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It's Not My fault! (But It's My Responsibility)

Aug 18, 2007
Who is responsible for our troubles in life? It might sound harsh, but to a very great extent, we are.

Learning to accept responsibility for our circumstances (without blame or judgement) is an important part of changing those circumstances.

It is almost second nature for most of us to look outside ourselves when things go wrong. Usually that means finding someone or something else to blame, but this overlooks one really critical fact:

While it is true that your environment effects you, it is equally true that you can (and do) effect your environment. This power to change, to create a different reality than existed 10 seconds ago is something we often take for granted, but it holds enormous power.

For example, if you really wanted to, you could get up right now and go call someone you haven't spoken to in a long time; or start singing some ridiculous childrens song ("I love you--you love me..."); or go draw a smiley face on your bathroom mirror with shaving cream.

You could do any of these things or a zillion others in the next 120 seconds, and in doing so you would have created a situation and a feeling that did not exist a few minutes ago. You have this incredible power to create change in your actions, perceptions and beliefs at the drop of a hat! All humans do--it's something we are really good at.

But when it comes to dealing with troubles, sometimes we forget how easily change comes to us. We forget we are the most adaptable creature that have ever lived; and not only are we made for change, we actually thrive on it.

Many people have a habit of telling themselves "I can't." That's their "story," and they're sticking to it. It's a story in which we become a "victim" of the world around us, not creators of it (which is what we actually are).

But this amazing power to change that we we're born with makes it easy to develop a new story. And that's what changing your life is all about: telling yourself a "new story."

You can begin with your story about you--who you are? A coaching client recently told me she would be dismayed if anyone talked to her the way she talked to herself. Realizing this fact was a big step in the right direction. Taking responsibility for the "story" you tell yourself is always a step toward improving you life.

Do you "see" yourself" as the person you want to be? If not, why not? Are you waiting for some magic day, when all the elements are in place, and you are doing exactly the right things, and then...you'll see yourself as pretty cool? That's just doing things backwards. You cannot reasonably expect to do something you can't "see" yourself doing.

Likewise, you cannot reasonably expect to "be" someone that you cannot "see" yourself being. Taking responsibilty for your life means being actively involved in creating it, not just passively reacting to whatever may come your way.

Get some support if you need it, and start from where you are right now. Accept responsibility for your circumstances, and then take action to re-create them. No one else can do this--only you.
About the Author
Jon Mercer, MA, is a personal development trainer and the founder of www.easycalm.com, a leading anxiety resource site. Eliminate Anxiety Symptoms Without Struggling. Watch this free video to learn how
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