I cannot tell you how many people I see and hear that bump around in life as if life just happens to them; many in a woe-is-me victim mentality.
There is a lot that can play into this mental and behavior pattern….I think this is a learned behavior. Children learn from their parent’s example. Perhaps they learned that this behavior gets them the attention they want from other people? Perhaps they are ignorant to the fact that they have more control over their life than they think they do? I think all of these things are true. The good news is that we can change if we want to.
The truth is, while there are some things that happen to us that we cannot control, most things we can. And at the very least we can control how we react and manage the few things that “just happen” to us.
I think our lives are the sum of the consequences of the choices we make. Not making a choice is still making a choice and there is still a consequence for it.
I think excuses are the most common way that people unload responsibility for themselves and their choices. Instead of making an excuse, just own it – it is what it is. What are you afraid of? That someone will judge you? They will probably judge you no matter which you choose…..so you might as well do you.
99% of the times you are the only person holding you back. Get out of your own way.
Taking responsibility for yourself, your choices, and your actions isn’t easy – it takes practice. It takes being self-aware, self-reflection, and the cojones to own your consequences.
No one likes to feel out of control. Too many people give their control and power away to other people.
Stop that! Just stop….
As with all things – you get out what you put in. You have to put in effort. You have to do the work.
This one is difficult: The way you feel is your choice. No one can make you feel a certain way. You can choose your emotions. Yes, people say hurtful things – your feelings are hurt – Ok. Now choose to calmly communicate in a loving way that what they said or did is being perceived as hurtful to you. This gives you the power to control your emotions and work out your own feelings without having a victim mentality. Your reaction and your choice on how you will respond to a person or situation is your responsibility.
Stress is a big one – this one you DO have control of. I’ve written about stress before; stress is “your perception of a situation” changing your mind/perception changes your stress reaction. Stress is something within you, it is not external. Stress isn’t something that happens to you, it is something you create within yourself. So it is fully in your power and control to not “stress out”.
You can also take responsibility for the people you choose to have in your life. Removing toxic people and toxic relationships from your life is your choice. No one (except your spouse, in my beliefs) is off limits. It may not be easy to do at the time, but you will be so happy that you did it after it is done.
Your health or lack thereof is your responsibility. Not your parent’s, not your doctor’s – YOURS. It is your body. You get out what you put in. Lifestyle choices (sleep, exercise, stress) and nutrition (quality, quantity) are all your choice. How you treat your body is very telling; it tells you and those around you how you think and feel about yourself. If you believe that you are valuable and worthy you will treat your body well. It is the only body you’re ever going to have, if you treat it poorly you will suffer the consequences for it. It is in your power and control to treat your body well.
The personal growth, confidence, and happiness that comes from taking responsibility for yourself, your choices, and your life is the best and most freeing choice you’ll ever make.
Don’t think about it…..just do it. Take action….starting right now.
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