“Victory has a hundred fathers and defeat is an orphan”-John F Kennedy
The question of taking responsibility for one’s actions never arises when everything is hunky-dory. It’s when things go south that one starts searching for someone to take the blame. But life has a funny way pushing one in the same sticky situation until one learns the lesson. Take responsibility for your actions because that means you are taking responsibility for your life.
Taking the easy way out by finding a scapegoat for your actions is one of the worst negative personality traits to have. It’s the worst because the person knows that he has committed the mistake. Still, they are ready for someone else to take their blame.
This type of personality isn’t representative of a strong person. Rather, this type of attitude reflects weakness, lack of character, and ethics. It’s one thing to get overwhelmed and escape from your mistake once but it’s another thing to make it a habit.
Why Is It Good to Take Responsibility for Your Actions?
Taking responsibility is essential because it allows a person to accept their flaws and work upon them. If one never takes responsibility and always blame others, they don’t get the chance to improve. They never get to the point of being a better person.
In the short term doing something wrong and not suffering the consequences may feel good. But if we make it a practice then the long term effects can be devastating. Blaming other people for the problems that we caused is not good for the long run.
One should never think twice about being accountable for their actions. Such situations allow people to right their wrongs. This is important so that the same mistakes do not get repeated.
Components of Accepting Responsibility
There are two components of accepting responsibility:
1) Personal Responsibility
Personal responsibility involves being accountable for one’s own behavior and action. In this component, people accept the consequences that were a result of their own actions. This is the basic type of taking responsibility. Being accountable for one’s own actions is vital to develop self-respect.
2) Indirect Responsibility
Now, let’s come down to indirect responsibility. When one has achieved the level of taking personal responsibility, it’s time to reach the next level. The next level is that of indirect responsibility. In this level, the person not only takes responsibility for one’s action but they also come forward to take responsibility for other’s actions.
Let’s take an example to understand indirect responsibility.
Suppose you are walking down the street. Suddenly, you see someone taking a stumble and drop all their files. Do you stop and help that person? Or ignore it and walk past him?
A person who helps the man in this situation is accepting an indirect responsibility. This is more about helping others.
When a Person Doesn’t Take Responsibility for Their Actions
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Newton’s third law applies beyond just physics. It applies to our daily lives as well. This means we will suffer negative consequences if we don’t take responsibility for our actions.
Let’s look at the consequences of not taking responsibility for our actions.
1) Not being accountable for our actions negatively impacts our minds. When we know we are the one who has screwed up but we allow someone else to take the fall, it hurts our conscience. This is because deep down we know that it was us, who should be suffering the repercussions.
2) Not owning up our actions increasingly makes us feel small. As time passes we start seeing ourselves as having no value or self-respect.
3) Most of the time, people are aware of whose fault it was. So, when we fail to admit it people start losing respect for us.
4) There is also a good chance that people will not respect us in the future too. They will see us an immature person and not a mature adult.
5) Your relationship with your friends, family, and colleagues will suffer. They will see you as an unreliable person who isn’t trustworthy.
6) You may keep on making poor choices in life. This may result in constant financial issues and finding it hard to keep a stable job.
7) Not being accountable in life makes one unsatisfied, miserable, and angry.
10 Ways to Take Responsibility for Your Actions
It’s now time to see how we can be more accountable.
1) Stop blaming people
Your life is not about people. It’s about you. Blaming others may give you temporary satisfaction for a while, but this won’t serve you in any way.
We all know life is hard. Some people really have it worse than others. But does this give you a free pass to blame others for your troubles?
No, it doesn’t!
Maybe you really have been the victim of other’s actions. But will playing the victim card help you take control of your life?
Ask yourself these questions. Soon you will soon realize why it’s absolutely necessary that you stop blaming others.
2) Stop complaining
Complaining is one of those negative personality traits that one needs to get rid of. Complaining achieves nothing, except pushing people away.
Yes, complaining like blaming others make you feel good for a while. But it doesn’t achieve anything. Rather than complaining choose to do something about the bad situation
3) Don’t give excuses
Always giving excuses never lets you be completely responsible for your misdeeds.
Example: I am running late because there was huge traffic.
I couldn’t perform my best because my shoes are old.
Sounds familiar? Giving excuses shifts the blame to other things whereas more than likely it was our fault, to begin with.
