Taking Responsibility For Yourself

Self-Awareness 101 Episode 47: Taking Responsibility For Yourself.

In this episode Willard discusses challenges that you may face as you become more aware of your core beliefs about who you are as a person. What will show up in your life if you have been living out of alignment with your core Identity?


< EP 46: Dealing With Anger            EP 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness > 

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Today we are going to discuss taking responsibility for yourself.

I have to say that when I first started my own journey of personal development and self awareness, I really had this perception that everything was going to be roses and butterflies. What I mean by that is I believed since I had committed to making these major changes in my life, that life was just automatically going to get better and everything would just be “perfect“. In many ways it did get better quickly and it also led me to some obstacles and some experiences that I never imagined I would have to deal with which were actually very painful experiences. I realized over time that for many people, this journey may be the first time that you are taking responsibility for yourself. What I mean is that for many people it is the first time that you are looking at your belief systems, your fears and your model of the world and taking responsibility for yourself by recognizing how these things determine the way you live your life.

It is also the first time that many people are actually getting in touch with their identity meaning who they believe that they are, and even more importantly who they are at their core. Most of us have had our identities shaped by other people. It has been shaped by our parents. It has been shaped by our religion. It's been shaped by our teachers, our community. And as you embark on this journey of self discovery a lot of times you will find that who you thought you were, has nothing to do with who you really are.

Now, although taking responsibility for yourself can cause a lot of confusion, there is an upside to it. If you recognize that your core Identity and your belief of who you should be are out of alignment, you then are able to choose who you desire to be. To make this easier I suggest you accomplish this by breaking your “definition of self” down into different areas of your life. As an example, several years ago I actually created a 7 page document that I printed out and read each morning, that was broken down into each area of my life. I created the ideal vision of who I desired to be in each area. As an example, I would start the statement with, “As a father I am”, and I would fill in that identity of who I believed I had the potential to be as a father. Then I did the same thing in respect to my health, and I did it in regard to my finances. I did it in regards to my role as a son. I created an identity for myself in every different area of my life defining who the ultimate me would be. I created an Identity because I truly believed that taking responsibility for yourself meant that I had the potential to be that person and I needed to live up to that potential. Through the years I have become that person in many of those areas because I continued to focus on and believe in that identity.

Many times as people do this exercise the challenge they face is that they create an identity for themselves, they create a vision of who they will become. When you commit to taking responsibility for yourself you know this is about beginning a journey. You’re committing to being proactive, you're taking responsibility for yourself and you are saying, “In my health, I'm going to be a person who exercises. I'm going to be someone who is responsible in regard to the food that I eat. I'm going to be responsible in how often I eat. I'm going to be focused on making sure I drink enough water, in taking supplements, I'm going to be this person.” And then a year later you sit back and look at the scale and you're 40 or 50 pounds overweight. You're tired all the time, and you're asking yourself, “How did I get here? I had this identity that I was going to be this healthy person. What happened?” I can share this with you because the exact thing happened to me.

I was having a conversation with a dear friend of mine the other day because we are getting ready to start a business together. We were discussing our level of commitment to the project and the idea that for every decision that you make, you cannot truly commit to that decision until you accept responsibility for the repercussions that are going to happen from taking action towards that making that decision a reality.

With every decision that you truly make, there are going to be rewards and there are going to be consequences. Many times when people do not take action after they have made a decision, it is because at some level they are not willing to accept one or the other. In an article that I was reading recently, Steve Pavlina said, “You may set a goal to have a million dollars, but if you do not invite, welcome, and accept the consequences of becoming a millionaire, then your goal is a mere fantasy.“

On the reward side of things they have to accept that they are going to live life differently when they become a millionaire. They're probably going to move to a new neighborhood, they're going to be responsible for a larger home, a better car. And although these may be very good things, sometimes people are reluctant to make these positive changes. On the other hand, many times they are not willing to accept the consequences that come with becoming a millionaire. They are going to have to learn to deal with their taxes in a new way. They're going to have to become better financial managers. They're going to have to safeguard themselves from being swindled and robbed. So they have this conflict within themselves that they may not even be aware of that prevents them from truly taking action. They have a vision and they desire to be a millionaire but they're not willing to accept what comes with it.

So as I was talking with my friend Mark about this topic I said , “You know that as we create this business, we are going to have to acknowledge that there are going to be rewards, and there are going to be obstacles along the way. And we need to commit to holding each other accountable to work through these.” Well, a couple of days later, I got a call and he was sharing with me that our meeting really had him thinking deeply. And it really stirred up some fears that he had.

Mark and I have been friends for 14 or 15 years and we have both studied a lot of in the fields of personal development, marketing and business strategies. We’ve applied these things in our own lives, taught others and have truly grown tremendously along the way. What Mark shared with me was that over the years he had created this identity for himself. He had a very specific belief about who he was based on the skills that he had and the strengths he was aware of. And as we were embarking on this new venture, he was scared that if he really committed and moved forward in this business, that he may not live up to the identity that he created for himself.

I said, “Why? I believe in you. I know the strengths that you have. I wouldn’t get into business with you if I didn’t believe in you.” And his response was, “If I was truly the person I believe that I am, my circumstances would not be like they are right now. I would have already have achieved success in these areas of my life.”

I have experienced that same kind of doubt in my own life where I was making a judgment about my Identity based on my circumstances. So I said, "Mark, this is my belief. Your current circumstances, have nothing to do with who you are at your core. Your circumstances are what they are only because of the choices and the decisions that you've made in the past. And the challenge is, as with many people, often we make choices and we make decisions that are no where in line with who we are at our core. We make decisions that are completely contrary to our core because we're scared. We do it because of limiting belief systems. We do it because of social pressure."

