Friday, November 25, 2011

5 Ways to Take Personal Responsibility

Grafitti with social statementImage via WikipediaBy Mandy Schumaker

"You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of" - Jim Rohn.

I believe that it is possible to create better results for ourselves by making better choices. I'm not saying that bad things won't ever happen, but we are responsible for the choices we make everyday in our lives.

I have worked with clients who blame the economy, blame their spouse, and blame their competitors for not having more business and making more money. Or the entrepreneur, who complains about working all the time and not having any personal time. These are all choices that we freely make and we need to take personal responsibility for the outcomes we create.

1 - Acknowledge that you are solely responsible for the choices in your life: The job you're in, where you live, your spouse or partner, the house you live in, the car you drive, the friends you keep. These are things that we chose, and if you are unhappy with some (or all) of these things, it's time to make a different choice. Small incremental changes can create really big results!

2 - Accept that you are responsible for every action and non-action: You create your life with every action and every inaction you take. So often I will listen to one of my clients talk about how they "could've done this", or "could've taken advantage of that". It's true. There are opportunities that present themselves to us everyday, but we don't see them as an opportunity. We see it as "too much work", "too hard to do", "not what I wanted" and we take no action on it.

3 - Accept that you cannot blame others for your choices: At one time or other, we've all blamed our siblings, our parents, our spouse or partner or friend for some injustice in our life, but you cannot blame others for your choices. No one else is responsible. If you want things to be different in your life-then it's your responsibility to make the change!

4 - Have positive expectations - even in the face of adversity: This is easier said than done, I know. But it is possible to have positive expectations and to take positive action every day in some way, to change the things that you are unhappy or dissatisfied with in your work or life. A person with a negative or cynical attitude will never accomplish much. That's because when an opportunity arises, the negative mind will find a reason (or 100 reasons) not to act upon it.

5 - Accept that you choose the outcome of life: By taking personal responsibility we start to move from our present situation into a better life. We are in total control of the thoughts we have and the decisions and choices we make.

"The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life" - Hal Elrod

Mandy Schumaker, President of Higher Performing People, is a former sales and management executive in the newspaper industry, who has extensive experience in executive coaching, leadership development, sales and marketing, facilitation and team building. She has a gift for helping executives and entrepreneurs maintain their focus and hold themselves and others accountable, which in turn helps them to become more effective, productive leaders. Mandy can be reached at or 207-653-6977

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