How would you react if…?

Imagine that you are texting while walking down the street and you bump into another pedestrian who is waiting for a light to change. You drop your phone and the screen cracks. How do you react?

Posted: 8:52AM on Jul 1, 2019 | By Pynora


  • 11.0%
  • 75.7%
  • 0.0%
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  • 11.0%
Opinion Split
Total responses : 136
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How to Take More Personal Responsibility

Posted: 8:37PM on Aug 18, 2019 | By Pynora

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“Man must cease attributing his problems to his environment, and learn again to exercise his will – his personal responsibility.”
Albert Einstein

The blame game is an easy one to play. If you have siblings, you’ve almost certainly been guilty of pointing the finger for the paint accident across your parents’ white walls. And let’s face it, you and your sister now crack up about the time you told mom it was her that put the miniature stuffed dolphin in the toilet—it needed water to swim in, after all. But the blame game can carry on into adulthood, and it’s not as fun, or funny.

While self-love and empathy fill much space in the self-development world, readings on personal responsibility are relatively sparse. Maybe the very essence of the word “responsibility” unearths memories of school detention or revoked privileges. And the underlying moral of each of these early childhood memories stemmed from others feeling you needed to take responsibility for your actions.

But including more personal responsibility in our lives involves more than an uncomfortable redirection. Especially during adulthood, it’s a tool that helps us to spread our wings rather than tuck a tail between our legs.

Let’s explore personal responsibility and why more accountability could be your answer to a new and improved self.

Why We Deny Responsibility For Our Actions

For many, denial is a defense mechanism. It shields us from difficult truths and protects us from distressing feelings. And if denial is prevalent in your life, you’re likely missing a healthy serving of personal responsibility.

Denial can often take the form of believing that fault in certain situations doesn’t stem from ourselves and we are the victims of circumstances out of our control, instead of being in the driver’s seat. This leads to blaming others and not taking responsibility for our own actions.

An example of denial via blaming others could take the form of an accident. A driver may have hit a pedestrian, but instead, they blame the pedestrian for not looking both ways. But in reality, the driver was both speeding and checking their phone. This degree of blaming involves a temporary blindness. Clearly, the driver should have slowed down and kept their eyes on the road, but instead, they chose to offload the blame to the real victim in the situation.

The blame game could surface in the kitchen. Maybe you let dinner sit too long in the oven, but is it your fault? No—your partner doesn’t help you enough around the house, so their lack of assistance was the crime. Not making it to the gym? Everyone asks too much of you, so they’re liable for your expanding waist size.

There are a myriad of reasons why we take an accusatory stance for things that are clearly our fault. As previously stated, blaming is a defense mechanism—it can safeguard your own self-esteem by offloading your flaws or failures on someone or something else. Plus, there’s not as much effort in ignoring your individual contributions, because you’d have to put in the work to change them.

Steps to Taking More Personal Responsibility

In Psychology Today, Jennifer Hamady wrote, “By distancing ourselves from our own potential role in problems, we also disregard the possibility of our place in the solutions, as well as the joy and affinity that come from problem solving effectively together.” What Hamady means is that accepting responsibility is actually self-empowering.

Taking more personal responsibility doesn’t mean you have to beat yourself up—it’s about taking what you learned and using it as fuel to help you improve. Learning how to own up to your role in situations will help you to grow from your experiencing and live a rewarding, productive, and fulfilling life. Here are four steps to taking more personal responsibility:

Cut Out Excuses

When you make excuses for the state of your happiness, work, relationships, and more, you’re limiting yourself and not allowing any room to grow beyond your excuses. When you shut out personal accountability, you’ll be stuck alongside the same broken record without a chance to step towards success.

Be aware of the excuses you make for yourself—especially with your use of the word can’t. “I can’t do,” or, “I’m not strong enough to,” are statements that strip down your power. Where there’s a will, there’s a way—reach your goals for success quicker by cutting out the excuses.

Stop Blaming Others

Removing blame doesn’t justify improper actions of others, and it doesn’t turn a blind eye to misfortunes. Certain situations won’t be your fault, but when you do have ownership in a situation, don’t scan the room to find someone else to implicate.

If you’re an excessive blamer, you’re constantly playing a self-victimization card. Even if your thoughts are justified and something is someone else’s fault, blaming won’t help you become successful or positive—it’ll keep you stuck in the trenches of bitterness and resentment.

To stop blaming others, it’s important to refocus your awareness. Focus on your thoughts and statements—people that perpetually blame others tend to use absolute statements, like “you always forget to stop for groceries,” or, “you never spend enough time with me.” If you find yourself saying or even thinking statements like these, redirect your mind, change your wording, evaluate whether you’re part of the problem, and work towards a solution.

Work to Boost Your Self-Esteem

When we find ourselves blaming others constantly, it’s typically because our insecurities make it uncomfortable for us to accept responsibility. But in life, everyone makes mistakes. If we didn’t, we’d never learn right from wrong.

There are a ton of ways to up your self-esteem. Exercise releases feel-good hormones, boosting your serotonin. You can also make sure to celebrate your small victories, like choosing the perfect ensemble or grilling a steak to medium-rare perfection.

Make sure to reward yourself for being awesome—and don’t get down on yourself for making mistakes. Simply use mistakes as the propellant to a new and improved, more educated version of yourself.

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