I really like Jack Canfield’s suggestion of taking 100% responsibility. Even when things are seemingly not a result of your actions, you can take responsibility.
“But what if it’s not my fault?” I hear you say. Well, you can still take responsibility, and you’ll feel so much better for it.
When you take responsibility, it’s empowering, you can own a situation instead of feeling like a victim.
This approach is not designed to excuse the ill behaviour of others, it’s to empower you and let you take ownership of a situation.
In choosing to take responsibility as opposed to blaming others for what’s occurred, you get to own your personal power. Belief in the knowledge that you’re steering your own course is preferable to living the effects of other people’s behaviour and it indicates that you are in control. I would rather believe that I made a poor choice than believe that my destiny was in someone else’s hands.
I can improve my decision making processes but I can’t control the decision making processes or integrity of everyone I encounter. If we give them full responsibility, then we are also giving them all of the power in the situation, power over us.
Here’s the technique I use when I’m not happy with a situation and feel that others have done the wrong thing:
Firstly, I try to resist the temptation to blame others for my predicament (even if it is their fault).
Then, I revisit the situation and think about how I would do it differently if I had the time over again. I can usually come up with a few ways that I could have avoided the result. I trusted too soon; I hired the wrong person; I invested too soon without enough due diligence… Do you see what I mean?
If we take responsibility for the situation then it is so much easier for us to live, learn and move on. Bitterness and resentment also seem to dissolve in the process and by acknowledging our role in the events we can change future outcomes. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.
Use the gift of hindsight to learn from your mistakes. Remember: It’s not about taking the blame, it’s about taking responsibility to empower yourself.
“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”
— Theodore Roosevelt