By: First Union
Accepting Responsibility and What that Might Mean for You
More often than not, people will dismiss a problem in their life as that which stems from others. In other words, they play the blame game. Be it a financial loss, a relationship failure, a career stumble, there is always someone else responsible. Anybody but them. Many people fail to understand that in accepting responsibility for your life and for what transpires therein, you gain an incredible amount of power over that life. It is, you might say, the ultimate form of self-empowerment.
You cannot solve the problems you have unless you acknowledge your part in why a problem exists in the first place. It is so much easier to choose the path that suggests the world is against you, that people are trying to sabotage you daily, that your boss was looking for a reason to fire you. The thing is, going through life with these types of blinders on, will only prohibit you from embracing opportunities and realizing true fulfillment and success.
So why don't more people step up and take responsibility for their problems; why are they so willing to point to society at large as the culprit behind the challenges and roadblocks thrown at them? One of the main reasons: for a lot of people responsibility equates to fault. And of course, no one wants to be at fault for something. It's a word with a stigma attached, to say the least. Look at it through the lens of an accident for example. If you hit somebody with your car, you're at fault—definitely a negative connotation here.
It's key though to understand that responsibility and fault are not one in the same. And some issues and challenges arise that we need to take responsibility for but that may not be our fault per se. Think of the situation of a failed relationship for instance. Let's say your partner cheats on you. You confront them and inevitably the two of you split up. You proceed to carry with your pain and misery because of this breakup. You blame the other person as they are the one that cheated of course, and so they are the one responsible for the negative feelings weighing you down.
You might continue to call and/or text. Shove your grief in their face and thereby try and make them feel your pain vicariously. You point out over and over again that they did this—they made you this way because of their actions. And yes, while their actions may have led to your depressed state, that person is not responsible for how you feel ultimately. You are responsible for how you feel. And consequently, you are responsible for healing yourself and rediscovering your happiness.
When you shift your thinking, when you put the camera in selfie mode let's say, things will change and you will start to get your power back. You might be surprised at the good that comes to you upon releasing the resentment you harbor toward someone else—when you finally stop playing the blame game and hold yourself accountable for your emotional journey. Taking responsibility as far as the good things in life…that part's easy. It's confronting your problems and your pain and understanding the role you play that will be truly freeing.