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Insights: Accepting Responsibility
May 06, 2008

Accepting Responsibility

“Liberty means responsibility.
That is why most men dread it.”

- George Bernard Shaw

“The price of greatness is responsibility”

- Sir Winston Churchill

Two quotes for the price of one! I’m feeling generous right now – I’ll tell you why at the end of this newsletter.

In the New Insights Life Coach Training Programme we teach that you can adopt three attitudes to things that happen in your life. You have the option to:

  • Blame others for your circumstances.
  • Justify why you are where you are.
  • Take responsibility.

The third option is the only one that will lead to you having complete control over your own life and destiny.

Taking responsibility, however, is not as easy as it may seem.

All too often we are confronted by disappointing, unsavoury or undesirable circumstances and events in our lives; things that seem to occur randomly, with no warning, or that appear to be brought on by the actions of others. Having to accept responsibility in such cases seems blatantly unfair.

And yet there is something incredibly liberating about coming to terms with the fact that every single aspect of our life (note – our life, not others’ lives) can be attributed to our very own past thoughts and/or actions. It may be tough to deal with this when we think of those aspects of our lives that we’re not happy with…

…but hey, think about it from another perspective…

You, and you alone are the grand designer of your life. You can create your life the way you want it to be. If it’s not the way you want it to be right now, you have the ability to make it that way in the future, starting today!

Yes, it’s entirely up to you. Not your boss. Not your family. Not your parents. Not your community. Not your teacher or your coach.

No one but you!

OK, take a deep breath. Are you feeling a sense of upliftment and excitement – or depression and dread – from what you’ve just read.

Or have you chosen to ignore or dismiss it, disbelievingly?

It’s not my place or my role to tell you what to believe – and if you choose to believe that your life is pre-ordained – that what happens is all part of a master plan for you in which you have no say or control, then that’s your free choice.

The architect of our own life
Personally, though, I believe each and every one of us is the architect of our own life. I believe that we’ve all been endowed with the precious gift of free will that allows us to make the choices that define our individual life journeys; that we have been given the tools and the ability to create the very life that we truly desire.

If you are open minded enough to accept that this may be a realistic proposition – but you’re still somewhat sceptical – then why not try experimenting?

An experiment
From now until the end of this week, tell yourself that you – and you alone – are responsible for creating your life; that there is no such thing as fate, luck or misfortune. Think carefully about every situation, every opportunity that arises, every event that takes place, every co-incidence you experience, every choice you make or neglect to make. Live your life as if you were solely responsible for it. If you catch yourself blaming others or justifying things then check yourself and accept responsibility, no matter how difficult it may seem.

At the end of the week, take stock. See how you feel. Consider how your thought processes may have changed. Think about what you may have done differently from before the week started. Note any change in your mood or outlook. Decide whether you want to continue with the experiment.

Now a week’s not a long time for this experiment. And if you’ve been cruising along up to now merrily justifying and blaming all and sundry for your life, then it’s likely that your prior abrogation of responsibility may have negative consequences during your experiment week. Please don’t use this as an excuse to say “You see, it doesn’t matter whether I agree to take responsibility or not, my life’s still in a mess.”

I’m willing to bet – that if you’ve given the experiment a fair chance – you’ll feel like a different person. In fact you’ll be willing to extend the experiment for a few more weeks; then a few months – and before you know it you’ll be living a life in the knowledge that you have the power to make of it exactly what you desire!

OK, let’s use an example.

When last did you feel really great about something in your life?

Chances are that it was just after you took inspired action to get something done in line with your goals or aspirations.

It might have been something small like booking a week-end away for the family – or it may have been something really significant like finding a new job or giving up smoking.

Responsibility and Action
You see, responsibility and action are actually great bedfellows. If you go around accepting that life is the way it is because that’s the way you made it to be, but nothing ever changes, that’s because you’re taking responsibility for the situation but you’re not taking responsibility for changing it!

Once you accept responsibility for where you are in life (good, bad or indifferent) and accept responsibility for making the changes necessary to make your life what you want it to be, well, then…

…you’re really cooking with GAS!! (with my apologies to Telkom!)

I hope I don’t sound too smug but you know what? I feel good that I took the responsibility for getting this newsletter done – and even better now it’s complete. The only thing that’ll make me feel better still, is if it prompts my readers into taking inspired action, however small, towards achieving the life they desire.

I know you’re interested in the whole concept of life coaching – that’s why you signed up for Insights, right? If you’re flirting with the idea of a career change and you think you’d make a great life coach, why not take your own inspired action and sign up for the New Insights Life Coach Training Programme.

Special Offer
May marks the official anniversary of the establishment of New Insights in South Africa. So, until the end of May we’re running a very special offer for all our loyal Insights readers and other people with whom we have had the privilege to be connected in the past year.

Click on the link below for more details:

With warm regards as always


New Insights Africa Life Coaching Skills Training - Putting an Extraordinary Business within reach of Passionate People.

If you think you are Life Coach material why not study, at your own pace and in your own time, with New Insights Africa? If you have the passion, we have the skills, knowledge and support to offer you. Please visit our website.

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