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The Power of Taking Responsibility

Aug 20, 2008
"It's not my fault."

That's what Ellen, a client of mine, told me. She believed it, too. Her mother and boyfriend caused all her problems. If only they would behave differently, her life would be perfect.

As a counselor, I hear this all the time. "If only my husband/wife/mother/father/boss/employees would do things differently."

Sadly, even after several sessions, I couldn't get Ellen to see how she caused all her problems. It was as if there was a vast conspiracy against her, and nobody understood.

Ellen's situation, while severe, is not unique. Many of us, rather than facing up to our responsibilities, choose to blame almost anything for our failures.

You're too old. You're black. You're white. You were abused as a kid. Your parents were poor role models. You were raised in poverty. You have some physical handicap.

According to Barbara Tuchman, "The number one need we have in our society today are people who accept responsibility."

Let me just ask you a question: Do you believe that you could take action in the next 2 weeks that would make your life significantly worse?

Could you, then, take certain actions in the next 2 weeks that would make your life better?

If you answered "Yes" to these questions, then you're admitting that you're responsible for your own life. Yesterday ended last night. You can't change it. All you can do is deal with it.

You have admitted that, no matter how good or bad your current situation is, there is a specific action you can take to make it better or worse.

Regardless of how many people argue to the contrary, everything is a choice.

Everything.

If I choose to eat too much, then I have chosen to weigh too much. And, if I choose to dwell on depressing thoughts, I have chosen to be depressed.

The outside events that happen to us only have as much power as we choose to give them. It's never the events themselves that are important. Rather, it's how we choose to perceive them.

Shakespeare said that "Nothing is either good nor bad, but thinking it makes it so."

I read about a study that was done on 300 world class leaders. These were people like Gandhi, FDR, and Mother Theresa. A full 75% of those were raised in poverty, were abused as children, or had a severe physical problem to deal with.

And deal with it they did.

Even during the Great Depression, some people flourished. Conversely, even during times when the economy is magnificent, some people go broke.

If you constantly blame others for your failures, you rob yourself. By believing you've done no wrong, you doom yourself to repeat the same mistakes. Only by accepting full responsibility can you learn and move on.

The true responsibility for your life lies within you. A very wise man once told me that underneath every rock, you can find a demon.

He also told me that under that very same rock, you
can find an angel.

I encourage you to look for that angel in yourself. If you ignore the demons long enough, eventually they go away.
About the Author
Gregory McGuire is a successful network marketer and hypnotherapist living in Smyrna, Tennessee.

Discover why our team is the fastest growing team in Success University."
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