What is the hardest and most important thing you will ever do for yourself?
I’m not going to leave you hanging. I’m going to give it to you right away, and then dig into why this is so important.
The most important (and challenging) thing you could ever do for yourself is to…
Take full responsibility for your life.
What do I mean by this? Why does it matter so much? What would that look like in your life? All will be revealed… right now!
What Does Taking Responsibility Even Mean?
Simply put, taking responsibility means the state of having a sense of duty to deal with something. Something is bothering you? You do something about it.
Looking down at your body and thinking “I don’t like the way that I look or feel in terms of my physical health… I’m going to drink more water, eat less junk, and hire a personal trainer” is taking responsibility for your health.
Looking at your bank balance and thinking “I don’t like the way that my financial life is set up… I’m going to figure out ways to provide more value to the people that I serve starting today” is taking responsibility for your wealth.
Looking internally and thinking “I don’t like the way that my relationship is… I’m going to do something about this until it is no longer an issue” is taking responsibility for your love life.
Taking responsibility is the act of taking ownership of your problems.
It is the mindset of “I am doing to do something about this because it is my situation to influence.”
Why Taking Responsibility Of Your Life Is So Important
When you feel like you can’t do anything about a given situation, you feel powerless… and when you feel powerless you quickly become despondent. And then you get nowhere.
But there are very few situations that we can actually do nothing about. Because even if you can’t influence the situation itself, you can always change your relationship to the situation.
Here’s an example of somewhere that I recently felt stuck…
I had been feeling stuck and stagnant in my hometown of Vancouver, Canada. My excuses for disliking my city were endless, and I spent a lot of time reinforcing them to myself.
But you know what was really hard? Admitting that there was a ton of stuff that I personally wasn’t doing in order to take responsibility for my situation. I wasn’t exercising as often as I wanted to. I wasn’t prioritizing fun as often as I knew I wanted to. I wasn’t writing as often as I wanted to. I wasn’t reaching out to my friends as often as I wanted to. Ultimately, I neglected all of these core things in myself because I was hellbent on resenting my geographical location.
I don’t know if my feelings about the city are warranted, but I’ll never know whether my feelings are true or not until I take the necessary actions to do my part to remedy the situation. I had to take responsibility first (and, bonus tip, if you ever find yourself blaming someone else/your location/circumstances beyond your control, that’s a surefire sign that you aren’t taking responsibility for something in your life).
Everything in my life pointed back to me not allowing myself to be deeply happy. I want to write more? Create the space, carve out the time and write. I want to exercise more? Go for it. Hire a trainer while you’re at it. I want to prioritize more fun and lightness? Sign up for some fun classes. Enlist several friends to start having weekly meet ups (dinners, jam sessions, book clubs, games of tag… whatever appeals to you).
The act of planting your metaphorical flag and saying “I am taking responsibility!” is relatively easy… it’s the follow through and taking consistent action that is challenging.
Listen… I love people. A lot. Too much for my own good sometimes. And I’m all for compassion… to a point. As much as I am in favour of compassion, I’m even more in favour of self-responsibility and taking action on the things that you know matter to you.
It’s impossible to be happy if you aren’t honouring yourself.
And you honour yourself by taking responsibility for your life and doing what you know that your heart wants you to do.
For me, lately, that has meant writing more because I feel like it. Exercising more because I love how it makes me feel. And spending more time prioritizing play and lightness in my life overall. Consequently, I haven’t felt this free, unrestrained, and happy in my life in months.
It feels fucking phenomenal. And I want that feeling for you.
So where in your life do you need to take responsibility?
What do you know that you need to do, but aren’t doing?
Complete this sentence ten times and you will find your answers.
“If I were to take full responsibility for my life, I would…”
That’s it. There’s the tool. Now take responsibility and use it.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you would like some help in navigating your way to a more deeply fulfilling life, I’m always here to chat.
Pps. Did this post resonate with you? You’ll likely also love reading the following three posts: