Updated: May 9
If you've read my blog, chances are you've probably heard me throw the word personal responsibility around a few times. But, what does personal responsibility even mean? Of course, you know what the word responsibility means. It's the main element of 'adulting'. If you have pets or children, something you have to take care of every day, though they're different levels, it's all under the umbrella of responsibility.
What Is Personal Responsibility?
Personal Responsibility is when you take accountability for yourself, what you say and do, etc. To put it plainly, it's taking full responsibility for yourself, your life and your actions. This means that when you set goals, you hold yourself accountable for achieving that goal. When you quit or procrastinate on something (important or not), you hold yourself accountable for that. When you make a mistake, you take responsibility for it. You don't make excuses, you don't blame others or your circumstances. It’s basically just giving yourself a good dose of tough love, and it’s essential when it comes to reclaiming your life and personal growth.
Fears of Taking Personal Responsibility:
As important as it is, many people lack a sense of personal responsibility. They're afraid of others judging them or judging themselves too harshly. I was one of those people. I can’t tell you how many times I sat in sorrow, blaming my circumstances or other people for my own issues. Honestly, it was no one else’s fault but my own. Not for what happened to put me in such despair, but for not getting back up, dusting myself off, and carrying on with my life.
That was where I failed myself, and it took me a long time to take responsibility for letting myself down. I was too scared to face judgment, failure, or any kind of consequences there might have been (real or imagined). I didn’t really want to take accountability for anything that I was doing, or that I wasn’t doing. After beating myself up mentally, I didn’t want to face that because it would only make me feel worse about it. Sooner or later, I had to change it. Thankfully, I changed it sooner, rather than later. I faced myself, all my priorities, and all my “consequences” which turned out to be over-exaggerated.
This is a big problem when it comes to the way people look at Personal Responsibility. People think that to take responsibility for yourself and your life, they’re somewhat punishing themselves. It’s almost like people just revert back to being a stubborn teenager that doesn’t want to clean their room. It may seem like a far-out analogy, but that’s just how I look at it. There’s one important thing to remember here: don’t ever let this make you feel inferior. Personal Responsibility is not making yourself feel massive amounts of guilt or shame for not doing something. It’s supposed to motivate you and get you to get up and be responsible for yourself.
How to Accept Personal Responsibility While Maintaining Good Self-Esteem:
You can have a good level of Personal Responsibility, helping you achieve your goals, without damaging your self-esteem. There are only 3 things you need to remember:
1. Responsibility Isn’t A Punishment.
When you take responsibility for a mistake or procrastinating on something, instead of letting your inner critic get the best of you by putting yourself down, accept responsibility, take ownership of your mistake or procrastination, apologize if you have to, fix what you need to, and change your approach to whatever you procrastinated on or screwed up. Don’t be afraid to give yourself some tough love, but don’t punish yourself for it.
2. Change Is The Most Important Piece Of This Puzzle.
In order to actually make personal responsibility work, you have to change the approach to what you’re taking responsibility for. If you keep on procrastinating, blaming others and/or making mistakes, nothing is going to get better. I won’t lie to you, it may even get worse. So, if you’re a procrastinator, you’re going to have to change that if you want to achieve your goals and live your dreams. If you make a mistake, find out what went wrong and make it right.
3. Let It Motivate You:
This part is so important. It’s a lot like the first part, but I wanted to highlight it. It’s important that you let your personal responsibility motivate you to do things, instead of holding you prisoner to it. When you know that there’s something you need to do, put in your brain how important it is and how things may be better after you do it. When you think of the positive outcomes, you’ll be way more motivated to do something that you may not have wanted to do in the first place.
Now that you've learned what Personal Responsibility is and how to start accepting it, how will you start accepting personal responsibility today? As I said, it’s a long process, but I want you to know that it’s totally worth it. When you have personal responsibility, you are way more likely to achieve your goals and live your best life!
Until Next Time xoxo