Most people live their lives thinking, “If I want to have "X" in my life, then I need to do this. And by doing this, I'll have what I desire, and then I'll be able to be the person that I desire to be.” That is the Do-Have-Be paradigm. The challenge is, it doesn't work. There is a paradigm that I have referred to before called the Be-Do-Have paradigm. The way that you truly create the life that you desire is by being that person first. Knowing who it is that you desire to be. By knowing that, by being certain of that, then you will do, what needs to be done, that will allow you to have what you desire.

As Mark and I were talking I shared with him that I believe the challenge is that many of us make our decisions, not based on who we know we can be, we make them based on our fears and on other circumstances that are happening in our lives.

If you're not having your life show up the way you desire it, and your truly committed to taking responsibility for yourself what I suggest to you is applying this simple exercise.

I think it is a pretty safe bet to say that all of us have cell phones that have alarms on them nowadays, or at least wear watches that have alarms. Get into the practice of setting the alarm on your phone or on your watch to go off every three hours. Then every three hours when your alarm goes off, use that to remind you to just take a moment and do a quick inventory, do a quick check in. Let's say that you decided that you are going to have the identity of a person who is living a healthy lifestyle. You have decided that you're going to eat correctly, you're going to drink enough water, you're going to take the stairs instead of the elevator. You have decided that you're going to focus and “Be” the kind of person who lives a healthy lifestyle. When your alarm goes off at that three hour “check-in“, just quickly review how you did the past three hours. How well did you do at “Being” the person you needed to be? Did you do the things that were aligned with being that person? If you didn't ,don't beat yourself up. Just say to yourself, “Okay, for the next three hours, I need to focus more on "X", to be that person.”

By continuing to check in every three hours throughout the day, you will really start congruently living your life aligned with your identity. As you do, your circumstances will change and you will create what you desire in your life. As you continue taking responsibility for yourself, make sure that you evaluate who you are, based on the knowledge of who you can be, not on your circumstances.

So again on of the best exercises for taking responsibility for yourself is every three hours check in, do an inventory and make sure you're on track.

I look forward to connecting again soon. I look forward to your feedback. I look forward to your comments. Take Care. 

< EP 46: Dealing With Anger             EP 48: Achieving Higher Consciousness >

Choose the next Episode you would like to watch from the list below:

Self-Awareness 101 Series with Transcription Plus

Introduction To Self-Awareness 101:  To Inspire, Educate and Empower
SA 101 Episode 1:  The Importance of Developing Self-Awareness 
SA 101 Episode 2:  How to Truly Learn from Mistakes
SA 101 Episode 3:  To Soar, I Needed To Let Go Of The Past
SA 101 Episode 4:  The Meaning That We Give Things
SA 101 Episode 5:  Kind Words And Good Deeds Are Eternal
SA 101 Episode 6:  Life Begins At The End Of Your Comfort Zone
SA 101 Episode 7:  Two Most Powerful Words You'll Ever Say
SA 101 Episode 8:  Making Time For What's Truly Important
SA 101 Episode 9:  Expectations and Desires About How It Ought To Be
SA 101 Episode 10:  Tap Into The Sources Of The Universe
SA 101 Episode 11:  The Four Agreements
SA 101 Episode 12:  Courage-Being Scared But Saddling Up Anyways
SA 101 Episode 13:  The Power Of Belief Systems
SA 101 Episode 14:  Change Is Inevitable, Growth Is Optional
SA 101 Episode 15:  You Always Have Choices, It's OK To Say No
SA 101 Episode 16:  Encountering External Resistance To Change
SA 101 Episode 17:  Creating A Supportive Environment
SA 101 Episode 18:  Our Decisions Determine Who We Become
SA 101 Episode 19:  Questions To Ask When You Overcome An Obstacle
SA 101 Episode 20:  A List Of Excuses Vs. Results
SA 101 Episode 21:  The Meaning Of Honesty
SA 101 Episode 22:  Living In Gratitude
SA 101 Episode 23:  Repetitive Patterns
SA 101 Episode 24:  Non-Verbal Cues
SA 101 Episode 25:  Be Brave Enough To Accept The Help Of Others
SA 101 Episode 26:  Positive Thoughts And Positive Intentions
SA 101 Episode 27:  Active Listening Skills
SA 101 Episode 28:  How Self-Awareness Relates To Spirituality
SA 101 Episode 29:  Positive Affirmations
SA 101 Episode 30:  Basic Meditation Exercises
SA 101 Episode 31:  Personal Development At Work
SA 101 Episode 32:  Toxic Shame
SA 101 Episode 33:  Eliminating Clutter
SA 101 Episode 34:  How To Forgive Others
SA 101 Episode 35:  Self-Forgiveness
SA 101 Episode 36:  Deepening Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 37:  What Is Fear?
SA 101 Episode 38:  How To Overcome Fear
SA 101 Episode 39:  Dealing With Your Anger
SA 101 Episode 40:  How To Find Your Passion
SA 101 Episode 41:  Increasing Your Self-Awareness
SA 101 Episode 42:  How To Feel Deserving
SA 101 Episode 43:  How To Be A Humble Observer
SA 101 Episode 44:  Progress Not Perfection
SA 101 Episode 45:  Expectations and Perfectionism
SA 101 Episode 46:  Dealing With Anger
SA 101 Episode 47:  Taking Responsibility For Yourself
SA 101 Episode 48:  Achieving Higher Consciousness
SA 101 Episode 49:  Trust Life
SA 101 Episode 50:  Being Skeptical
SA 101 Episode 51:  Benefits Of Closure
SA 101 Episode 52:  The Final Episode 

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