April 18, 2017 |Gideon

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If you want to achieve most goals in any area of your life, you must take full responsibility for your life for that to happen.

However, accepting full responsibility for your life and the prevailing outcomes in your life appears to be something that many individuals nowadays are avoiding.

There seems to be a comfort that comes from having an excuse for the challenges in your life.

Whether you can blame your issues on poor parenting, a boss that hates you, or the universe in general, it’s soothing to have an excuse.

However, excuses have a cost.

By putting the blame and responsibility outside yourself, you take away your power to change your situation.

I have learned this the hard way.

There is no personal transformation or reaching any of your goals until you take full responsibility for your life and the results in your life.

This notion that we can have anything we want without having to do anything is a pernicious lie that has left a lot of people unhappy in its wake. 

Now, is everything your fault?

Of course not.

But it is your responsibility.

If you don’t fix it, who will?

Even if you had horrible parents, there’s nothing they can do about it now.

I appreciate that it’s not easy to hear, but it’s the truth.

If no one’s told you this then let me be the first one.

I will save you a lot of heartaches and wasted time ultimately ending with regret.

If you want to change your life or any area of it, YOU must take full responsibility for your life.

No one will come knocking on your door telling you to make the changes required to achieve the life (or result) you desire.

People around you will smile and accept you as you are, and so they should, but that niceness often comes at a price.

My wife showed me some pictures she took about five years ago when I started my weight loss journey.

Looking at those pictures now absolutely shocked me.

But she said an interesting thing.

She said, “I still loved you the same.”

And that’s good. I wouldn’t have expected anything else.

But, it doesn’t change the fact that I was vastly overweight and unhealthy.

Nobody stepped up and told me, “Mate, you have to slow down!”

take full responsibility for your life

You might be in a similar situation.

You have lovely people around you that care and love you for you.

But that love might be giving you a false sense of security in terms of a result that you actually want or even perhaps desperately need.

No one will tell you to wake up and take full responsibility for your life.

The world we live in has simply become too PC (Politically Correct) and we are scared out of our minds to offend one another.

Unfortunately, that comes at a price.

We have kids struggling with “old people’s diseases” because they’re eating too much crap too often.

Nobody says anything.

We beat around the bush.

We see middle-aged men and women struggling to walk or are overmedicated because of lifestyle choices (90% of the time).

It pains me to go to the local supermarket and see people my age with swollen legs and inflamed skin, but they have pastries, bags of chips, ice cream or fizzy drinks/alcohol in their shopping trolleys.

The stuff they clearly should not be behaving right now.

Maybe sometime in the future but not now.

You cannot be stuffing your face with sugar if you clearly struggling with the aftermath of having type II diabetes.

Do you realise that you could actually lose a limb because of ice cream?

That’s what it comes down to if you think about it.

A limb for ice cream.

Or your sight for lollies.

It’s hard to see people without lots of spare cash buy lots of rubbish they don’t need and won’t use very long after they bought it, or simply things they can’t afford.

When I was counselling before, I often had clients who were in dire situations financially, yet had the latest i-whatever.

I never understood that.

Why were we even discussing budgeting or Work and Income when your phone was more updated than mine?

A person working multiple jobs with multiple streams of income.

Now, I’m not using these examples to judge anyone.

I’m simply making the point that no one will tell you to wake the hell up and take full responsibility for your life.

And while they don’t you will suffer for it.

So let me be the one to tell you, if you want a new result in your life, you must take responsibility for the results you are getting right now, as well as to results you want to get.

Choose to see everything in your life as your responsibility and start making some changes.

Allow me to share with you a few simple things you can do to take full responsibility for your life and take control of your life in the process.

These things are by no means the be-all and end-all, but they are a good start.

How to take full responsibility for your life

Be aware of how you’ve contributed to your own challenges

The ancient scriptures have this awesome saying that goes, “know the truth, and the truth shall set you free.”

What I’ve learned on my own journey is, honesty and awareness of the truth are the things that make the difference in the long run.

Until we are willing to face the truth, few things in our lives will change.

Maybe you made poor decisions.

Maybe you failed to take action.

Look at the least satisfying parts of your life and determine how you created them.

Be sure to also look at the great parts of your life and give yourself some credit, too.

Build your self-esteem

In order to change your life you actually need to feel somewhat good about yourself.

I mean, why would you want to improve something you don’t really care about.

