Accepting Responsibility : How It Can Help Your Life

In Personal Development by Adam ChristensonLeave a Comment

Learning To Accept Responsibility

Lets be honest, none of us are perfect, but if you are I would love to meet you haha. But seriously, no one on this entire planet is perfect. I know I’m not. We all make mistakes, we all have regrets. We all fail, we all are lost at some point. We all grew up differently and this has a profound impact on the way we are as we age. The thing is, the way in which you handle these situations and take responsibility can have a drastic impact on your success and life moving forward.

When I was growing up my family had a lot of internal struggles as I am sure many families do. Even the ones that look perfect, there is ALWAYS something going on that may not surface until later in life. For me, these issues caused me to act out growing up, and until recently I didn’t even realize it. I grew up always placing the blame on others or making excuses for my actions. My relationship with my family wasn’t great because of this. Even some of my relationships with my friends were hindered because they were being held back by myself.

Why am I mentioning this? Because I want people who read this to relate. I’m not some person writing these things that thinks I am perfect, I’m not. I’m someone who also struggles and is constantly working to improve. And that’s where accepting responsibility comes in.

“Until you accept responsibility for your actions or failures, it’ll be very difficult for you to develop self-respect or even have the respect of others.”

Accepting responsibility – both personal and indirect responsibility – is one of the most important factors in defining a person’s true character. When that responsible moment comes, what you do – or don’t do – is an indication of the type of person you really are. Personal responsibility is is taking ownership of your own behavior and the consequences of that behavior while indirect responsibility involves moving beyond yourself and taking action to help people or situations around you that call for assistance.

Think about it. How many times have you personally made some excuse, placed the blame on someone else, or even just ignored your responsibilities? How many times have you been in situations where you saw something or heard something that you knew wasn’t right? Did you do anything to help the kid that was getting bullied, the friend that was cheating on his girlfriend, the old lady carrying too much? If not, don’t worry everyone is in the same boat, but you can work on it.

What Happens When You Don’t Accept Responsibility?

  1. You Hurt Yourself: When you know you have failed to take responsibility for something that you should, it’ll begin to bother you inside over time. If it doesn’t then there are bigger problems at hand. Remember, self-respect is the worth or value you place on your own life.
  2. Lose The Respect Of Others: Accepting responsibility provides value to your life – in your own eyes as well as the eyes of others. There’s a good chance that when you avoid accepting personal responsibility, someone will know that you’ve failed in this way. In other words, some other person may know that you’re responsible for the wrongdoing or poor choice, and when they see you fail to accept responsibility, they’ll lose all respect for you. If this happens on a frequent basis, you’ll never gain the respect of others that you hope to have one day.
  3. Never Grow: If you never accept responsibility for your actions there is no chance for growth. You get stuck in the mindset thinking that you’re always right and you become complacent and stagnant. This is not somewhere you want to be, because each one of us has areas to improve on every day.

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves.
The process never ends until we die.
And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

Accepting Responsibility And What Happens

Everything you read above sounds good right? Sounds like it’s an easy thing to do? Wrong. It’s one of the hardest things to do because it goes against our very human nature of admitting we made a mistake. So how can we work on these things:

The first thing I personally recommend before looking below is taking any situation you’re in and putting yourself in the the opposite shoes. No matter how extreme it may be, really give some deep thought and think how you would/could feel if you were that person before you dismiss the situation.

  1. Own It: Take complete ownership of your behavior and your actions in times where you acted wrongly. Don’t make excuses, don’t blame others, try to examine and accept you might be wrong.
  2. Apologize: Offer a sincere apology to those that you can because it really does show that you care. That’s not enough though, the next step is even more important.
  3. Amend: An apology is a great start, but making amends and showing you are serious is the next step in development. If possible work to correct the things you have done wrong.
  4. Accept: You need to be willing to accept the punishments and consequences of your actions.

As simple as these steps may sound, they’re difficult steps to take. But accepting responsibility is part of growing up, and there are two significant advantages of doing so.

First, taking the steps outlined above will build character. If you step up to the plate in this way you’ll become a better person as a result, and you’ll learn how to make much better choices in the future.

Second, the more readily you admit and take responsibility for a mistake, the less severe the consequences (most likely) will be.

The Results

Everything in the article is common sense, but actually doing it is the most important part. If you read this the next step is to take action. Even baby steps help. Start with once or twice a week working on really recognizing where you should have taken responsibility. Over time the habit will become natural.

As you do this you will reap the rewards.

  • Gained Self-Respect
  • Gained the Respect of Others
  • Gained the Power and Willingness To Change

As always, if you liked the article let me know! Thanks!