Practice #5 Take Responsibility for Your Actions, Your Experience, and Your Future
“When working with people, I am often asked what it takes to have a strong feeling of personal power and confidence. I have noticed these days that even though many have done some amount of personal development work, when it comes right down to it, there is at least one of eight important practices that is being dropping out of their daily life. It is this or these that cause feelings of lack of power, lowered self-confidence, and depleted energy – all of which lead to unhappiness and feeling unfulfilled.
“To aid you in seeing what elements are crucial in creating and maintaining a deeply fulfilling life, I created The 8 Practices of Authentic Power: Creating a Foundation for Personal Mastery.“
Heal Your Fear, Surrender to Love
Be In The Present, Pay Attention
Maintain a Vision That is Larger Than You
And here is Practice #5 – Take Responsibility for Your Actions, Your Experience, and Your Future
This one takes SO many people out of the playing field.
Since “the only person you have power over is yourself” 1, and given that “The buck stops here,” 2 and “No matter where you go, there you are,” 3 and because “No one ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his or her choices,” 4 and given that you are asked to “be the change you wish to see in the world,” 5 (you get where I’m going with this?) everything starts and ends with you.
Without personal responsibility, you live a lie and remain disempowered. You blame, become resentful and/or hostile, and project onto others. You might hear yourself saying things like, “This part of my life doesn’t work because when I was __ he or she did/didn’t do ____” or, “If he/she would only do/stop doing ____ then I would be happier” or, “I can’t help it, the devil made me do it” or, “This is your/his/her fault” or, “I’m just not happy/making money/in a great relationship” and lastly, “You’re making me feel like ___.”
Have you ever known someone who constantly makes others the scapegoat for their problems and their feelings? I sure I have, and they’re the most unhappy and angry people I know!
Conversely, the most successful and happy people I know are accountable for:
- what they feel in reaction to outside stimuli (meaning, taking responsibility for their part is what they feel)
- what they do or don’t do
- what they have and haven’t yet created
- what their life looks like, and
- the results or consequences from all of these
If you depend on others to give you what you want, you may be waiting for a long time, even a lifetime or two, and living in a state of constant frustration and disappointment while in the process! Doesn’t sound like much fun, does it?!
There is simply no escaping that a very logical and effective way to create inner and outer change is to first see, and take responsibility for, who and what you are, and where your life is now.
With this type of honesty, you’ll gain insight and cultivate authenticity, both of which foster personal power.
From this point (seeing where you are now), you can begin to create the real and lasting change you desire. You do this by:
- getting very clear about what you really want
- seeing the space/distance between where you are now and where you’re aiming, and
- taking intelligent steps towards what you want, starting from where you are
It’s important to be crystal clear and honest about where you are now. If you aren’t, then you’ll begin your journey from a false place or a fantasy, which will make you feel like a phony, create disillusionment, and make you stop or sabotage yourself.
I’m all for focusing on what’s best about yourself. You can’t grow well and quickly if you’re not affirming what’s right in you. The sweet spot here is seeing what’s possible AND telling the truth about where you are now.
There’s a reason why so many personal development seminars teach this. You just can’t get around it and get anywhere in life!
Now for a note on over-responsibility.
For those of you who take responsibility for others’ behavior/actions/life, you’re mistakenly thinking that this is taking responsibility for your life. That some how, by fixing “them”, they will get you what you want. Stop it! You’re not helping yourself. You’re over-burdening yourself.
You do this for a variety of reasons. But the most common is:
- you attempt to compensate for what someone else isn’t doing because they’re not providing what you need from them. i.e. if some “can’t” 1) communicate well, 2) process/manage their emotions, 3) take care of themselves, 4) manage their affairs, you’ll do it enough for the two of you!
As you can see, this has the potential to get really muddy. When you take on someone else’s “stuff”, you increase your load, making it more laborsome to fulfill yourself. Plus you rob the other person the opportunity to grow. Some would call this “co-dependent”. I do my best though to refrain from such labeling as it perpetuates the idea that you are irrevocably “ill”, which I don’t believe for a minute!
Go ahead and “be the change you wish to see in the world”, just be sure you’re doing it for yourself, and not attempting to change someone else to get your needs met through them. This is a vicious and unrewarding circle!
When you take responsibility for your actions, your experience and your future, you’ll go from a muddy, potholed dirt road to four lane freeway! You’ll see how quickly the sense of power and possibility takes you over and propels you where you want to go!
If this post resonates with you, check out my Intuitive Coaching work HERE.
All good to you,
Donna M Thomas
Intuitive Life & Empowerment Coach
Author of From Pebbles to Pathways: A Journey of Healing the Heart, One Insight at a Time
Be the kind of woman that when your feet hit the ground each morning, the devil says, “Aw crap, She’s up!”
Be the kind of man that when you step out of the house each morning, the goddess Athena purrs “Now that’s what I’m talking about!”
This blog, and all my writings, are explorations into the wondrous, deep, and ever-evolving process of living, loving and growing. My intention with Pebbles for Thoughts is to empower and uplift, one post at a time.
2 Harry S Truman
4 Alred A Montapert
5 Mahatma Gandhi