Take Responsibility for Your Life
Do you know the difference between blame and responsibility? I have a friend who takes very little responsibility for his life because he feels that by doing so means that he’s to blame for the situation. It’s something that has been instilled in him since a very early age – his mother is the same way. People who feel this way are also probably feeling very out of control in their lives. It’s extremely hard to control the direction of a moving vehicle if you aren’t the one in the driver’s seat pushing the pedals and turning the steering wheel, right? The same principle applies to my friend. Since he cannot take responsibility for the things that happen in his life, he has no control over where his life is going. This can lead to feelings of anger, fear, depression, and even create additional control issues.
There are four tips that are defined by Dr Phil MacGraw that I absolutely believe and offer to not only my friend, but anyone that has the same types of feelings. These are general tips that are offered to help you claim responsibility for your life in any situation.
1. There is something that you are getting from your behaviour. Your task is to figure out what your payoff is, and then cut that payoff out. You wouldn’t be doing what you are doing if you didn’t get something out of it.
2. Dr Phil has a “catch phrase”: You’ve got to name it before you can claim it. How true is that? There are plenty of ways that you can “name it” such as having a talk with your family, writing everything down, or even talking with a therapist. You need to know what you are dealing with before you can do anything about it.
3. Leave your past where it is, because it can easily become your future. If experienced emotional deprivation at some point in your past, you need to have closure to leave that feeling in the past. If there are things you didn’t get from someone before, create that feeling for yourself now. Dr Phil states, “If you want to be loved, be lovable. If you want to get your family interested in your life, get interested in their lives”.
4. Behaviour means consequences. Here’s the big one! As an adult, you choose the behaviour that you exhibit, and the consequences from that choice are your responsibility. You can’t blame your family, your boss, your friend, or anyone else for the things that are happening in your life anymore. If you feel badly in a situation, do something to course correct. Don’t live in that moment. Don’t live in that place that makes you feel badly. “The greatest stress in life is to hold someone else accountable for something they can’t control. The only person you control is you” says Dr Phil.
Life is stressful enough with today’s economical issues and strains they are causing individuals, families, and marriages across the globe. Give yourself a break and start to take back control of the things you can control.