How to Take Responsibility For your life: 7 Essential Requirements

For years we’ve been told to take responsibility for our own lives. And many of us believe that they’re taking responsibility for their own lives when they’re not. The victim mentality can be very subtle and take many forms.

Those, who are constantly complaining about how their exes, boss, loneliness, sickness… are making them miserable, are not taking responsibility for their own lives.

If you think that raising your children is preventing you from having a career, then what about those who are successful in their careers and still are doing a wonderful job raising their kids.

The truth is that you’re totally in control. For some conscious or unconscious reason, you’re choosing to stay in that toxic relationship or in that lousy job. It’s difficult to accept one’s responsibility because that means you have to see yourself as your own enemy. You’re doing this to yourself, creating your own misery. On the other hand, the realization can turn to be a blessing because until you become able to see how you’re choices are shaping your life, you won’t be able to change something and create your own joy.

Below is a list of things you can do today to start taking full responsibility for your own life.

1. Never blame anyone else for anything you are being, doing, having or feeling.

By blaming someone else for anything you’re being, doing, having or feeling, you give away the power to that person and become helpless and paralyzed. You lose any chance of changing something and making things better.

2. Don’t blame yourself.

Even though you’re created so much of your unhappiness, don’t put yourself down by blaming yourself. You have to remember that you did the best you could with the best you knew at that particular time. Now that you know better, you need to make whatever changes need to be made. It all is part of your learning process.

3. Becomes aware of when you’re not taking responsibility so that you can change.

When we’re not taking responsibility, we’re usually unaware of it. Like, for example, being in a relationship and expecting the other person to make you happy and then getting resentful and angry when he’s not meeting your expectations. Nothing is wrong about being assertive and having your basic needs met by your significant other, but when you’re not taking responsibility for your own life, no amount of nurturing and caring is enough and you become resentful.

Anger can be your clue to become aware of when you’re not taking responsibility. Other signs like blaming others, constant fatigue, attempting to change others, obsessiveness, dissatisfaction… can indicate that you’re not taking responsibility.

4. Handle your self-talk.

We all have this inside voice in our heads that often drives us crazy. This self-talk can either be positive and thus lifts our mood, or it can be negative and puts us down. Taking responsibility means being aware of your self-talk and changing the way you talk to yourself. Whenever a negative thought comes into your mind, replace it with a good one, distract yourself. This can be challenging, we think thousands of thoughts every day. No one can control every thought of his. The good news is, with practice, you can encourage your mind to think more positively and thus not having to make us much effort directing your thoughts toward a brighter direction.

5. Be aware of the payoffs that prevent you from changing.

When the situation we’re stuck in is rewarding in a way, it becomes difficult to see the good that might come from taking responsibility and changing the situation.

In fact, by remaining a victim, one is comfortable and doesn’t have to face the fear of taking risks. If someone is having a lousy job and complaining about how unhappy it’s making him. He had probably become comfortable. The job is relatively secure, he knows how to handle it, he doesn’t have to put in extra hours or additional energy, he doesn’t have to face rejection while searching for another job.

Only when you become aware of the payoffs of the situation, that you become able to take responsibility and make a choice.

6. Figure out what you want in life and act on it.

We shape our lives with our thoughts and action. Stop accepting whatever life throws your ways and start setting goals for yourself. Figure out what kind of life you want to live and create it. It doesn’t take much to make your life a happier place. Surround yourself with loving people and cut out any toxic relationship that is draining your energy. Pick the phone and make plans, don’t wait for them to call you. Start taking care of your body. Start looking for the job of your dreams and work hard for it.

7. Be aware of the multitude of choices you have in any given situation.

As you go throughout your day, be aware that at every given moment you’re choosing the way you feel. When you wake up in the morning, you have the choice whether you’re going to open the shades and let the light in, or remain in darkness. You have the choice of whether to say “I’m looking forward to today’s opportunities” or to say “Yuck, I don’t feel like getting up and going to work”. You have the choice of feeling bad about your body, or telling yourself “I’m in the process of creating a great body”. Whatever comes your way, you have the choice of putting yourself down or encouraging yourself. Always pick the one that will empower you and help you grow.

What would you like to add to the list? Share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below. 

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