your life still resides within you (whether you like it or not).
When you complain about or blame others or something else, you’re trying to pass responsibility to that same thing. In doing so you also pass power. The very power you need to be able to deal with it.
Eckart Tolle rounded it perfectly when he said “When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept it. All else is madness.”
Be determined to win
When you say to yourself, whatever goes wrong is down to me, you allow yourself to take ownership. Instead of fearing failure, embrace it, learn from it and make it the fuel to power through and find a way to succeed.
Instead of allowing glass ceilings, plateaus, and obstacle to defeat you, accept the challenge and find a solution to overcome them. If you fail again, come at it from a different angle, keep going, don’t use external elements as an excuse to give up.
It’s not what happens to you that matters, it’s what you do about it that counts. Stop blaming circumstances, it’s not circumstances, it’s you. Really, it’s you. Things won’t improve unless you do. You know, the truth is liberating because you can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are. The other side of the coin, unless you change what you are, you’ll always have what you’ve got. It’s not a lack of resources (money, time, experience, support, skills, opportunities, connections) that’s the problem, it’s a lack of resourcefulness, by you, to find a way through. The only way to make progress is to take back responsibility for your actions and results. Rely on one person to take charge of your destiny, and that has to be you.
It’s fine to get outside help from experts, but know that it’s your responsibility to make sure they are up for the challenge. If they fail, it’s because of you. You didn’t get the right person for the right price. You have to take responsibility for your life, after all it’s yours, nobody else’s. Don’t fear the challenge, embrace it, be excited by it.
For more about motivational influences, check out our Motivation guide.
If you would like to read more articles focused on TAKING RESPONSIBILITY, click here.
Thought of the Day Quotes (more thoughts here)
“There are winners and losers in every situation. Instead of complaining and blaming, make sure you’re mentally and emotionally positioned to win. Be a PREDATOR of CHANCE rather than a VICTIM of CIRCUMSTANCE.”
“BLAMING and COMPLAINING are excuses not to TAKE RESPONSIBILITY. They are COPING STRATEGIES for failure, they are a CHOICE to play the role of victim. Without them you have the power you need to TAKE ACTION and SUCCEED.”
“Make Things happen by doing what matters.”
Take Responsibility Quotes
“Placing the blame or judgement on some else leaves you powerless to change your experience: TAKING RESPONSIBILITY for your beliefs and judgements give you the power to change them.”
“Passing blame passes power to do something about it. Take responsibility.”
“More people would learn from their mistakes if they weren’t so busying denying them.”
“The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life.” – Hal Elrod
“It can be a painful thing to look at your own trouble and know that you yourself and one one else has made it. But not admitting it, doesn’t change the fact. Instead own it, learn from it and move forward.”
“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.”
“You’re free to do whatever you want, but you should always take responsibility for the consequences of your choices in life.”
“There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.” – Dr Denis Waitley
“The more you take responsibility for your past and present, the more you are able to create the future you seek.”
“Your attention please: No one is coming to save you. This life of yours is 100% your responsibility, whether you accept it or not.”
“Responsibility is the price of freedom.” – Elbert Hubbard
“When you choose your behaviour, you choose your consequences.” – Dr Phil
“Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go. No one else.”
“Part of getting a second change is taking responsibility for what you did wrong in the first place.”
“There are valuable lessons to learn from failure, but in order to learn them, you have to take responsibility for them.”
“Responsibility shouldn’t be considered a burden, it’s a consequence of your freedom.”
“With freedom, comes responsibility.”
“Responsibility: the ability to choose your response.”