Ah, the sweet satisfaction of success! Be it personal or professional, we all desire to succeed and reap the rewards of success. We prepare ourselves for success in many ways. We go to school, we work hard, we dress for success, we buy books about others’ formulas for success, and we think about what success would mean to our lives. But in all that we do to approach success, there is one true thing you must have to succeed: personal responsibility. Without personal responsibility, no matter how educated or intelligent or hard-working you are, you cannot succeed. Every truly successful business or relationship is built on trust and trust is built on personal responsibility.
I’m sure there are a few of you thinking about some infamous people who used underhanded methods or took advantage of others and “succeeded” with zero personal responsibility. But, these people end up hating themselves, are hated by others with their reputation destroyed and even end up in jail. Fortunately, many more people take a better path to personal and professional success. They take personal responsibility for their choices and actions and win the respect of those around them.
When we’re young, we are comfortable leaving responsibility to another person, usually our parents. As we grow, we may avoid personal responsibility in an effort to avoid work or shelter ourselves from the disapproval of less than satisfactory effort. We may hide behind excuses or blame others in an attempt to dodge personal responsibility. As we mature, we realize there is little to be gained in the long-term by avoiding personal responsibility. And little harm in owning our own decisions and efforts. In the process of learning personal responsibility, we find that our own approval and self-esteem is far more valuable than any one else’s validation. With personal responsibly we have confidence in our decisions and take pride in our accomplishments. And even when things don’t quite work out, we realize it’s okay–it’s simply an opportunity to learn and take a different approach to achieve our ultimate goals.
When we decide what kind of person we want to be, we develop our values and goals and seek to find a way of living that will deeply satisfy us–regardless of the opinions of others. When we own who we are, what we choose and what we do, we begin to develop our “personal brand”. We leave this stamp on all of our decisions and actions. We become the sum of our thoughts, choices and actions and these influence how we experience relationships, careers, and life in general. Our choice of personal responsibility greatly influences not only who we are, but how others experience who we are.
When we make a choice of personal responsibility a number of things begin to happen. We get less nagging and prodding by others. We get more done. We don’t need to make excuses. We raise our standards and make greater achievements. We stop blaming. We receive more acknowledgment for our efforts. We are branded as reliable, efficient, trustworthy, self-directed, responsible and respectable. People around us begin to trust us, promote us, want to spend more time with us. We feel good. Personal responsibility and trust are powerful magnetic qualities. Personal responsibility is a choice we make for ourselves, but the rewards we reap go far beyond our own personal satisfaction. The influence of your personal responsibility affects others. It changes perspectives. It influences better choices for others. It opens up a world of opportunity because you demonstrate by your actions that you are ready for success. Success is not a destination, it is a by-product of putting forth your best self and taking personal responsibility.
Another secret to personal responsibility that few realize: when we make mistakes and own them, we don’t feel judgmental of ourselves and filled with recrimination. Instead, we acknowledge that our choice or our work or our efforts simple did not work. We learn from the experience, make changes and move forward.
We are always the primary benefactors of our own choices and efforts. If we are lazy or sloppy in our efforts we have to live with the consequences of a lousy result (loss of a job or relationship or missed opportunity) and a loss of respect. If we shirk responsibility we sabotage our sense of accomplishment and sense of self-esteem. When we fail to create our own standard of values and live by those values, we create cognitive dissonance within ourselves and discord in our lives. We lose self-respect and become unhappy with ourselves and our lives.
When we take personal responsibility, we effectively become our own boss. We motivate ourselves and feel great about a job well done, a solid relationship, a life well lived. And we enjoy the trust and respect we reap from our commitment to our own brand of personal responsibility. We become fearless because we gain confidence and self-esteem. We are free to follow our passion because we seek our own approval and work to our own high standards. These qualities are not dictated to you by another person; these are your choices. You expect nothing less of yourself or anyone else.
We would love to hear your thoughts and experiences with personal responsibility and how it has shaped and influenced your life and those around you. Share your experiences with our community of readers in the comment section below. We commend your commitment to personal responsibility and offer you our respect!