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This Is Not My Fault - Is It? Accepting Personal Responsibility
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This Is Not My Fault - Is It? Accepting Personal Responsibility

Do you ever find yourself in the position where you’re saying “This is not my fault!”? If you’ve just had a bump in a car, it’s likely to be the first thing that comes out of your mouth (and of course you may well be right). However, sometimes it appears that it’s much easier to say ‘this is not my fault” rather than looking at the cause and effect of different situations and see what personal responsibility you may have.

Two recent stories in the press have made me think about this. One is the ongoing trial of the talented designer John Galliano for allegedly making racist remarks. Now it appears his defence is that his behaviour was caused by a deadly mixture of drugs and alcohol. It will be the court who decides whether or not he is guilty but certainly there appears to be more of a hint of ‘this is not my fault”.

The second story surrounds the Duchess of York, who has been making a television series “Finding Sarah” in the US for Oprah Winfrey’s television network and also has a new book out to promote. Whether she is rewriting her personal history I have no idea, but like Galliano she is pedalling the “this is not my fault” defence by appearing to blame her mother, the Royal Family, the media and anyone else.

Of course we're all affected and influenced by the people we grow up with and work with, as well as the context in which we live. However, it’s not an option when something goes wrong to always think or say ‘this is not my fault’. There has to be a point in life when one accepts that you’re an adult and that you have a choice over the actions that you take and the responses that you have to them.

These are my top tips for letting go of the “This is not my fault” attitude and taking on personal responsibility.

  • Let go of the past: Don’t let your past become your future.. If you feel deprived by things that have happened in the past it’s important that you find emotional closure. Don’t make a decision to buy into your own victimhood.
  • Don’t blame others: Accept that you have a choice over the decisions that you make. Don’t waste time pointing the finger of blame at others. Be fair in your dealings with other people.
  • Understand your own behaviour: You have to take responsibility for your own actions. You cannot control the behaviour of others, but you can control your own. Understand why you behave in certain ways and what you get out of your behaviour.
  • Choose what you think or feel: Okay, this may sound easier than it feels, but the fact is that you do have a choice over what you think or feel. It is only you who can control your self-esteem. If you’re feeling battered or put down by other people, you have a choice about what you feel about it and what you do about it. You can’t keep saying ‘this is not my fault’ and doing nothing.
  • Build your self-confidence: The more self-confidence you have, the more you accept that it’s okay to make mistakes and not be defensive about any that you do make.
  • Plan for success: Create the sort of life you want for yourself and plan for success. Set yourself specific goals and go after them. Don’t sit and say ‘if only’.
  • Feel good about yourself: Be your own fan. You cannot depend on the approval of others to define who you are. Recognise your own strengths and build upon them.

Accepting personal responsibility for your own actions will ensure that you lead a far more content and successful life. So next time you’re tempted to think ‘this is not my fault’, take a deep breath and think again.


Street Talk

Love the article! If more people could just take responsibility it would be a much happier world.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
  

Thanks Lacey. Glad you enjoyed it. I agree with you - it would be a happier world if more people took responsibility for their actions.

Reply
  about 1 decade ago
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