4) Set goals and try to achieve them
Goals give life a structure and direction. Without setting goals a person can feel lost and there life may seem directionless. Still, people hesitate to set some goals in their life. The reason for this is fear. It is the fear of failure and taking responsibility for one’s failure.
When one has the habit of goal setting, he/she can make positive changes to achieve that goal. This leads to the implementation of positive changes in life.
Goals also teach us to be accountable for both our success and failure in life.
5) Love yourself
People take responsibility for their actions when they love themselves. Sounds weird? No, it isn’t!
It has been seen that people who escape owning up their mistakes are people who have low self-esteem. A person who loves themselves accepts themselves completely-The good, the bad, and the ugly. They don’t rely on others’ validation to feel good about themselves.
Thus, in a certain sense, escaping from being responsible for the wrong in one’s life is a symptom of low self-esteem.
If a person is confident, they do not back away from taking responsibility since they know they can do better. They forgive themselves and know they can correct their mistake.
6) Take responsibility for your relationships
Relationships with others occupy a major part of our life. Our mental wellbeing and happiness depend a lot on the quality of our relationships. We cannot ignore talking about relationships while discussing taking responsibility in life. This is because; taking responsibility extends to taking responsibility in relationships as well.
The best of romances and the best for friendships need work. You cannot just sit back and let others do everything in a relationship. Maintaining a quality relationship requires you to invest your time in it.
It only takes small efforts on your part to make your friend and family happy. For example, remembering your friend’s birthday or listening to what they are going through.
7) Accept negative emotions
Suffering isn’t optional, it is inevitable. Life can’t be all roses and peaches every time. There is bound to be highs and lows. Maybe there will be times when there is only a series of lows.
But one needs to accept the bad situations and the negative emotions arising from them. That’s the only way one can move on to better times.
Accepting one’s negative emotions is a sign of maturity. It allows you to take positive action to improve the bad situation.
8) Walk the talk
Walk the talk means to do something one promised or said he will do. Doing something that a person says he will do instantly builds credibility. Such a person is deemed to be responsible.
To be a person who walks the talk
- Always promise which you are capable of delivering.
- Treat your word as a written contract.
- Do not make excuses when you fail to deliver on your promises due to unforeseen circumstances.
- Stick to your schedule.
9) Take action
Taking action is a crucial part of taking responsibility for situations. One never fails or commits mistakes if they do nothing. Thus, taking action is part of both failing and correcting one’s mistakes.
One shouldn’t stop trying if they failed the first time. It just means they need to improve.
10) Be healthy
Taking responsibility doesn’t just means doing well in your career or your relationships. It means being responsible for your well-being as well. It’s okay if you bend the rules once in a while to party. But prioritize your mental and physical health to lead a happy life.
Limit eating junk food, exercise even if you hate doing it, and get enough good nights’ sleep.
Why Is It Important to Take Responsibility for Your Mistakes?
“To err is human, to forgive, divine.”— Alexander Pope
Everyone makes mistakes in their lives. It only tells the world that you are human. There is no shame in admitting that we have made some poor choices in life. This is because there is none who can testify that every decision he/she has made in life has been good and fruitful. It’s when we deny our poor choices and turn a blind eye to our poor judgment that we set our self for further failure.
Taking responsibility for your mistakes bestows the following benefits:
- People start respecting you.
- It improves your level of self-respect.
- Taking responsibility for your mistakes may lead to good opportunities later.
- Your life will change for the better.
- You will grow as a person.
- Owning up to your mistakes will help you make new connections.
- This will build trust with others.
Taking responsibility for one’s actions is a sign of maturity. It’s a sign of good values. Additionally, it also reflects that the person cares about others.
In life, one rarely has control over things. This means situations can go out of hand at any time. When one knows that it was his/her fault and they take charge, it puts them in a state of power.
Sujata is someone who believes in the power of the written word. She regards life as a constant pursuit of knowledge and self-discovery. As a freelance writer, she has written extensively on health, psychology, self-improvement, travel, and digital marketing. Blogging and digital marketing are her other passions. Sujata is a strong believer in maintaining balance in life and wants people to focus more on their mental wellbeing. When she is not busy checking out the latest fashion trends she can be found binge-watching a thriller web series.