So having some measure of self-esteem is important.

Being aware of the truth doesn’t mean beating yourself up.

It just means, being aware and being honest.

But there is more to you than just your mistakes or poor choices.

You also have successes and many good qualities.

It’s important to build on those.

The more self-esteem you possess, the easier it is to deal with life’s challenges.

If you’ve been avoiding responsibility, your self-esteem has been suffering.

Taking responsibility builds self-esteem.

They go hand-in-hand.

Remember that not everything is within your power to change

You can’t make your boss like you.

But you can find another job.

You can’t make your spouse stop drinking.

But you can demand that they seek help and choose to leave if they don’t comply.

In the end, you can only control yourself.

Avoid worrying about the things that are outside your control.

I always tell people to control the controllable and let go of the uncontrollable.

take full responsibility for your life

If you’re trying to control the things you cannot, it will drive you nuts and deplete your willpower and energy quicker than anything.

Take responsibility for the little things

The big things are more exciting, but the little things are important, too.

In fact, not taking care of the little things often leads to big things.

Take responsibility for the everyday tasks that you face on a regular basis.

The ancient scriptures talk about the “little foxes that destroy the vineyards.”

It refers to this principle in life that it’s often the small things that make the big difference in the long run.

Neglecting the small and important things in your life can end up destroying your results.

Not telling your wife daily that you love her.

Not hugging your kids daily.

Eating too much too often.

Not moving enough daily.

Not saving a few dollars regularly.

Not calling your mum (guilty!)

take full responsibility for your life

Take care of the little things and they will take care of the big things.

Be the best version of yourself

Hold yourself to a higher standard than anyone else would ever demand of you.

This is the ultimate way to take control because you’re accepting the highest level of responsibility.

Being the best version of yourself means doing what needs to be done whether you feel like it or not.

You won’t always feel like taking responsibility and doing the things that need to be done.

But that is the sign of true maturity and someone who has truly taken responsibility for their life.

Doing the things that matter whether feeling like it or not.

Be that person.

Hold yourself to that standard.

The rest of the world won’t, but you MUST.

Avoid blaming yourself

Taking responsibility and taking the blame are two different things.

Does it matter who’s to blame?

You’re taking care of business, so it doesn’t matter if it’s your fault or not.

You’re solving the problem, regardless of the cause.

Blaming yourself makes you less effective.

Just let it go and move on.

Expect to be uncomfortable

Taking responsibility is the opposite of avoiding responsibility.

Why did you avoid responsibility?

Because it’s more comfortable than being responsible.

With responsibility comes discomfort.

Again, whoever sold you on the plan that taking responsibility is always gonna be comfortable, needs to be fired from your life … immediately!

Doing things that matter is sometimes hard and uncomfortable.

It isn’t always easy.

If it was, everyone would be taking responsibility for their lives and the results they don’t have (yet).

Get over this idea that doing hard stuff should be easy.

That is a very typical 21st-century mindset that belongs somewhere else, not real life.

take full responsibility for your life

Expect to be uncomfortable, but enjoy it.

When you train hard as an example, and your muscles feel uncomfortable and you’re tired, it’s a good feeling.

It’s not always enjoyable at the moment, but you know that feeling is telling you you’re growing and getting stronger or faster.

Take comfort in the fact that your discomfort will provide significant rewards.

Do you think that ultra-successful people deal with more or less discomfort than the average person?

Last comments

It’s natural to avoid responsibility whenever possible.

Accepting responsibility results in more work, at least for the time being.

However, when you take full responsibility for your life it can mean less work down the road.

Being uncomfortable now might mean more comfort later.

And handing challenges today ensures that they don’t grow into even bigger challenges later.

Failing to take responsibility, on the other hand, comes with a heavy cost.

You feel as if you lack the ability to change the course of your life.

You lose respect for yourself and increase the likelihood of suffering from depression.

Your issues also don’t tend to go away on their own, not if they are the result of your habits and choices.

It’s time to take responsibility for your life and regain the control that’s so important to your success!

And there has never been a better time than now.

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About the author


Gideon is the creator of TheRelationshipGuy.com, a popular relationship blog that ranks among the top 50 relationship blogs in 2024. The website helps couples to create happier, healthier, and more intimate relationships. Gideon is a trained professional counsellor and holds post-graduate degrees in Theology and Psychology. His articles have also been featured on respected platforms such as Marriage.com and The Good Men Project.

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