How to start to change your life
Accepting responsibility for our life is not just about taking responsibility for the way we do our work, being on time for meetings, being a responsible parent or guardian, although they are a part of it. Here we are talking about accepting responsibility for where you are in life and everything that has happened in your life up to this point.
Earl Nightingale said that Attitude is the “Magic Word”. Neville Goddard called feeling “The Secret”. What I also needed to learn in my personal journey to change my life, was another crucial word: Responsibility.
Changing our lives can begin with a simple decision. A decision to act or not to act, to move in a particular direction or remain stagnant. But any decision and subsequent change must begin with a shift in our thinking.
The word Responsibility has the power to alter the trajectory and outcomes of our lives, as well as our attitudes and perspectives. Yet, putting it into practice is easier said than done. Through personal experience, I have learned firsthand how challenging it can be.
We have a tendency to blame outer, external factors for our failures or when unfortunate things happen to us. Some of those situations are not easy to accept, acknowledging our role in them. However, regardless of what happened, we made the choice to be there at that moment in time.
All of it?
One of the first lessons, I learned from Jack Canfield’s “Success Principles” – to take responsibility for my life – ALL OF IT.
This was a hard pill to swallow.
Me? At fault for not doing better in my life? What about the people that stood in the way of my betterment or getting a promotion at work? The teachers that didn’t help but put me down? The people I met in my life that….
And then it started to dawn on me that I had never taken responsibility FOR my life. I had not used my innate ability to think and plan and set goals. In fact, I had never really set clear life goals.
One of Earl Nightingale’s questions was, “What do you expect your net worth to be at the point of retirement – do you have a set amount?” But we’re not talking just about just money. It encompasses your spirituality, self-esteem, self-respect, self-image, and your contribution to the world.
The crucial point here is that until you take full responsibility for your life, you really can’t move fully forward. While there may have been events that happened in your life that may have resulted from the actions of others, you still chose to be a part of them.
This is what it means – taking responsibility for the choices you have made in your life. Every single one of them – both the good and the bad, the right and the wrong. Only your choices matter, not the decisions others made that affected your life – that is out of your control. Focus solely on your own choices.
It’s at this point that you should understand and realise, that the choices you make now and in the near future, minute by minute, will shape and create your future.
A bit obvious really. If you decide to jump out of a third-floor window to the pavement, you’ll cause yourself damage. But what caused you to do that? What were the other options?
Pay your taxes or go to jail – that is still a choice really. Most of us choose to pay our taxes and avoid jail. Those that won’t or can’t make choices along the way to bring them to that point.
Do you see the correlation, the pattern?
Decide that you are now 100% responsible for your life – all of it. It is, in reality, the only way you can progress.
This isn’t just a concept or an idea. It is an integral part of a purpose-driven life, directed towards a specific goal, or as Earl Nightingale would say, a “progressive realisation of a worthy ideal”.
But what if you don’t take full responsibility and continue to believe that something had nothing to do with you? Even if you maintain that belief, you will still make progress towards your goals. However, the outcome will not be fully fulfilled, and there will always be a part of your life that you carry with you. You won’t achieve as much as you could have.
Remember, whatever you hold onto persists – emotionally, physically and mentally. Always keep in mind that your subconscious mind will hold onto any belief you maintain, and the only way to change that belief is through your conscious mind.
On the one side the mistake is in trying to realise an inside without an outside, and on the other in trying to realise an outside without and inside; both are necessary to the formation of a substantial entity. – Thomas Troward
Thank you for reading this post. Remember to comment below and subscribe to get the latest. You can also find me on LinkedIn.