How to take 100% responsibility for yourself

Sometimes it is extremely easy to blame other people, bad luck or circumstance for anything negative that happens in your life. You might not be in control of everything that happen to you, but you are fully in control of your response. Everything you experience in your life is a result of your own actions and your response to situations and people. Once you realize that you are 100% responsible for all your actions, you can start to understand that you are fully in control.

In the past I have found it really easy to blame other people and circumstance for everything. It’s not fair, why has that happened to me? I couldn’t control it. These things happen! It’s bad luck.

Some of the way this played out:

– I would feel frustrated with certain people in my life

– I would be negative about certain situations I was experiencing

– I would feel that my life would be improved when << I could insert any number of things in here!>>

– I would blame my response to certain situations on other people

– I felt like things weren’t always fair

– I would feel sorry for myself

It was actually a training course that I attended which helped me to realise that the only person who could change any of this was myself. What I realised is that everything that happens is the result of your thoughts, words and actions. You are responsible for what happens in your life. You can’t change other people and often you will find yourself in situations that are not in your control, but you are in charge of your response to them. It can be pretty hard to accept this as it is often much easier to blame others rather than accept responsibility yourself, but it’s your response that can be a game changer in how you experience the world.

Don’t mistake this for meaning that if bad things happen to you, its your own fault. It’s rather that you have a choice on how you react to everything that happens to you, whether it is positive or negative.

What can you do to take 100% responsibility for yourself:

1) Create a vision

Don’t sit around waiting for things to fall into your lap and then get upset if they don’t. Create a vision for yourself on what you want to achieve and take positive action to reach that vision.

2) Realise that you are fully responsible

Once you understand that any change required to improve things is in your hands, you can take the responsibility for making those changes. Once you let go of blaming anyone or anything else, and take full responsibility yourself, you can feel more in control of the outcome.

3) Make sensible decisions

There are often times when you have a decision to make, you know what the right decision is, but for some reason you don’t make the sensible choice. If you know you are in this scenario, stand back, take your time, analyse the reasons for your decision, think about the consequences and try to make the wise choice.

4) Be in control

You may be the recipient of external forces outside your control, but you are very much in control of your reactions and responses in what you do and how you handle each situation. When you start to realise that you can’t control everyone or everything around you, but you can always control how you react to each situation, consider your desired response and then act accordingly

5) Stop blame

Many of us are used to blaming something other than ourselves for the parts of our life we don’t like. You can place the blame on your parents, your boss, your friends, your colleagues, your partner, the weather, your lack of money, literally anyone or anything other than yourself. Ask yourself whether you are trying to blame someone or something else for your problems and if you are, ask yourself what YOU can do about it.

6) Change your response

As the saying goes ‘If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep on getting what you’ve always got.’ You need to change your methods to change your results. Don’t be surprised if you always get the same result without changing how you are responding to something.

7) Be mindful

Start to identify when you are behaving in a way you don’t like. Identify if you are making excuses, playing the victim or blaming others. Once you identify this, it is much easier to change it.

8) Be inspired by great books

If you need inspiration there are many books on this subject of how to take charge of your life. Try Jack Canfield, take 100% responsibility for your life as well as many others.

9) Be positive

Try being positive, even in difficult situations. Look for the positive outcome, or at least the most positive reaction you can think of.  If something doesn’t turn out as planned, ask yourself what you can do.

10) Recondition your responses

Identify what winds you up and how you respond. There may be certain things that always drive you mad that you respond negatively to. If you identify what they are you can learn to respond differently to them. Pick one thing and decide you’re going to respond differently, for example don’t get wound up by a traffic jam, don’t get aggravated by a certain person, don’t get angry if someone keeps you waiting. Whatever the example, be conscious of your initial response, stop it and change it for a different response.

11) Detect your blame mechanism

Look out for when you have gone into blame mode. Identify who or what you are blaming for something and then when you are conscious about it, look at what actions you can take yourself to change the situation.

12) Give up on excuses

Stop making excuses and instead identify what steps you can take to take control of a situation.

13) Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Recognise when you are feeling sorry for yourself and find a strategy to cope with it. It won’t get you anywhere, just sitting around moping. Maybe chat it through with friend, or go and do something fun or distract yourself with another task, but try to refrain from going into ‘poor me’ mode.

14) Admit you might be part of the problem

If you are used to blaming others for your problems, you might be quite stubborn about accepting any responsibility yourself. Sometimes, if you analyse a situation you might find that you were partially responsible for causing something and you were fully responsible for the outcome and your response to the situation.

15) Make a commitment

Rather than talking about making changes you want, detail exactly what you are going to do and then takes steps to carry it out.

16) Stop playing the victim

Assigning blame and making excuses keeps you feeling like the victim. You may feel that you don’t have to do anything different because it’s not about you, its something that happened to you.

 

So as you can see, it can be very easy to let life happen to you, thinking that you are not in control and that it is all down to fate and luck, but in reality you are 100% in control of yourself.

I’d love to hear in the comments below how you have taken responsibility for yourself and your life and what results it has brought you.

3 Comments

  1. Dan October 27, 2015 at 7:33 am #

    Have you read Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl?

    He suggests that when faced with a choice of how to respond to a situation, you should imagine you are living life for the second time, and you had acted as wrongly the first time around as you are about to act now! What would you do differently?

    Reply

    • Mel Johnson October 27, 2015 at 8:16 am #

      Oh, I haven’t but I love that concept. I will download the book, thanks for the recommendation.

      Reply

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