You are totally responsible for your life. I believe this is a key principle you must embrace if you plan for happiness and success in life and work. So many people do not take responsibility for what is happening in their work and life. Everything is someone else’s fault. Every problem is explained away with reasons about why she can’t affect the situation or the outcome.

Blame and Excuses Are the Hallmarks of an Unsuccessful Life

On television, I briefly watched three jailed individuals who are seeking parole from the Parole Board, talk about themselves. I noticed the same pattern in their reasoning and approach to life. Nothing was their fault including the incidents that landed each of them in jail. I suspect that if I interviewed more incarcerated individuals, I would find a pattern of “not my fault.” That is why taking responsibility for choices, actions, and direction is so powerfully important. Without taking responsibility, you’ll likely look at your life as a failure because you allowed yourself to be blown hither and yon, by any passing wind. And, you blamed the wind for how things turned out.

We have all made some mistakes and bad decisions along the way. Goodness knows I have. I had a habit of blaming others for this and that. But I have come to realize that I was the one who made a certain choice.

It would be easy to blame my ex wife for certain things that are going on right now, but it solves nothing. I was the one who buried my head in the sand and hoped issues would resolve themselves. Ha! How often does that happen? So I know that I have to deal with certain things. Life goes on and I still love my life. It is damn near perfect. Think about it. There are people without jobs, without money who are living in their cars for crying out loud. I am very fortunate to have the life that I have.

People who take complete responsibility for their lives experience joy and control of circumstances. They are able to make choices because they understand that they are responsible for their choices. Indeed, even when events that are not completely under your control, go awry, you can, at least, determine how you will react to the event. You can make an event a disaster or you can use it as an opportunity to learn, to grow, to cherish your faith, to hold loved ones close.

How to Take Responsibility for Your Life

The most important aspect of taking responsibility for your life is to acknowledge that your life is your responsibility. No one can live your life for you. You are in charge. No matter how hard you try to blame others for the events of your life, each event is the result of choices you have made and are making. Listen to the little voice in your head. And, observe yourself talking with coworkers, family members, and friends. Do you hear yourself taking responsibility or placing blame?

Listen to that inner voice in your head. Eliminate blame; eliminate excuses. If the blame track or the excuse track plays repeatedly in your mind, you are shifting responsibility for your decisions and life to others.

Second, listen to yourself when you speak. In your conversation, do you hear yourself blame others for things that don’t go exactly as you want? Do you find yourself pointing fingers at your coworkers or your upbringing, your parent’s influence, the amount of money that you make, or your spouse(or ex spouse)? Are you making excuses for goals unmet or tasks that missed their deadlines? If you can hear your blaming patterns, you can stop them.

Third, if an individual you respect supplies feedback that you make excuses and blame others for your woes, take the feedback seriously. Control your defensive reactionand explore examples to deepen your understanding with the coworker or friend. People who responsibly consider feedback attract much more feedback.

So sit down and take a breath. Look yourself in the eye and make the decision to take responsibility for your life.

Please share this post. And please comment. Thanks for visiting.

Live simply.

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18 thoughts on “Taking Responsibility For Your Life Is A Must For Happiness

  1. This is an empowering perspective. The illusion is at times that we have no choice, but we are constantly choosing our reactions. I think this takes much self~discipline and mostly that just seems like more “work.” Lovely post to read first thing this morning. Bravo!

  2. I agree. Although I think sometimes we also need to look at our ‘story’ so to speak to see why we did the things we did or acted the way we did. Not blaming others, after all we are all human and all have ‘faults’. Our history can help us understand ourselves better and change ourselves for the better. The past is how we explain how we got to this point in our lifes today, and it is important, but it is how we use the knowledge that matters. We do have to take responsibility for own own actions but tha past also defines who we are.

  3. I find embracing my mistakes and errors to be very comforting, it has a element of security and control. Way better then believing that the world pushes me around (your wind analogy) at whim.
    Choosing my response to criticism though is still a work in progress. 🙂 The truth hurts sometimes.

  4. I am new to your blog, but loving your posts! So inspiring. I too have been divorced (after 24 years). It was my choice, and I hurt many people — but I really felt that I needed to reinvent my life. It’s been almost 10 years and all I’ve done is perfect my golf game. I feel guilty that I still allow my ex husband to financially support me and frequently find myself blaming him for the negative things in my life. I’ve tried to make good decisions, but can’t seem to step away from the “free” money. I’ve thought about working in a flower shop, or doing social work, anything that will enrich my life. My children are grown and need me less and less. I’m afraid to “be on my own” because of the new life I’ve constructed, albeit on false premises. I know this isn’t a unique story, how do I be my own person and stop relying on my former self’s circumstances? I’m afraid to let go of the past.

    1. Just let it go. You really do bring about what you think about. I know this is easy for me to say.

      After five years of trying to come to an agreement /resolution with my ex regarding property etc. I realized it just doesn’t matter. Who cares? So she can have it all.

      You can do this. I know you can. It is you life and your decision to make. Once you do you will feel empowerment and freedom.

  5. Great post and a very important one to remember for all of us I’m sure. I have generally been the one to end my relationships and pretty much all of my bfs have turned around on me and said that I have either ruined their lives (by breaking up with them – how classic) or that it was my fault it ended (well yes technically I guess, if I hadn’t broken up with them and stayed miserable I guess it could have gone on forever?), and I’ve always found that very interesting that they would come to such similar conclusions. Conversely I’ve always tried, when I get stuck in a rut, to ask myself what are steps that I can take as a person to get out of this situation and make my life better for myself? What can I do right now to improve things now and in the future? Of course it doesn’t always go that way, I also get that initial gut reaction to want to blame people too, “it has to be someone’s fault” especially when we feel like “we’ve worked so hard”, “how could it possibly be our fault?!” but I am trying hard to take stock of situations and identify when things actually have been my fault and I have learned to say sorry when they were – that’s hard! But important 😉 thanks again for the reminder on this concept, I think it’s a biggie.

  6. It took me many years (and much heartache) to reach the same conclusion and when I did, my life changed dramatically. But it’s not easy to sustain; it’s all too easy to slip back into the ‘blaming’ mode……. so your post is a welcome and timely reminder. It’s put me right back on track. Thank you so much!!

  7. This is a very well written blog entry. I read and re-read this several times and blogged about it on my own blog. I am in the process of losing weight and getting healthier and I feel like I have to accept responsibility for weight gain before I can successfully start to see weight loss. I am also working on this in my personal life with taking responsibility for my mistakes with friends and co-workers. I think I blame other people for things that I should not and feel that this contributes to me being more “snarky” towards other people. This post really gave me some things to think about and helped me work on some personal issues.

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