Almost 3 years ago, I started on the path towards accepting responsibility for everything that happens in my life. I was hardly living my “best life” at the time and the repercussions of that were really starting to be a drag.
If you feel like you’re going through your life, doing your best to deal with what the world is “dishing out to you,” then you know what I’m talking about. It’s a terrible feeling.
The good news is that you can change that. The bad news is that only you can change that.
But you must change it. Because going through life taking what the world gives you, in my opinion, isn’t living at all. It is simply existing. You are breathing, but you are not alive.
I experienced this “living death” for many years. It’s awful. And that’s why I was forced to make a change.
The goal (which is always a work in progress) is to stop offloading anything about my life, my circumstances, my feelings, my frustrations or my fears onto anyone or anything other than myself – everything in my life is to become my responsibility. Not my fault… or my doing necessarily… but my responsibility.
At first, I don’t believe I realized just how much of a big deal this really is. And how it’s something you can work on for the rest of your life. It sounds easy in print doesn’t it?
Well it isn’t.
You don’t see too many people exhibiting this kind of powerful behavior in our world. That’s because the world would have you believe that power is the ability to control people and make them do what you want.
True power, as I’ve discovered, has very little if anything to do with that.
Anyway, it took me longer than I care to admit to go from thinking that “personal responsibility” was a good idea to actually embarking on the journey to LIVE it.
It wasn’t easy at first. It still isn’t at times. That’s because claiming your power through personal responsibility is a decision you must make daily.
You have free will. You are free to give away your power and abdicate ultimate responsibility for your life any moment you wish.
No one is watching. And no one cares what you decide.
The path I am on is one to take back my own power (because I’ve been giving it away to a whole lot of people for a very long time) and to use it in a better way. Like to build the life I want.
Living the idea of personal responsibility is a big step towards doing that.
One of the “growth opportunities” on my way to claiming my true power over my life, was to wrestle with this whole idea of personal responsibility. And the road got pretty darn bumpy for a while.
Here’s what I know:
Accepting TOTAL responsibility for yourself can make you one very powerful person.
Not in the rich and famous kind of way. I’m talking about the important way. The way that changes lives – beginning with your own.
This type of power is silent power. You don’t wield it so others know it is there. Instead, you live it and communicate by your actions the power you possess. No words are necessary to deliver that kind of message to the world. They will get it without fail.
In my book, being powerful means you accept what is right now… because it’s silly to do otherwise (Even though I’ve spent most of my life fighting against what is). Take full responsibility for what is right now.
Then understand that it is YOUR responsibility to initiate any change you want to see in your life.
You’ll notice that a lot of my “business” articles and essays are about things that you might not find in most business books. I guess you could call it the “human” side of business.
There’s a reason for that:
I’ve never been one that was able to separate life and business all that well. To me, it’s all one… mainly because I’m one person. And cordoning off sections of my life from one another doesn’t come easily to me.
So for me to work on my business, the best place to start is to work on me.
The change flows from me out into the world through my business.
It’s self-help I guess. But this kind of self-help isn’t something you learn in a book and play with in your head.
It’s not some slogan you write down and carry around in your wallet.
This is a full contact, get out there and LIVE it kind of thing.
So what does personal responsibility LOOK like in the real world in my opinion?
I think it looks like this:
- When I make a mistake… I stand up.
- When I do something great… I stand up.
- When I hurt someone… I stand up.
- When I help someone… I stand up.
If you haven’t noticed, the only thing that remains constant if you choose to live this way is that, through it all, you are standing up.
That is the key.
When more people in this world fully accept their own power and the great responsibility that comes with that power, this world will change quickly.
But don’t put your life on hold waiting for the world to take the lead. You can make your own decision right here, right now, TODAY to reclaim the true power over your life that you’ve hidden from yourself for way too long.
It’s time to stand up.
The funny thing is, you might think that “standing up” would be scary – that it would lead to fear. But in my experience, it’s turned out that “standing up” is truly the only way to conquer it.
Stand up.[Ed. Note: Jason Leister is an internet entrepreneur, direct response copywriter and editor of “The Client Letter,“ the daily e-letter from ClientsSuck.net, where he helps independent professionals create success. You can contact him via his website at JasonLeister.com.]