Accept Responsibility

Dr. Larry Cohen (856) 352-5428

The Life-Changing Impact of Taking Personal Responsibility

My life coaching clients who grow the most, achieve the most, and are most satisfied with their life coaching experience, understand the need to accept personal responsibility for their life and for the person they are. To create lasting change, you must learn to take personal responsibility for your life choices - yesterday's, today's, and tomorrow's - who you were, who you are, and who you want to be. Once you accept and understand that you and you alone are fully responsible for your life, you gain great strength as well as the freedom to make radical life changes. Taking full responsibility for who you are allows you a new found freedom to grow, change, and be who you were truly meant to be.

For many of us this is a tall order – accepting fully your life and yourself, both the good and the bad. Once you fully understand and accept that you are solely responsible for your life and your future, great responsibility follows. You are responsible for yourself, and in charge of making the changes necessary to improve your life. By accepting personal responsibility for your life, you are free to make any life changes you desire.

When you begin accepting personal responsibility for your life, blaming others for your life difficulties seems ridiculous, and a great waste of energy. Now that you oversee your own life, it is up to you to create life change. This was the truth all along – that only you can create change in your life, and past fantasies of being saved and fixed by others vanish. You may have been convinced that others knew what was best for you, and that others were responsible for taking care of you and for making your life better. Accepting full responsibility for your life means fixing and improving yourself, and giving up the fantasy that others should do it for you. Taking personal responsibility frees you from the expectation that others are somehow going to improve your life, and delivers the freedom to make your own life decisions.

If you believe that your lot in life is 'someone else's' fault, you may expect them to see how they’ve wronged you, and remorsefully save you from your despair. The problem with blaming life’s difficulties on others is that you hand over the responsibility for your happiness to THEM. Since they did you wrong, only they have the power to make it right. When you accept personal responsibility for your happiness, it is you who has the power to create change and improve your life.

Victims stew, waiting for their life to improve. They may continue to hope, and wait, for the individual whose behavior lead to their unhappiness to make things right. Victims believe that their life can only improve if the person they believe is responsible for their unhappy life changes their behavior. One example of this might be “If I wasn’t stuck in this crappy job, I would be much happier. My boss is disrespectful and he doesn’t value what I have to offer.” In this example, the victim hands over responsibility to his boss to deliver a happier, more satisfying life for him. Is it realistic to believe that the boss will change his behavior, provide a more enjoyable work environment, and begin respecting the victim? Or, is it wiser to accept personal responsibility for your job dissatisfaction, and utilize the freedom afforded by accepting personal responsibility for your life and make appropriate life changes. Perhaps a transfer is in order, or a move to another firm, or a complete career overhaul. The choice is yours.

Taking personal responsibility for past failures, past mistreatment of others, and past irresponsible behavior, is essential. Yes, it’s much easier to blame everyone else, and live the life of a victim. But thinking like a victim strips you of your ability to solve your own problems and change your life. Blaming others puts your life in their hands, and forces you to give away your personal power and self-respect. It is time to change your old ways, break away, and figure things out for yourself. Grab hold, accept personal responsibility, and never again put your dream of a better life in someone else’s hands.

Moving forward, you must set your own life goals, make plans to achieve them, and follow-through. This is your responsibility, as you hold the key to your own happiness and success. As your coach, I will help you identify what your goals are and what life changes you’d like to make. I help keep you on track and moving forward, helping you achieve the life you’ve dreamed of. 
Are you ready to move forward? Take some time to answer the following questions. They may motivate you to act, and move you forward toward needed change.

1) Are you a victim or a survivor?
2) Are you ready begin the transformation process?
3) Have you started to work on accepting personal responsibility for your life?
4) Do you accept personal responsibility for your life? Have you let go of the fantasy that someone else is responsible for fixing your life?

Letting go of victimhood is not easy. We have all blamed someone or something else for the problems we face in our lives. We cannot erase the harm that we have caused to ourselves and to others over the years. With vigilance and the help of a trusted guide, I believe we can become strong enough and wise enough to avoid our past mistakes, learn how to make decisions that are in our best interest, and find our way to happiness.