Taking Full Responsibility Is the Key to True Freedom. Try these steps to put yourself back into the driver seat of your life.
You might not be as free as you think you are
We see this a lot: People pointing their finger at other people or circumstances when things don’t go their way. We hear sentences like “My boss has me stuck in my career”, “My wife is always so unreliable”, “How could my friend do this to me?” or even “My dog won’t listen to me” and the list goes on.
This is a behavior that we learned as children: As children, we were completely dependent on our environment, especially on our caretakers. When we needed something, we couldn’t just go and get it. So, we cried. Many people have never fully grown out of this dependency on external factors. Instead of crying now they complain and blame when their needs or expectations are not met.
We should ask ourselves: If we just keep blaming others for our misery aren’t we giving them control over our emotions, thoughts, and thus over our lives? This way we will by definition always be emotionally dependent on external factors and therefore never be truly free.
Responsibility is key to true freedom
It is time to wake up, time to put ourselves back into the driver seat of our life to be truly free. For this, responsibility is key. Taking responsibility is a way of thinking and feeling, it is a mindset. It means to be aware that we are 100% accountable. Accountable for our perceptions, feelings, and actions. Accountable for our life.
Knowing that we are accountable forces us to act. It enables us to make choices. It gives us back control and lets us create our own life instead of just reacting to changing circumstances.
“Winners don’t make excuses” — Harvey Specter
There are 3 steps towards taking full responsibility
Taking responsibility takes courage and it might feel uncomfortable in the beginning. The following steps can help:
- Awareness and Desire: We have to be aware that we are never going to be truly free if we maintain our dependency on external factors. And we have to become aware of what these external factors are. E.g. our jobs, our relationships, other people’s opinions of us, etc. Ultimately, we have to have a deep desire to change our dependencies.
- Self-Discipline: Taking responsibility is a new mindset for many of us. That we have to learn and to train. As with everything that we learn, learning responsibility can be exhausting. There will be ups and downs. We need to discipline ourselves to stay on track. So, while learning responsibility itself we can use tricks that strengthen our discipline to persevere on our road to freedom. There are numerous ways of proven effectiveness to do that. Google them. I recommend cold showers. They have clear health benefits but are very uncomfortable and nobody can take them for us. If we keep putting ourselves in this uncomfortable situation, we exercise your “discipline muscle” that we can then transfer to other aspects of our lives, such as taking responsibility.
- Responsibility: Finally, we have to learn what it means to take responsibility and we have to make it a habit. There is a lot of literature on this one too. I like to point out the following aspects:
- Take responsibility for your thoughts: Our thoughts are the predecessors of our feelings and actions. It is crucial to not let them overwhelm you. So, for every thought that comes up, check if it is beneficial for you. If it isn’t let it go or change it.
- Don’t complain or blame other people or circumstances: Whenever you feel like doing that, try to change perspective. Why has this situation happened? How might you have contributed to this situation? Think about how this could help you grow, what you can learn from it. Then come up with a plan to adapt.
- Find happiness within yourself: This is the most important point as it impacts all others and it is a large topic for itself. Find articles with steps towards inner happiness and try it. Take action. These are a couple of quick wins that I highly recommend:
- Different meditation techniques and practice of mindfulness
- Keeping a journal: Every day write down moments of happiness and gratitude
- Breathing Exercises
- Doing sports
- Spending time in nature
- Nurturing your relationships
I am convinced that if we all started to take full responsibility for our lives there would be fewer disappointments, less hate, and more happiness in the world.