Are you dissatisfied with your life?
Are you interested in personal growth?
Living a better story requires one very important step.
Accepting responsibility for your life…
…is the first step that needs to be taken in order to improve your life. The choices that you’ve made in life determine where you are now. If you don’t like where you are now, then different choices need to be made.
So what’s our knee jerk reaction when we hear this?
…I grew up poor.
….I was abused.
…my husband/wife did _____.
…my boss is a jerk that’s why I was fired.
…I lost my business because of the economy.
…things just don’t work out for me.
…my teachers have it out for me.
…it was the other driver’s fault.
And on it goes.
The “Yeah, buts” have to go.
Like right now.
Blame has no place in personal growth.
Blaming others for your misfortunes only keeps you blinded to seeing areas needed for self-improvement.
While it’s true that some things that happen to us may be out of our control…
…we can’t choose our parents…
…we may have been the victim of a crime…
…or a natural disaster…
…or an illness…
…but we can take the responsibility to how we react to those circumstances. We can choose be kept down or we can rise above.
Taking responsibility for our lives is one of the toughest lessons to learn. We don’t want to admit that our failures and flops are of our own doing. It’s easier to pass the blame on to external forces–and that’s a seductive trap. As long as we believe our flaws and reasons for failure lie outside of ourselves–our ego is protected.
When we place external blame it’s tempting to want to “start over” somewhere else. We think getting away from the problems will be the answer. But it rarely is–because YOU are your problems.
Let me say that again.
YOU are your problems.
That’s why people have the same issues no matter where they go- new jobs, new schools, new towns, new churches, new friends, new marriages, etc. They’ve believed the lie that their problems are outside of themselves.
Taking responsibility is NOT the same as blaming yourself. Self-blame is beating yourself up and will only keep you down.
The first step in accepting responsibility is acknowledging that you’re human–a fallen, broken human like everyone else. Part of the human experience is making mistakes and poor choices.
Next, is the hardest part. It means saying, “Yes, I made that choice and now this is the result of that choice.” That choice could be something you did, it could be a pattern of thinking or it could be how you reacted to an event.
Empowerment happens when you realize that you and only you are responsible for your actions and thoughts. It opens your eyes to the realization that YOU create your life. You’re not a passive participant in a predestined plan over which you have no control.
God does have a plan and purpose for your life. That’s why you have the gifts, talents and personality that you do–because God has designed you for a particular purpose.
Part of your purpose is to accept responsibility for your actions, thoughts, problems and how you react to the actions of others.
So try this exercise.
Name 3 of the biggest problems in your life right now that you believe are preventing you from living a better story.
How do I believe these problems began?
What was my role in the cause of this problem?
Do I believe they are the cause of something external–either a person or a circumstance?
How am I reacting to this person or circumstance?
Do I believe the solution to this problem lies within me or an external source?
As you answer these questions be aware of thoughts that lean toward blaming and being the victim. Self-awareness is the key to honestly answering these questions.
Once you take that first step in accepting responsibility for your life, you will be on your way to living a better story and having the life of your dreams.