One of the single most important words in the English language is responsibility. Most of the problems we experience in life are because we fail to take responsibility. Look at your own life. Be honest with yourself. What problems can you identify that point back to your not taking responsibility either in a timely fashion or not at all? I bet it’s 90% or higher. We are a country of people who seem to believe problems are always someone else’s responsibility.
What is accepting personal responsibility?
Accepting personal responsibility includes:
* Acknowledging that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life.
* Accepting that you are responsible for what you choose to feel or think.
* Accepting that you choose the direction for your life.
* Accepting that you cannot blame others for the choices you have made.
* Tearing down the mask of defense or rationale for why others are responsible for who you are, what has happened to you and what you are bound to become.
* The rational belief that you are responsible for determining who your are, and how your choices affect your life.
* Pointing the finger of responsibility back to yourself and away from others when you are discussing the consequences of your actions.
*Realizing that you determine your feelings about any events or actions addressed to you, no matter how negative they seem.
* Recognizing that you are your best cheerleader; it is not reasonable or healthy for you to depend on others to make you feel good about yourself.
* Recognizing that as you enter adulthood and maturity, you determine how your self-esteem will develop.
* Not feeling sorry for the "bum deal" you have been handed but taking hold of your life and giving it direction and reason.
* Letting go of your sense of over responsibility for others.
* Protecting and nurturing your health and emotional well being.
* Taking preventive health oriented steps of structuring your life with time management, stress management, confronting fears and burnout prevention.
* Taking an honest inventory of your strengths, abilities, talents, virtues and positive points.
* Developing positive, self-affirming, self-talk scripts to enhance your personal development and growth.
* Letting go of blame and anger toward those in your past who did the best they could, given the limitations of their knowledge, background and awareness.
* Working out anger, hostility, pessimism and depression over past hurts, pains, abuse, mistreatment and misdirection.
How can failing to accept personal responsibility result in negative consequences?
When you have not accepted personal responsibility, you can run the risk of becoming:
* Overly dependent on others for recognition, approval, affirmation and acceptance.
* Chronically hostile, angry or depressed over how unfairly you have been or are being treated.
* Fearful about ever taking a risk or making a decision.
* Overwhelmed by disabling fears.
* Unsuccessful at the enterprises you take on in life.
* Unsuccessful in personal relationships.
* Emotionally or physically unhealthy.
* Addicted to unhealthy substances, such as the abuse of alcohol, drugs, food or unhealthy behavior such as excessive gambling, shopping, sex, smoking, work, etc.
* Over responsible and guilt ridden in your need to rescue and enable others in your life.
* Unable to develop trust or to feel secure with others.
* Resistant to vulnerability.
What do people believe who have not accepted personal responsibility?
* It’s not my fault I am the way I am.
* I never asked to be born.
* Now that you have me, what are you going to do with me?
* I want you to fix me.
* Life is unfair! There is no sense in trying to take control of my life.
* Why go on; I see no use in it.
* You can’t help me, nobody can help me. I’m useless and a failure.
* God has asked too much of me this time. There is no way I’ll ever be able to handle this.
* When do the troubles and problems cease? I’m tired of all this.
* Stop the world; I want to get off.
* Life is so depressing. If only I had better luck and had been born to a healthier family, or attended a better school, or gotten a better job, etc.
* How can you say I am responsible for what happens to me in the future? There is fate, luck, politics, greed, envy, wicked and jealous people, and other negative influences that have a greater bearing on my future than I have.
* How can I ever be happy, seeing how bad my life has been?
* My parents made me what I am today!
* Racism, bigotry, prejudice, sexism, ageism and closed-mindedness all stand in the way of my becoming what I really want to be.
* No matter how hard I work, I will never get ahead.
* You have to accept the luck of the draw.
* I am who I am; there is no changing me.
Tomorrow we will talk about ways we can correct these negative thought patterns and begin to take responsibility for our actions and walk a higher path. For now, this is Dr. Tyler Woods saying take responsibility for your actions and walk in peace…