Relationship Lessons: Taking Responsibility

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Relationship Lessons: Taking Responsibility - What is the hardest and most important thing you will ever do for yourself? Well, I’m not going to stall and leave you ha

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Well, I’m not going to stall and leave you hanging. I’m going to give itto you right away, and then dig into why this is so important. The most important and challenging thing you could ever do for yourself is taking full responsibility for your life. What do I mean by this? Why does it matter so much? What would that look like in your life? Let’s take a look at it.

What does taking responsibility mean? Simply put, taking responsibility means the state of having a sense of duty to deal with something. If something is bothering you, then you do something about it.

  • Looking down at your body and thinking “I don’t like the way that I look or feel in terms of my physical health. I’m going to drink more water, eat less junk, and hire a personal trainer” is taking responsibility for your health.
  • Looking at your bank account and thinking “I don’t like the way that my financial life is set up. I’m going to figure out ways to provide more value to the people that I serve starting today” is taking responsibility for your wealth.
  • Looking internally at your life and thinking “I don’t like the way that my relationship looks. I’m going to do something about this until it is no longer an issue” is taking responsibility for your love life.

Taking responsibility is the act of taking ownership of your problems. It is the mindset of “I am going to do something about this because it is my situation to influence.”

Why is taking responsibility for your life so important? When you feel like you can’t do anything about a given situation, you feel powerless, you quickly become despondent, and that will get you nowhere. There are very few situations that we can actually do nothing about. Even if by chance you can’t influence the situation itself, you can always change your relationship to the situation. Here’s an example of somewhere that I recently felt stuck.

I had been feeling stuck and stagnant in my home of Chicago, Illinois. My excuses for beginning to dislike my city were endless, and I spent a lot of time reinforcing them to myself. But do you know what was really hard? Admitting that there was a ton of stuff that I personally wasn’t doing in order to take responsibility for my situation. I wasn’t exercising as often as I wanted to. I wasn’t prioritizing fun as often as I knew I wanted to. I wasn’t writing as often as I wanted to. I wasn’t reaching out to my friends as often as I wanted to. Ultimately, I neglected all of these core things in myself because I was hell-bent on resenting my geographical location. I don’t know if my feelings about the city are warranted, but I will never know whether my feelings are true or not until I take
the necessary actions to do my part to remedy the situation. I had to take responsibility first. If you ever find yourself blaming someone else, or blaming your location, or blaming circumstances beyond your control, then that is a surefire sign that you aren’t taking responsibility for something in your life.

Everything in my life pointed back to me not allowing myself to be deeply happy. If I want to write more, I have to create the space, carve out the time and write. If I want to exercise more, I need to hire a trainer and go for it. If I want to prioritize more fun and lightness, sign up for some fun classes and enlist several friends to start having weekly meet ups dinners or whatever appeals to you. The act of planting your metaphorical flag and saying “I am taking responsibility!” is relatively easy, but it is the follow through and taking consistent action that is challenging.

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I love people, and I love people a lot. Maybe I love people too much for my own good sometimes. I’m all for compassion to a point, and as much as I am in favor of compassion, I’m even more in favor of self-responsibility and taking action on the things that you know matter to you. It’s impossible to be happy if you are not honoring yourself. You honor yourself by taking responsibility for your life and doing what you know that your heart wants you to do. Lately for me, that has meant writing more because I feel like it, exercising more because I love how it makes me feel, and spending more time prioritizing play and lightness in my life overall. Consequently, I haven’t felt this free, unrestrained, and happy in my life in years.

I am feeling phenomenal, and I want that feeling for you as well.
So where in your life do you need to take responsibility?
What do you know you need to do, but aren’t doing?
Complete this sentence and you will find your answers: “If I were to take full responsibility for my life, I would…”

That’s it, there is the tool, now take responsibility and use it…