Taking Personal Responsibility
As coaches, we deal with the issue of taking personal responsibility all day and every day. One of our goals is to get each and every one of our customers to reclaim control over their lives so they can start moving forward and achieve their goals.
What is Personal Responsibility?
Let’s talk a little bit about exact what taking personal responsibility means.
In a nutshell, taking personal responsibility is being mindful of, and choosing, our responses to the events and circumstances of our lives. Note that I did not say we are responsible for all of the events and circumstances—I very intentionally said responses.
We can control a lot of what happens to us, but not everything. Fortunately, how we think, act, and feel toward events and circumstances has a massive impact on our lives. Rather than being a burden, this is incredibly liberating!
Not Taking Personal Responsibility
We humans can get pretty creative when we’re trying to skirt responsibility. Why do we dodge it? Because it takes effort to face the issues and fix the problems. It’s a lot easier to in the short term not to take personal responsibility. In the long term, not so much.
Do you do any of the following?
- Complaining. When something happens, do you focus on what is wrong?
- Blame others. When something doesn’t go the way you want it to go, do you jump right to finding a person at fault?
- Make excuses. Do you blame circumstances when something doesn’t happen the way you had planned?
All three of these behaviors turn us into a victim with zero control over our life—the antithesis of personal responsibility. While we all do this at times in our life, we definitely want to make sure this doesn’t become how we live on a day-to-day basis.
A Shift in Perspective
Oftentimes, we don’t realize that our behaviors are doing the opposite of of our intentions! Let’s look at the three main things we do to avoid taking personal responsibility:
Blaming. When we blame someone else, we’re actually giving away our control in exchange for a little ego boost. Instead of using our energy to figure out a solution, we waste it on resentment.
Excuses. When we use our energy to blame external circumstances, we are missing out on the opportunity to take the actions necessary to achieve what we set out to achieve.
Complaining. This actually becomes a habitual way of thinking that makes things seem worse than they actually are, has you lose sight of the positive things going on in your life, and distracts you from making changes.
Benefits of Taking Personal Responsibility
One of the most profound things we can do in our lives is to shift from being a victim to taking personal responsibility. Here are just a few of the benefits of making this shift:
- People trust you more. It’s not a common occurrence for people to own their behaviors or situations, so when someone does, people tend to notice AND respect them for it.
- You are free from the control of others. When you control your reactions, you no longer give “those people” the control they are trying to have over you.
- More positive emotions. With empowerment comes positivity. When we no longer feel powerless, our resentment and frustration dissipates and our energy goes to positive solutions.
- Forward movement. Once we take the reins, we start getting to wherever it is we want to go!
Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health
As a coach, I see quite a lack of personal responsibility on a regular basis. It’s understandable since making a change from an unhealthy lifestyle to a healthy one is a significant undertaking that requires a lot of effort.
Here are the most common places that people get stuck:
- “I found the 21 Day Fix too confusing.”
- “Meal planning and prepping is too hard.”
- “I tried it and it didn’t work. I don’t think it really works.”
- “I don’t have enough time to do it.”
We want to help you get to the point where you are completely taking personal responsibility for your health. What does that mean? For starters, it means YOU do the following:
- Be self directed
- Engage in the ongoing process of self discovery to discover the root of your weight and health issues
- Know your core commitments so you can effectively prioritize your life
- Learn how much you can eat each day in order to achieve a calorie deficit (to lose weight) or a calorie equilibrium (to maintain your target weight)
- Track how much you eat (either by counting calories or using the 21 Day Fix portion control eating plan)
- Exercise daily
- Commit to—and stick with—the fitness AND nutrition program you choose
- Ask questions of your coach
- Participate in an accountability group
A Statement on Taking Personal Responsibility
Several years ago, Dave was given a piece of paper with the following statement on taking personal responsibility:
I am responsible for my relationship to you.
I am responsible for the way I see you.
I am responsible for letting you know the inner me.
I am responsible for correcting false images of me that I give to you.
I am responsible for my judgments of you.
I am responsible for my understanding of what you say and do.
I am responsible for any hurts I allow myself to feel about you.
I am responsible for any desires of needs I feel toward you.
I am responsible for frustrations of my desires or needs towards you.
I am responsible for any hostility I allow myself to feel toward you.
I am responsible because I choose to be responsible.
I am responsible because it gives me pleasure.
I am responsible because it gives me control.
I am responsible because it gives me freedom.
I am responsible because it gives me relaxation.
I choose not to be responsible for your relationship to me.
I choose not to be responsible for your communications to me.
I choose not to be responsible for such impossibilities.
For if I should choose to feel responsible for your happiness,
then I would feel guilty about your unhappiness.
And, if I should try to make you responsible for my unhappiness,
then I would feel responsible for your misery about my unhappiness.
When I am responsible and know it, I am free.
When I am responsible and don’t know, I’m still responsible.
And, therefore, since I am responsible anyway,
I choose to be aware of the blessing of being responsible.
What a pleasure it is to know the freedom and power of my responsibility.
For responsibility is love in motion.
And, responsibility is the toast of one soul to another.
Whenever things in life get a little out of control, this is an EXCELLENT mantra to use to remind ourselves that WE control no one, but ourselves. WE are the masters of our own destinies. WE control our future. Every choice WE make has consequences, so WE must choose wisely.
Our Free Coaching Program
This statement on taking personal responsibility is at the core of our free coaching program.
As your personal coaches, Dave and I are committed to giving you solid health, fitness and personal development advice that we think is best for you—as well as tons of tools to help you through the process.
You have the freedom to take or ignore our advice. The commitment to take care of YOU—and the action needed to reach your goal—is on YOU.
We hope that you will use this post on taking personal responsibility to pinpoint where this particular issue may be holding you back from achieving your health and fitness goals.
Click below to learn more about our FREE coaching program: