This extremely powerful lesson was one I learned after reading Jack Canfield’s book, ‘Success Principles’. As I internalized and embraced the full scope of the lesson it changed and expanded my thinking. It made me a more positive person, a better leader and influencer and more respected among my peers.
Taking personal responsibility for every thought you have and every action you take is not easy at first. It takes daily practice and a concerted effort because you have to change old thought habits. You also have to be painfully honest in admitting to yourself that the times when you blamed others, were really your fault and entitlement is never justifiable. You have to take a hard look into the mirror.
One example of a common lack of personal responsibility we have all experienced is as follows. You are driving your car and someone pulls out in front of you. You blame that stupid person for the heinous act of pulling out in front of you and nearly hitting you… right? “What a scumbag you think to yourself. I can tell he wasn’t paying attention” Maybe some of you even throw hand gestures at that person( which is really immature by the way).
Rise Above The Situation
Take the personal responsibility approach instead. Stay calm and then ask yourself these questions:
“What is my responsibility in this situation?”
“Am I responsible for that awful, nasty thought I just sent to that person?”
“How many times have I accidentally pulled out in front of someone I didn’t see?”
“Have I ever been careless and distracted?”
Now, when your thoughts begin turning inwardly about whose responsibility it really is, your perspective changes. “Sure, I have been distracted while driving, and Yes I have misjudged oncoming cars”. Can you now understand and relate to this mishap?
Taking responsibility in this matter just means not getting angry, understanding that crap happens and then forgiving this person for his mistake because we all make mistakes! We are ALWAYS responsible for our thoughts and our treatment of others regardless of whether it is in the privacy of our own minds or outwardly at a grocery store.
You are ultimately the responsible person for every action you take and every thought you think! No other person on this earth can assume those responsibilities for you! Another situation we might find ourselves in is miscommunication. Have you ever made an off handed remark, a funny look or a gesture that caused a friend to misinterpret what you said or did? Misunderstandings happen constantly. Whether the remark was unintentional or thoughtless, just own it, apologize and take responsibility for the action.
Seek to understand for yourself why you said it and determine what kind of action needs to be taken to avoid doing it again in the future. Always be respectful to the parties involved. This is called taking full responsibility for your actions!! I have found in agent/client situations where there has been a miscommunication, if I take the blame whether or not it was my fault, it takes the wind right out of the other person’s sails and soon they are actually doing the apologizing. If the offended person chooses not to forgive, and let go, that becomes their cross to bear and their responsibility, and no longer your problem.
You did your part.
The End Result
I promise if you rise above the situation and act in a mature way, doors of respect and admiration will be opened to you. Your discernment of the people around you will improve and you will become so much less judgmental of others.
If you truly begin focusing on your responsibilities, you will not have the time nor inclination to be judging the actions of others and you certainly will not have time to worry about the problems of others who refuse to assume responsibility for themselves.
The end result will be gaining a new respect for yourself, a freedom from worry about what other people think and amazingly you will begin to attract other like minded, positive, responsible people into your life!
Are you ready to be completely responsible for every action you take and every thought you think?