It is so easy to blame our shortcomings or failures on others. Society today has a tendency to accuse our neighbors, genetics, parents, social status, upbringing, or education as the cause for our lack of success. Taking personal responsibility is viewed as a burden, placing limitations on us.
The truth of the matter, though, is that taking personal responsibility is liberating. It gives us the freedom to use our imaginations, to create our own lives, and fulfill our own destinies. There are several things you can do to determine whether you are accepting personal responsibility in your own life, and whether you are living up to your potential.
1. Take Inventory
Scrutinize your life and your reactions to your individual circumstances. Do you find yourself blaming your personal situation on your friends, co-workers, or your boss? If you do, you are probably failing to accept personal responsibility in your life.
Where you are today is a culmination of all of the choices you have made and the actions you have taken up to this point. Where you will be next year, or even ten years from now, will be the result of the decisions you make and the actions you take from this point on.
Examine your attitudes in comparison with your station in life and determine whether you are living a life of acceptance of a life of avoidance when it comes to accepting responsibility.
2. Admit Your Faults
Once you have taken your personal inventory you should be able to discover where your shortcomings are. Look at circumstances in your life that you are not happy with, and reflect upon the decisions you made that led you there. Perhaps you are heavily in debt and cannot see any escape from it in the near future. Look at your spending habits that led you into debt. Did you purchase a new car, or go on an expensive vacation that you could not really afford? Do you buy new clothes all the time or go out to expensive dinners? Do you gamble frequently? You need to answer these questions honestly so you know where your weaknesses lie.
You will not be able to make any progress towards achieving your goals until you can be honest about your mistakes. As long as you can admit your errors and learn from them, you can reach your goals.
3. Change Your Attitude
Blaming others for your lot in life not only prevents you from learning and growing, but it places you squarely in the role of victim. You place control over your own success and your own happiness in the hands of others. If others are to blame for your lack of success or your need for fulfillment, then you will never be able to achieve such goals on your own.
Accepting personal responsibility places you in a position of empowerment. Once you take responsibility for your decisions and your actions, you regain control over the direction of your life. You decide what to do, how to do it, and why. You have the ability to engage your creativity, the freedom to explore, and the power to change. If you have learned from your past mistakes, you will have the added benefit of wisdom. Look at accepting responsibility as a blessing, not as a burden, and it will free you from your constraints.
It takes courage to admit we are not perfect. It takes even more courage to admit when we are wrong. With responsibility, though, comes a tremendous amount of knowledge. Mistakes are a learning opportunity, but without the moral fiber to accept responsibility for those mistakes, any chance of gaining wisdom is lost.
Go through your life and review where you are today in comparison with where you want to be. Ask yourself why you have not yet reached your goals, and take responsibility for the decisions that led you astray. Then determine where you want to go from here, and make a plan to get there. Use your new-found wisdom to guide you down the right road, and commit to making the right decisions to get there. Keep your head up, your attitude bright, and your heart open to the possibilities of the world, rather than blaming it for your problems.
Thanks to Life Insurance Lowdown for including this post in the Carnival of Life, Happiness, and Meaning, to Energies of Creation for featuring this post in the Carnival of Creative Growth, to Credit Card Lowdown for inclusion in the carnival of Money, Growth, and Happiness, to Sales Management 2.o for including this post in the Carnival of Sales & Management Success, to Tip Diva for featuring this in the Carnival of Tips, and to ImprovedLife.ca for inclusion in the Carnival of Improving Life.