Self Responsibility Means Taking Control of Your Life
Self responsibility is the starting point for turning your ship around. If you don’t grab the wheel, chances are that no one else will. People are too busy trying to steer their own proverbial ships!
Self responsibility is the precursor to taking charge of your life, no matter what your circumstances might be. Even if God, your parents, the universe, an unfair employer, or whatever or whoever has ‘done you wrong’, taking responsibility for your life will allow you to move forward.
Act ‘As If’ and You Will Have the Power
If you act as if you are responsible for the good and the bad in your life, you’ll have the power to change your life for the better. If you feel like you’re a victim, then you have no power, as victims are by definition, helpless bystanders in the face of unfairness, and are, therefore, powerless to change.
I was born with a defective heart valve that eventually required two surgeries. Rather than blaming God or my parents for this birth defect, I uttered the powerful words, ‘it is what it is’ and did the best I could to deal with it.
I monitored my heart for 30 years, waiting for the day that the valve would need to be replaced. I also chose the Cleveland Clinic, one of the best hospitals for these procedures, to take care of my surgery. My subsequent one was at Northwestern Hospital.
Being born with this condition was none of my doing, but I found it most empowering to meet this circumstance head on. I monitored the situation, went to the best hospital I could, got into good physical shape before my surgery, and followed the doctor’s instructions for rehab after the surgery. All of my decisions allowed me to have a great outcome.
See Problems as Challenges Rather Than Curses
I was born with both good and bad traits and under both positive and negative circumstances. The ultimate response to the negatives in my life is to deal with them the best I can! I realize that my attitude or mindset determine how I relate everything. Mindset can also affect the outcomes. I can look at the negatives as challenges rather than curses. I can ask myself, ‘how can I either change my circumstances or at least learn how to cope with them’?
When I think about my challenges, I think about them in a problem-solving mode. What can I do to fix things? Yes, there’s a time to feel sad, mourn, and have grief. But at some point, it’s time to get over it and figure out how to move on.
Can I See Any Positives In a Negative Situation?
How can I turn a negative situation into a positive one? One powerful strategy for dealing with adversity is to just look for the positive in it. Even an illness or disease can have some positive elements to it. For instance, you can serve as an example to others, depending on how you cope or bounce back from your malady. As they say, when one road closes, other roads can open. Find those other roads and start traveling down them!
For instance, in my 40’s I started gaining weight, getting a double chin, etc. I decided that this was not a good road to go down. So I used this ‘opportunity’ (wakeup call) to get myself in gear and change my diet and start working out regularly again. My lethargy, weight gain, etc. actually inspired me to change my lifestyle, which benefited me in many other ways. That’s one example of turning a negative into a positive.
Positive Mindset of Coping and Moving Forward
If you have a permanent problem or situation, how can you cope with it so it doesn’t get you down? If you can’t seem to stop thinking about your problem and engage in repetitive thinking about the problem or circumstance, then the focus must be on switching your thinking. You can focus your attention on your breath. The idea is to change the subject. Since we can only focus our attention fully on one subject at a time, if you focus on the feeling and sound of your breathing, you can break the repetitive negative chatter in your mind.
Another great coping strategy to turn your thinking around is to think about what you have to be grateful for. I guarantee you that if you start making a gratitude list, that you’ll realize that you have more to be grateful for than not. If necessary, you can be grateful for your vision, your four limbs, having three meals a day, a roof over your head, a job, living in the US, etc. I suspect that you can come up with an extensive gratitude list of other people and things for which to be grateful.
The point is to take control of your thoughts. If you take control of your thoughts, you can take control of your life. If you take responsibility for both the positive and negative, then you have control.
I’m Responsible for My Life
For the most part, it’s actions that I have taken in my life that have led me to where I am now. Unfortunately, at some points in my life, my mindset led me to take actions and make decisions that weren’t conducive to my happiness. I blamed, felt like a victim, and otherwise held myself back from going beyond my circumstances and my thinking and living up to my potential.
Yes, I wish I would have learned, realized or understood some things earlier in my life, but it is what it is. We can only do what we can with the awareness that we have at the time. And so I appreciate my current awareness and I appreciate having the opportunity to change. I appreciate having my life and my time on earth to be the best version of myself that I can. This appreciation is accompanied by self-responsibility.
Know that You Can Change Your Lifestyle
I have the opportunity to change, to improve. It’s my choice as to whether I stay stuck in a negative paradigm of my self-imposed prison, or whether I’ll appreciate and take those opportunities to move towards happiness and wellness to the best of my ability and awareness. The really great thing is that I can increase my awareness of possibilities and opportunities by learning.
It’s truly amazing how much I have learned and increased my awareness by asking questions in the search sections of YouTube and Google. It is only with increased awareness that we can break out of the confines of our past, our conditioning, our habits, and our current situation and lifestyle. However, before we can do anything, we must take responsibility for our thinking and our lives and be willing to be open to change, and thinking and doing differently. You know the adage, ‘if you keep on thinking and doing what you’ve been thinking and doing, you can’t expect different results’.