How To Take Responsibility For Your Actions (2022)

It can be very easy for our lives to get a little hectic or out of control. When things get really bad, we sometimes start to blame other people, circumstances, or things.

When we don’t acknowledge how our actions have gotten us to this chaotic state, we prevent ourselves from finding solutions. We stop ourselves from taking charge of our own lives.

Taking responsibility for your actions is essentially recognizing that your life is in your own hands. You need to accept the consequences and benefits of whatever you choose to do.

Of course, circumstances and other forces play a part in our lives. But we are still responsible for anything that is under our control.

We all have to own up to what we have done wrong. That could mean apologizing when you have hurt someone. It could mean acknowledging that you haven’t been pushing yourself to excel in your career.

The positive side of taking responsibility is seeing your actions have good consequences. You might get a promotion because of your hard work.

You could gain a new friendship because you helped someone out. These are rewards many of us would be happy to gain in life.

The beauty of it all is you can start today. Here are some tips on how you can start taking responsibility and succeeding in life.

10 Ways to Take Responsibility for All Your Actions

1. Stop Making Excuses

Excuses are often a way for us to avoid owning up to our actions. Excuses shift responsibility to a circumstance and prevent us from recognizing the part that we had to play in the situation.

Rather than making excuses, take a moment to pause and determine what you could have done differently to be more accountable. If you lose a sale for your company because you didn’t respond to the buyer in time, identify how you could have responded faster.

Did you avoid answering the email? Did you put your personal work ahead of the company’s goals? When you know what you can do differently in the future, plan on doing that next time.

2. Stop Blaming Others 

Similar to making excuses, blaming others is trying to shift responsibility from ourselves to another person. When we blame others for our shortcomings, there are many negative consequences.

Not only does blaming other people ruin relationships, but it also makes you feel worse about the situation. It prevents you from finding a way to fix it. “The Blame Game.”

When you find yourself about to blame another person, take a step back and ask yourself if that person really caused the situation to occur. Think about whether your actions were truly responsible for the outcome.  

3. Stop Complaining

Perhaps all of us are guilty of complaining about our circumstances when things aren’t going our way. But does complaining help fix the situation? Absolutely not.

Complaining is like wallowing in self-pity. It does nothing to get us out of the state that we are in. It prevents us from taking action and improving our situation.

4. Stop Taking Things Personally

When we see everything that someone says as a personal attack, we attribute responsibility to the person “attacking” us. A lot of the statements we think are attacks tend to be attacking the situation and not ourselves.

One way to overcome this is to take a moment and reflect on what the person said. Are they really talking about you, or are they talking about the situation?

5. Stop Living in the Past

When things aren’t going well, it’s tempting to focus on the negative that’s already occurred. However, living in the past prevents moving forward.

Stop focusing on things that have already happened. Make a plan to move into the future.

6. Start Goal Setting

Goal setting is a necessary step towards making sustainable change. Setting goals for yourself allows you to begin moving in the direction you want to go in life.

Lofty goals give us a purpose. They give us a reason to improve ourselves rather than staying motionless and stuck.

When you set goals, you take responsibility by accepting that you have room to grow. You acknowledge that you are the person who has to get yourself to that goal.

7. Start Asking for Forgiveness

Asking for forgiveness is not always an easy feat. Apologizing requires owning up to your actions to another person and being at the mercy of their judgment.

However, it is necessary to ask for forgiveness when you have hurt others by not taking responsibility in the past. Asking for forgiveness can repair your relationships and allow you to accept what you need to improve upon.

8. Start Following Through on Your Promises

Being accountable is an essential step towards taking responsibility for our actions. Accountability requires following through on the promises that we make to other people and to ourselves.

If you tell a friend that you’ll go to the gym with him on Friday morning, be there on Friday morning. Don’t make an excuse because you stayed up too late the night before. Follow through on your promise and show up.

9. Start Taking Action 

When life gets chaotic, we sometimes back ourselves into a hole and don’t do anything about our situation. Doing nothing stunts progress.

Once your goals are set and you’ve come up with a plan, take action to make those goals a reality. It’s possible to get yourself out of your current situation. You can improve your life.

10. Start Loving Yourself

One final important step toward being responsible for your actions is learning how to love yourself. We often blame others and make excuses because we aren’t confident in ourselves. We don’t accept our good and bad qualities.

Learning to love yourself involves loving all of yourself, including the times that you make mistakes. Everyone has flaws; that’s what makes us human. Loving yourself makes it much easier to take responsibility because you know there is room for improvement.

Final Thoughts

It’s easy to place responsibility on external sources. But we gain more growth and understanding by choosing to take responsibility for our actions.

Not everything is in our control, but a lot of things are. When we make an effort to take some responsibility for our actions and our lives, we make progress towards a better and brighter future.

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