Living an intentional life is not always easy. Nowadays, it’s pretty uncommon to come across people who take responsibility for their lives.
The average human will always come up with excuses as to why something happened or why it didn’t. Well, that is a bad sign.
You shouldn’t resort to blame when you fail in a particular endeavour… if you do, it simply indicates that you’re not owning up to your life. You are giving away your power to bring about change.
Yes, you might have failed once, but the fact remains that you are responsible. So you don’t blame others. Rather, change!
Blames and excuses make you powerless. Just like a toothless dog that only barks but cannot bite. When you blame your downfall on somebody or something, you will stay down. But when you take responsibility for your downfall, you will be motivated to stand up and do it right!
Taking responsibility for your life basically means you are fully in charge of what happens in your life.
When you are responsible for your life, you won’t be the lucky man who attained success by chance. Or the unlucky woman who failed in life because of ill fate.
A responsible life is an intentional life. It’s not a life of excuses. To take responsibility for your life means that no one has the right to define how or what your life will turn out to be. Not even your family, friends, or partner – only you can.
If success is what you really crave for, then taking responsibility for your destiny is what you should do. And on the other hand, you should be allergic to excuses and blames.
But the main point now is; how? How do you take this responsibility? How do you start owning your life? How do you stop living a life of excuses and blames?
Well, you’ll find out soon enough!
But before then, let’s get clear on the difference between self-blame and taking responsibility.
Taking Responsibility for Your Life VS Blaming Yourself; Any Difference?
Okay, let me make this clear; to take responsibility for your life doesn’t mean to blame yourself. It simply means being on top of any situation. It means being in charge of whatever happens in your life.
The whole essence of “responsibility” is that it gives you the power to determine outcomes.
For instance, when you are performing poorly at work, and you decide to take responsibility for that, then you have the power to control the situation. You have the capacity to initiate change. You will be motivated to work better. And consequently, you’ll start having better results.
But if you blame yourself in a similar situation, you will be dispirited, demoralized, and utterly disappointed. At the end of the day, you’ll resort to self-resentment. Low self-esteem will be next in line… And before you realise it, you’re depressed!
Just so you know, “blame” is simply negative. Whether you’re blaming others or yourself. Self-blame is destructive. It will never make you… it will only mar you.
So, stop blaming yourself and start taking responsibility!
Here’s how to take responsibility for your life:
1. Stop Blaming Others
Like I said earlier, once it comes to “blame”, it’s a no-no. It’s understandable, life can be unfair at times. Sometimes, it might SEEM like you’re helpless… But, are you really helpless? Even if you are, will blaming other people solve the problem? I think not.
The best result that “blaming others” will yield you is the liberty to play the victim card. Your only bragging right will be to preach victimhood. Or maybe you’d also be able to justify failure…
But then, does that really help? Sadly, no, it doesn’t. Moreover, just like you will hate yourself when you blame yourself, you will also feel bitterness towards others when you blame them for your misfortunes.
Of course, with such resentment and bitterness, you will never feel happy as a person. Plus, that person you despise so much might be happy wherever he is.
A wise man once told a short story. According to him, a Saint was asked; what’s the meaning of hatred? The Saint replied; hatred is the act of intentionally suffering for another person’s sins.
This implies that blaming and hating others will only really hurt you. Even when those you are hating on are doing just fine.
Remember, blaming simply incapacitates you. You are just a powerless person if you keep blaming without taking responsibility for any given situation in your life.
2. Stop The Flimsy Excuses
If you want to take responsibility for your life, then you also need to stop making flimsy excuses. You’ll agree with me that making excuses is like a culture for many people. It’s pretty common.
At some point in life, most of us had excuses.
Some of these common excuses are:
- I couldn’t start the business because I had little money.
- I didn’t get the job because the hiring team was corrupt.
- I failed the examination because the teacher was just evil.
- I was never destined to succeed.
- I always have bad luck…
I can continue to list the excuses… they’re just too numerous. However, those excuses are all flimsy. They hold no water.
Take for instance, that examination you failed, you would have passed it if you took responsibility and prepared better.
And yes, successful people DON’T easily give up on their business ideas just because they lack the start-up funds. They find ways to generate the money they need… They don’t give excuses!
Moreover, successful people don’t believe strictly in destiny, they believe in smart and hard work. They also believe in possibilities. So, they won’t give excuses like; I am not destined to… whatever.
