You’ve witnessed it yourself I bet; saw someone do something they are clearly responsible for and then listen to them lash out at other people around them demanding someone else take responsibility for their mistake. Examples are when a person pumps the wrong gas in their car and then blames the attendant whose inside the station for not stopping them; or the person who orders their food, gets exactly what they ordered and then insists that’s not in fact what they meant when they ordered.
When it’s someone else, it’s so easy for us to see that the person is denying any responsibility, and we may just want to tell them to stop blaming other people for their situation. So isn’t it just as likely that you – you and I – we’ve blamed others for things we are responsible for? Of course it is. And other people around us likely shake their heads and mutter things like, “Suck it up”, “Deal with it”, or “Grow up”. And that last one, “Grow up”, implies that when we take responsibility for our situation, we actually grow; we become wiser. Hmmmm…who’d have thunk?
Now the last thing I want to be appearing to advise is that you should blame yourself for your current situation. In fact, I don’t want you to play the blame game at all. Because whether it’s you or someone else, pointing the finger and assigning blame doesn’t do a thing to change your present situation or your future. All assigning blame does is identify the person or people responsible for the past. And living in the past isn’t productive. Just try walking in any direction with your feet going forward and your head turned looking behind you. Great view of what’s behind you, but you’re smart enough to know you’re going to bump into things so you pivot your head instinctively. Good call.
So here you are in the here and now. This is your life be it great, average or poor. You can’t control what others think, who will offer you a job, who will rent an apartment to you, which company will grant you an interview, or whether or not someone will rob you of all your life savings. These things are beyond your personal control, but not beyond your ability to take action and influence an outcome.
So you can apply for work with a solid resume or CV and increase the odds of getting an interview, you can practice your interview skills and do your research so you increase the odds of getting a job offer. You can provide references, look neat and tidy, and increase the odds of getting approved for an apartment, and you can change your passwords and install a home security system reducing the odds of being robbed of your life savings.
One of the most significant and life-changing things you can do if you haven’t done so already, is change what’s going on between your ears. I’m serious. When you make the mental shift in thinking, and take responsibility for things that are in fact you’re doing, you realize suddenly that just as you are responsible for some of the so-called bad things in your life, you are equally now responsible for the good things that can come your way. YOU and you alone have the capacity to bring about change in your life.
Change starts with your own attitude, where yes, you assume the full responsibility for the present and the future. Many people don’t want this responsibility because taking it on fully means if things don’t work out perfectly, they can’t blame anyone else, and they actually want to be able to do this to preserve their fragile sense of self. As long as they can blame someone else for something like losing their money at the racetrack, (stupid horse!) it’s not their fault. This issue of finding fault is actually the problem as I see it.
In the beginning of this mental shift, things will probably not work out all that well. You’ll have many moments of saying to yourself, (sigh) “I’m responsible”. However, make some good decisions – one of which could be to get help making big decisions from people you respect – and you’ll be saying to yourself, (now standing slightly erect with head held higher) “I’m responsible for this!” and you’ll feel empowered and positive. String together a few good decisions that you feel personally responsible for and you’re establishing a pattern. Establish a pattern and your decisions get better because you learn what to look for when confronted with choice and you make consistently better decisions.
Ever notice how some people get loud when they blame others for something they know deep down they are responsible for? Their often just mad at themselves but have a hard time admitting it.
You aren’t responsible in any way for where you were born, the family you were born into, or much of your early life. If you were victimized – possibly abused – you certainly are not responsible for that either. However, here…right now…you are responsible for what you do with this day, and tomorrow. How will you spend your day?
The choices you make; the ones we all make, have consequences. Consequences need not be bad or heavy, they can be positive and give you reason to feel positive and proud of the outcome – and you’ll have all the credit because you assumed 100% responsibility for it!