Using Personal Accountability to Improve Your Life

Have you ever caught yourself complaining about your circumstances…the unfairness of it all? I know I’m guilty. There have been many times when I have become so wrapped up in my “story” that I wasn’t able to find my way out of it. These are dangerous places to be. This is being a victim, and no one likes being a victim…unless, of course, they do. I’m guilty of that, too. When I get wrapped up in my “stories,” I am living the life of a victim. I’m powerless and not taking action that will change my circumstances. While there may be truth to some of my story, swimming in the injustice of it all will change exactly nothing. I can honestly say that when I take responsibility for my role in every circumstance, I live a much happier and healthier life.

When we place our happiness in the hands of others, we are setting ourselves up to be a victim. This happens more than we think. Each time we place expectations on others, we are placing our happiness in their hands. When we focus so heavily on what others are doing instead of how we can react to it we are placing our happiness in the hands of others. It is only when we take responsibility for our own happiness that we can truly be happy.

If you’re playing cards and you’re dealt a crappy hand, you have three choices: you can carry on about how crappy your hand is; you can quit the game; or you can suck it up and play it to the best of your ability. While you may be right about how crappy your hand is, which version do you think you’ll be happiest in? In the first version, you may start bringing more “story” to your circumstances. You’re never lucky or the dealer set you up on purpose or other unhelpful tidbits that bring you further into victim status. If you quit the game there will be new, likely unpleasant, circumstances to face. In the play what you got version, you’re taking action to change your circumstances. You’re not attaching any particular meaning to the occasion – just a crappy hand that you’re going to do your best to play. Imagine if you reacted to all life’s “crappy hands” that way.

Taking responsibility is not easy. We have been creating stories and attaching meaning to our circumstances since childhood. Having an awareness is the first step. Pay attention to when you’re creating a story or being a victim. Try to quickly transition out of those and take action by being personally accountable to your own life. The added beauty of this is that you also don’t try to carry others’ responsibilities. You recognize that we all have to take responsibility for our own lives. You can’t carry the weight for other people. They have to deal with their own personal accountability.

This week, try to pay attention to your reactions to life’s circumstances. Instead of creating a story around the aggressive driver on your commute, understand he’s got to be accountable for his actions and you’ve got to be accountable for yours. That means you just carry on and drive like you know you should. Instead of whining about a challenging initiative at work, you figure out how to use your experience and skills to make it a success. Because you’re accountable for your piece of it, so make your piece shine.

Share in the comments section a time you took personal accountability for a crappy situation and how it helped you find greater happiness.

If you would like some support on becoming more personally accountable, then an Empowerment Session is for you! Take advantage of a complimentary strategy session!

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email April@AuthenticLifeChronicles.com 

Comments

  1. I’m very interested in learning more about your services and the opportunity to improve my life.

  2. This is a great post and the playing cards analogy is really helpful. It is easy to complain and blame others, but I always tell myself to check myself out and keep taking control of my own responsiblities. I am happy this way.

    • Sounds like you’ve got the whole “personal accountability” thing down, Erin! Thanks for commenting!

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