If you are still living in excuses, just know that you cannot take a decisive step forward. You will remain where you are because you always have an excuse to belong there.
Excuses mainly give you reasons why you shouldn’t take responsibility for your life. You feel justified to be a failure when you have excuses for failing!
And with that kind of attitude, you won’t learn from your mistakes. It’s simply a negative way of life. Having excuses. Nothing is positive about it.
Once you are able to eliminate excuses, you will find it easier to take responsibility.
3. Live In The Moment
In order to be in total control of what happens in your life, you must start living in this very moment – not in the past or in the future – but NOW.
When you live in the moment, you will have the awareness and empowerment that will help you engender the change you need.
A popular quote has it that; Yesterday is gone, tomorrow is yet to come, but today is a GIFT, that’s why it’s called PRESENT.
One of the greatest gifts you have is now. And what you do “now” is entirely up to you. So, what are you doing now? Are you taking the necessary actions to bring about change? Or are you blaming others? Or making excuses? Or dwelling in the past? Or just hoping in the future?
It’s simple, if you want to be successful, live in the moment, and take responsibility NOW.
4. Love Yourself
One reason you’re not taking full responsibility for your life may be the lack of self-love. When you don’t love yourself you won’t trust your abilities and it will bring about low self-esteem.
In order to feel better, you will resort to blaming others for your failures. You will always give excuses for your actions and inactions. It’s because you don’t trust yourself enough.
If you love yourself, you will trust yourself enough to take up new challenges. You will believe that you can handle any given situation you find yourself in.
You won’t wait for people’s validation or praises in order to feel good about yourself or your achievements. Your self-esteem will be built within you, not outside you (by others).
In a nutshell, you’ll be more fulfilled and happier if you love yourself. And as a result, taking responsibility for your life won’t be a problem.
5. Take Care Of Yourself
Start by checking your daily habits. What are your activities like? Do you work so hard without having a little rest?
How much exercise do you give your body? How do you feed? Do you depend on junk? Do you drink alcohol in excess?
If your daily activities don’t help your entire wellbeing, then your life will be a mess. And it’s more difficult to take responsibility for your life if you’re already messed up.
Taking responsibility for your life simply starts with taking care of your body, your mind, and your needs.
6. Take Charge Of Your Emotions
If you really want to master your life then you have to master your emotions.
Remember, your attitude is often a product of how you feel. And your emotions determine your feelings. Therefore, your emotions determine your attitude.
Sometimes, you are happy. And it reflects in your attitude towards life. That’s as a result of positive emotions. However, the truth is that we’re all bound to experience negative emotions as well. Not only the positive ones.
At some point in life, you will generally feel bad. It’s normal. And as an individual who takes responsibility, you should be able to understand that negative emotions are only a part of your life you can control.
If you are able to fully take responsibility for your emotions – whether positive or negative – then you will live a balanced life.
Just so you know, an individual who can’t control his emotions can never take charge of his life. He will only act based on his emotions. And as a result, he will always regret his actions.
Imagine if someone hurts you real bad and you can’t control your emotions… You might even end up hurting the person really bad!
Or imagine if someone makes you happy, and you can’t control your emotions, you might just as well sell your entire property just to express your happiness (allow me to exaggerate a bit).
In both cases, you will end up regretting your actions… Because you allowed your emotions to get the better of you.
7. Only Say What You Can Do
Yes! You have to ONLY say what you can do.
Being a responsible person also entails being an individual with integrity. You can’t claim you are responsible for your life when we can’t even trust your words. You are simply not responsible if you can’t fulfil your promises.
I mean, have you ever done business with someone who agrees on an appointment and never shows up?
Someone who takes a loan and fails to meet the deadline?
Someone who will agree to certain terms and conditions and later breach the contract?
Well, if you’ve ever met such a person, then you will agree with me that they are simply not credible. They are obviously not responsible enough.
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Finally, it is always vital for every individual to be responsible. As a matter of fact, the world will be a better place if it harbours only people who take responsibility for their lives. Okay so this is a bit of wishful thinking, but it would be pretty great right.
In such a world, things will simply be a lot easier because most people will be easy-going.
This is because people who take responsibility for their lives don’t complain much, they only focus on taking positive actions. Think about how much value you can add to your life and the people around you simply by being intentional about everything you do, without making any excuses whatsoever!