You have to take full responsibility for your own life
This is one of those lessons I have often had to remind myself of.
It’s far too easy to blame external circumstances for our results. But the truth is we reap what we sow.
Nothing good comes from making excuses and laying the blame elsewhere. So if that’s a habit you still have, stop it NOW!
This can be quite a bitter pill to swallow at first. Especially if you’re in a position that you’d rather not be in right now. You may have worked your tail off, burned the candle at both ends, made numerous sacrifices and still find yourself short of the mark. In which case how can you possibly be to blame?
Just accept that you are and you’ll be in a much better position to get yourself where you want to be. Think of it this way. If you had no control with how you got to this point, what good is it trying to improve your situation? You clearly have no control over the course you’re taking right? Wrong.
It may have been subtle. And you may have not fully connected the dots of how you brought yourself to where you are. Though surely you can recognise that every thought, decision, and action was yours alone. Even if you took advice along the way, it was still your decision to follow that advice.
And while this may initially sound harsh, this is good news!
Because once you acknowledge that you created the reality you’re currently living in, you immediately claim the power to create your future. It is literally in your hands.
Is everything really my fault?
This is where opinions vary a little bit. So allow me to share some of my own thoughts on this area.
Depending on your views around the spiritual realm and how you came into this world, you may have some genuine questions around whether everything really is your fault.
For example can you really choose where you were born? The social class you were born into? The decisions that you’re parents made when you were young which may have affected your future? Or the economic climate of the country or region where you tried to build your career?
With this in mind I believe that there may be things that affect you which aren’t directly of your doing. Though I know many experts will say that even those can be directed by the power of your thoughts. If you’ve watched the film The Secret then you’ll know what I mean.
I like to look at things a simpler way though.
Let’s treat where you started from, or where you are right now, as something that ‘just is’. Then plan from there.
I first got the following idea from reading Jack Canfield’s ‘The Success Principles’, which if you haven’t already I recommend you grab yourself a copy. It’s a fantastic resource with a lot of brilliant ideas in.
In the opening chapter he shares the equation E + R = O.
This equation is credited to a psychotherapist called Dr Robert Resnick and represents the idea that every result you’ve attained in your life is from your response to an event. Therefore you can read the equation as Event + Response = Outcome. Whatever happened to you combined with your response to it determines your result.
To simplify it further I’ve created my own version of the equation which works for my brain better. I like to change the equation to a numerical one where the outcome we really want is a 100. If we then place a numerical value on the Event and the Response we can create a visual representation of how big our response needs to be to a given Event.
For example, let’s say that our goal is to buy a house but we don’t have anywhere near the capital we need. I could value the Event at 20. This means that in order to complete my goal my Response would have to be worth 80 to hit the 100 I need. The harder the Event, (or situation I’m in), the bigger my response needs to be.
On the other end of the scale, I may have been gifted a large sum of money from my parents to complete the transaction. This may make my Event value as high as 90, meaning I only need a Response at a value of 10 to complete my target.
This numerical approach helps me get my mind around the fact, that I ALWAYS have the opportunity to deliver a response that is bigger than any obstacle in my path.
The hard path is the easy path
There is a misconception at times when it comes to taking responsibility for each of our actions. It can be considered a tough path to follow. Though I would challenge this.
You probably know somebody who would simply do anything for a quiet life. They don’t confront their issues, they avoid any inkling of conflict, and wherever possible they take the path of least resistance.
They refrain from chasing goals saying they have no need to achieve this or that, or that they have no need for fancy things in their life. Yet these same people often lead anything but a quiet life.
Problems seem to just grow and get worse, and all the things they tried to avoid suddenly seem to come at them from all angles. Their colleagues don’t respect them and dump on them far too much. And their children behave unruly due to the absence of rules to keep them in line.
It often don’t seem fair as these kind of characters are often nice people. But the reason the problems proliferate is because they didn’t stand up, take responsibility, and set about rectifying them from the start.
At the stage when it’s too late these people often begin to realise that the harder path was actually the easier path. It’s much better to do the work up front than try to salvage a situation later on when it’s falling apart.
Take the time to audit your own situation
While you’re thinking about it now take the time to audit your current situation.
Are you happy with your results?
If for any reason you’re not satisfied, are you prepared to take full responsibility for those results? Can you honestly say to yourself that you’re where you are solely because of you, and you’re committed to doing what you need to do to move forwards?
At this point be sure to be totally honest with yourself. Many people will say all the right things about how they take responsibility, and that this time it’s going to be different. But it’s not paying lip service to this stuff that counts. Talking the talk is not enough you have to walk the walk.
And yes, I can speak from experience here as I’ve made all the mistakes there are to make. I know how easy it is to verbalise a big commitment about taking responsibility then head straight back into behaviours that don’t serve me. If we’re not vigilant about stepping up, old behaviour patterns will keep playing out on autopilot.
Once you’re committed to taking responsibility for where you are right now you need to really give some thought to how you got here.
What Response did you give to past Events that has manifested your current Outcome? What is working for you, and what is working against you?
Understanding this helps you to see what you need to do more of, and what you need to do less of. Or stop doing altogether if it’s something particularly destructive to your goals.
Then you need to consider what you need to add into your repertoire in order to bridge the gap between where you are and where you’re going. Attaining a goal is really about who you need to become in the process in order to be worthy of the goal. So what actions do you need to focus on adding to your routine, or doing more of?
Are you getting enough sleep? Drinking enough water? Eating quality nutrition? Are you exercising enough? Do you need to meditate more? Or do you need to commit to further study? Whatever it is that you come up with that needs doing, take responsibility right now for getting it done.
From here it is all in your hands
Knowing that you are fully responsible for what happens next can either be exciting or downright intimidating. It’s really up to you which one it is.
So I say why not embrace it and be thankful that you have the option to choose.
And while you’re at it you may as well choose life.
Go for it!
Thanks for checking out my blog and podcast. I hope you found the material interesting and insightful. Over the years I’ve studied many areas of personal development including life coaching and personal training, and I’ve built a strong network in the process. Through this blog and my upcoming podcast I’ll be discussing what I’ve learned, and how you can achieve the results you desire for yourself. Topics covered will include health, wealth, fitness, mindset and much more. If you’d like to stay up to date with this content, then join my mailing list. Simply add your details below and I’ll make sure you never miss a thing.