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Personal Responsibility 101

If you are ready to take control of your life and start getting what you want from this world, then your first step toward empowerment is to start taking responsibility for yourself. 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 minute you learn to take personal responsibility is the time you put yourself in control of your future.

Why is Personal Responsibility so Important?

While it may seem easier 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.

1. When you accept your role(s) in life, you get more satisfaction from your hard work and effort. Accepting 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 responsibility for your decisions or actions on to others, you never really learn from your mistakes or missteps. By just blaming someone else or shifting responsibility elsewhere, you are losing 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 really matters is your own, so you can stop worrying about the judgments of other people. You can start controlling your life because you finally put your own 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 your life is controlled by others, by “fate,” or by external forces, it creates psychological stress that is damaging to your mental health over time. Refocus your locus of control from the external to the internal. You will feel empowered!

When you accept that you are in charge, then you get to enjoy all the benefits that come with that, too.

Steps to Taking Personal Responsibility

So, how do you start taking back your personal 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 that you made decisions that led to this outcome. Plus, if you can't take credit for your mistakes then you can't take credit for your suceess either.

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 unproductive use of your energy.

Step 3. 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 responsibly for yourself.

Final Thoughts

Personal responsibility is about accepting your decisions and actions and learning to live with the consequences of those. Yes, you can skip that workout or eat those extra cookies, but when you gain a little weight, you must accept that your actions led to this outcome. And when you work hard and enjoy success at your job, you also get to accept that this outcome was a result of 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.

Until next time, many blessings and much peace!

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