Sh*t happens. Sometimes it’s of our making, sometimes it’s not. When it’s not our fault, we feel the need to let it be known that the problem was not of our making. We have the right to express this, but there’s something we give away when we stand firm in the fact that we should not be held accountable for the mishap or mistake. Let’s come to an understanding of why it could be better to know that it may not be your fault but it is your responsibility…
The Thing Within Us That’s Given Away
When there is a situation that has happened and you are adamant of the fact that it’s not your fault, you are relinquishing your power to correct the situation. Instead of being in the mindset of effectively cleaning everything up, you are only thinking about defending yourself and the unfairness of the situation.
By giving away your power, you become the victim; and by fervently standing your ground of being faultless, you stay in the victim role. Even if you are attempting to get out of a situation, with this victim mentality, you always have someone or something else to fall back on. It’s like having a scape goat. You can’t be charged with changing the situation if it wasn’t your doing in the first place. It may give you a comforting feeling to know that the blame can be directed to someone else, but thinking this way doesn’t empower you to change your situation.
Playing the blame game is not a productive thing to do. Blaming and complaining does not change the reality of the situation. It keeps you stuck in one spot, feeling victimized.
Let’s be clear, taking responsibility does not mean that it is your fault nor does it mean that you are to blame!
Taking responsibility can be thought of as the ability to respond. In any situation if you take this position, you actually retain and recognize your own power—the power to change the situation. When you affirm that you have the ability to respond, you remove yourself from being a victim. No longer are you feeling unable to change the circumstances.
By taking responsibility, you are not focused on complaining and blaming. You are more focused on productive and actionable steps that will change your situation. Even if it’s an event that happens in your life, instead of trying to place blame on it, you choose a better response that gets you beyond the event. You are taking charge of creating the future you want.
Practicing taking full responsibility will have you see that you are more powerful than you think. You look for better responses in every situation instead of passively accepting what’s happening. You understand that complaining will not help anything. Even if the event is out of your control, by knowing that you are able to respond, you have the power to choose how you will respond to the event.
Take being snowed in for an example. One person sees it as a big inconvenience and has an automatic response of having cabin fever. She places the blame of her cabin fever on the snow storm and as a result, she is the victim. On the other hand, you see being snowed in as time to reflect and refresh. You find it comforting to have a temporary escape from the busy week. You even find that you now have extra time to get things done around the house or things you have been putting off since you’ve been so busy at work.
The victim responds with anger, heartache and blaming; but you see that in every situation—even the ones that you can’t control—you always have a choice of how you will respond. No one can “make” you respond in a certain way. That’s totally up to you and taking responsibility grants you the awareness of that choice.
So remember, in every situation—every circumstance that comes your way—you can either be the victim or the victor. It may not be your fault but it’s your responsibility to have the power to create or choose a better outcome.