Thursday, August 8, 2013

Taking Responsibility for Your Actions

I have a friend I no longer spend much time with.

She complains a lot and constantly blames someone else for what’s wrong with her life – even her poor husband, who’s been deceased for two years.

This woman seems incapable of taking personal responsibility for any situation. When I’ve pointed out that she has choices, she says something like, “Well, I can’t do anything about that.” It’s always another person’s fault that she’s unhappy.

She seems to be content to play the role of victim. She’s not willing to look within to see where she could take ownership of her situation.

Most people are not this extreme, but…

When something bad happens – and you had something to do with the outcome – it’s natural to want to place the blame somewhere else. At least temporarily, you get relief from your own guilt and discomfort by pointing the finger at another person.

The problem is, deep down you know you were responsible for the consequences. Trying to deny your role only leads to diminished self-respect and self-esteem.

And people eventually find out, if they don’t already know, so you risk losing their respect, too. The solution is to recognize and own up to the part you played in the way things turned out.

The faster you admit that something is your fault, the quicker others are to get over it and move on. It’s worth doing the right thing, even though it may be hard at first.

When you apologize and make amends, two good things happen. First, you’ll respect yourself more. AND you’ll strengthen your relationship with others because people will respect you when you’re strong enough to own up to your mistakes.

These celebrities have some important things to say about the personal strengths of responsibility and accountability:

“If people were really to sit down and honestly look at themselves and the consequences of their actions, they would try to live their lives a lot differently.” - George Lucas

“You’re completely responsible for what you do. And the struggle with that responsibility is the whole challenge in life.” - Bill Murray

“Mistakes are always forgivable, if one has the courage to admit them.” - Bruce Lee

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