If you are ready to take control of your life and start getting what you want from this world, your first step toward empowerment is to hold yourself accountable. Personal responsibility is your ability to accept that your words, actions, and decisions have consequences and that you and you alone are responsible for them. And the moment you take personal responsibility is the time you put yourself in control of your future.
Why is Personal Responsibility so Important?
While it may seem more manageable and more desirable to keep blaming others or “life” for your current circumstances or situation, in truth, taking responsibility for yourself has many more benefits.
Here are just a few thoughts for your consideration.
1. When you accept your role in your life, you get more satisfaction from your hard work and effort. Taking responsibility means that you get to bask in your successes and take full credit for your talents and strengths, and you should never pass up a chance to feel proud of yourself.
2. When you pass your decision making responsibility or actions on to others, you never really learn from your mistakes or missteps. By just blaming someone else or shifting the burden elsewhere, you lose out on the opportunity to grow and develop, which is an essential part of life.
3. Personal responsibility also means that the only person’s opinion or happiness that matters is your own, so you can stop worrying about other people’s judgments. You can start controlling your life because you finally have your needs and opinions first.
4. The more you believe that you have control over your own life, the less stress and anxiety you feel. When you think that control over your life is in the hands of others, by “fate,” or by external forces, it creates psychological stress that is damaging to your mental health over time.
Steps to Taking Personal Responsibility
So, how do you start taking back your power and accepting responsibility for your life? Here are some simple steps to get you started.
Step 1. Stop blaming.
When you blame others or shift responsibility away from yourself, you are placing yourself in the position of a victim. You are refusing to acknowledge that you had a choice or made decisions that led to this outcome.
Step 2. Stop complaining.
Complaining is just another way of saying that you should not have to feel responsible for something. Plus, it does not solve any problems, so it is an inefficient use of your energy.
Step 3. Consider your options.
Consider what your choices are in every situation. No matter what, you always have options. They may not be choices you like, but they are decision points. Try to be consciously aware of every choice you are making and its potential outcomes.
Step 4. Start learning from your mistakes.
Most people shift to blame or complaining when things go wrong because they do not know what else to do. Instead, you can turn setbacks into learning experiences that help you make better choices in the future. Consider what lessons you can take from every opportunity, and you will soon feel more comfortable taking responsibility for yourself.
Final Thoughts on Personal Responsibility
Personal responsibility is about accepting your choices and action and learning to live with the consequences of those. Yes, you can skip that workout or eat those extra cookies, but you must accept that your actions led to this outcome when you gain a little weight. And when you work hard and enjoy success at your job, you also get to accept that this outcome resulted from your choices, too. It goes both ways.
When you live with personal responsibility, you take back power from others and learn to harness it in your own life, becoming the master of your destiny and the creator of your fate. When you accept that you are in charge, then you get to enjoy all the benefits that come with that, too.