What I Wish I Did At Sixteen
If I could have a conversation with my sixteen-year-old self, I would tell her two things. First, don't drink alcohol, it doesn't agree with you. Second, the sooner you take responsibility for your life, the better.
If there is one thing I procrastinated for far too long, it's was taking responsibility. This showed up in numerous ways, from how I acted in relationships, to not applying myself in school and university. In either case, my results were never my fault. Who's fault were they? Anyone but me!
Nevertheless, there comes a time in one's life, most likely when you're at a crossroads when you face a decision that requires you to start taking personal responsibility. You have two choices, either continue blaming external forces or begin to take responsibility for your thoughts, actions and outcomes. If you choose the latter, you will soon experience the remarkable effects of taking personal responsibility.
"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of." — Jim Rohn.
You might be thinking, what does it mean to take personal responsibility? It means accepting that you are the sole person responsible for your thoughts, actions and results. To me, it means consciously showing up as the best version of myself in each moment, with the understanding that I am the sole creator of my reality.
While the idea of taking personal responsibility might appear to be a daunting task. It can be done at each moment, no matter how small it may seem. To show you how this can be done, here are a few examples of taking personal responsibility ...
You've just had your hair styled, you're walking outside, and it begins to rain. You could either blame the rain for ruining your hair or acknowledge that you should have checked the weather and brought an umbrella.
You've had a falling out with a loved one, and now you're not speaking. You can blame your loved one's ignorance, or you can identify how you contributed to this. Depending on the situation, this can be taken a step further by actively seeking to repair the relationship.
You're not happy with your life, and you believe that life is unfair. You can continue blaming external influences for your results, or you can take responsibility and realise that you're the sole influence of your life experience. You can take this a step further by identifying how your actions and thoughts contributed to your current life experience. At which point, you can look at what's required to get you to where you want to be.
As you can see, I've chosen a range of examples to show that taking responsibility occurs in each moment. No matter how big or small it may seem.
So, where does one start in taking personal responsibility? First, you must decide to, set the intention that from this point forward, you will take one-hundred percent responsibility for every aspect of your life.
Next, actively ensure that your actions and thoughts support your decision to take responsibility. Do not allow excuses or fear to limit you. In saying this, know that this isn't something that happens instantly. As with any change, this will require a daily conscious effort and consistency.
As you do this, you will begin to experience internal excuses and limiting beliefs. While they may get the best of you at times, know that the more you disarm and reframe these, the easier it will be.
To begin, start with one aspect of your life and focus on taking one hundred percent responsibility for it. Personally, this happened for me when I went a year without alcohol and subsequently began taking one hundred percent responsibility for my health. From there, master that one aspect and then transfer that same mentality to another area, whether that be your finances, relationships or personal happiness.
As you do this, you will begin to experience a multitude of benefits. Including improved life experiences, higher self-esteem, improved decision making and increased clarity.
"In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility." — Eleanor Roosevelt
Now, I want to hear from you! If you've made a conscious effort to take personal responsibility, how has it impacted your life? If you've struggled to do so, start now and let me know the ONE area of your life in which you will begin taking responsibility. Let me know in the comments section below or message me directly.