English culture, especially North American culture, does not like the idea of personal responsibility. If I got drunk at a bar and ended up in a car accident, I could sue the bar for serving me. If I broke into your home and tripped over the dog, I could sue you for damages.
Pop psychology and daytime television have filled our heads with the idea that it’s never our fault. We can blame our parents, the system, or (more recently) our genetic makeup.
And what have we ended up with? A couple of generations of people who refuse to take responsibility for their lives, saying “but it’s not my fault” every time something bad happens.
Fortunately the pendulum seems to be on the move heading the other direction. More people are taking responsibility for their lives, whether it’s through ideas like the Law of Attraction, or just a simple decision to make choices rather than react.
Even the daytime field has changed. American media mogul Oprah, who used to revel in the cult of victimhood, now focuses her energy on people who make choices and who take full responsibility for their lives.
So what does that mean for us? What does it mean to take personal responsibility?
1. Be Aware Of Your Life
Often we don’t need to think about life; we just live it moving through life in a kind of trance, let the autopilot guide us. And while autopilot has its uses, many people give it permanent control. Unfortunately while the autopilot runs days, weeks, months or even years might whip by while we’re in this trance of doing.
2. Make Conscious Choices
Life is choice. Anyone who says “I had no choice” is lying. And while we don’t always have control over what comes at us externally, we always have a choice as to how we react. Getting up in the morning is a choice. Deciding to live is a choice. And the more you practice making conscious choices, the easier it gets.
3. Accept The Consequences
So you’ve made a choice and suddenly the results aren’t what you were expecting – at all. The easy road would be to start pointing fingers and saying to everyone in earshot: “It’s not my fault!” But know what? Blame doesn’t matter. The past is over. Accept the present situation, no matter how much it sucks and make new choices based on the best information you can gather in the moment.
By adopting these three simple steps, you can stop wishing your life would get better and leave the cult of victimhood. You can take control of your life and direct it to exactly where you want it to go.
Do you agree with these steps to taking more personal responsibility? Are there more steps not mentioned here? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
Photo by Wili Hybrid