Taking Personal Responsibility

Guest Blog Post by Devon Harris 2/17/12

Taking Personal ResponsibilityHere is thought for you: Everything that you are or ever hope to be is completely up to you! Is that scary….painful?

Yes, I know, you were born on the wrong side of the tracks, your parents abused and neglected you, the teacher gave you detention and your high school sweetheart broke your heart. Understand this—your environment and circumstances influence who you are but you are totally responsible for who you become. Undoubtedly, you can make a sound argument that your past experiences have negatively impacted your life but blaming, justifying, and complaining will get you nowhere. Stop polishing these experiences and presenting them as the reason why your life isn’t working the way you would like it to work. The harsh truth is that you have not yet accepted 100% responsibility for your life.

Accepting personal responsibility is recognizing that the Calvary isn’t coming. While you may and will need the help of others to reach your goals, the onus is on you to orchestrate your own rescue. As they say, “If it’s to be, it’s up to me!”

Just imagine an athlete at the Olympics standing at the start of their event worrying about what happened in the competition two months ago, what went wrong in practice last week or what the coach said to them yesterday. They are there, at the start knowing fully well that their performance in the race is totally within their control…today…in this moment and is not dictated by some event that happened in the past.

Charles Givens reminds us that “You have to let go of your past in order to effectively design your future” In other words you have to accept yourself and your current circumstances, and stop wishing things were different.

Please note: ACCEPTANCE !

It doesn’t mean that you no longer set goals.

Nor does it mean that you become complacent.

That’s not acceptance, that’s RESIGNATION. To resign yourself to your current situation means that you have determined that there is no hope for improvement. To accept it means that you acknowledge that this is your starting point.


Take a closer look at the word responsibility and you will notice that it is made up of two root words…..RESPONSE and ABILITY. In essence, you have the ability to choose your response to any and all events that take place in your life. Highly successful people recognize this and so they take responsibility instead of blaming circumstances. They know that through free will, they can choose to take actions which will create the kind of results they desire. Setbacks and challenges are viewed as opportunities for personal development allowing them to become stronger, wiser, more knowledgeable and more skillful. Taking personal responsibility is the price you pay to achieve the greatness you are capable of.

Here is an equation for you……

Events plus responses equals outcomes.

What am I saying here? The successful ones are affected by the same external stimuli as those who lag behind. The difference is how they respond to the stimuli. Between those two—stimulus and response, you have the power to choose how you want to live your life.

Keep On Pushing!    Devon Harris is the author of the motivational children’s book, Yes, I Can!And the semi-autobiographical motivational book, Keep On Pushing: Hot Lessons From Cool Runnings.




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