Taking responsibility for your actions isn’t always easy.
However, it’s a telltale sign of maturity.
Don’t know how to take responsibility for your actions?
Let this article help.
Here, we’ll discuss the importance of taking responsibility for your actions. We’ll also explore ways you can make it happen.
The importance of taking responsibility for your actions
If a promising event happened because of you, it’s exciting to proclaim to the world you caused it. Other people will see you’re a delightful and laudable person.
For example, you threw a party to honor the successful people in your life. As expected, the party went and everybody had a blast. When someone asked who was behind the party, you had no problem coming forward.
However, would you feel as excited to come forward if the party didn’t go as expected? What if everybody who attended the party (including the celebrants) thought you threw “the lamest party ever”?
Chances are, you wouldn’t want to come forward. You wouldn’t even want any connections to the party. If you would, people may dislike you for wasting their time.
It’s understandable taking responsibility for your actions can sometimes be difficult. It can make you feel a mishmash of emotions.
If things went well because of you, you’d feel proud, joyful, and other positive emotions. Meanwhile, if things went south because of you, you’d feel negative emotions such as embarrassment and regret.
However, you need to accept these emotions as typical reactions to particular actions. It’s only right to feel these emotions because they show:
- Maturity – Showing emotions is both a strength and weakness. It’s also a sign of someone unafraid to show progress.
- Sensitivity – Responding to emotions means events can affect you. It suggests you can empathize.
- Humanity – As mentioned, showing emotions is typical. It means you’re not numb to your environment.
15 ways to start taking responsibility for your actions
Taking responsibility for your actions also shows courage. It shows you’re brave enough to behave responsibly and mind your behavior’s effect on other people.
Here are ways to be responsible:
Own up to events
1. Accept your mistakes
Things went south. And it’s unfortunate you messed up.
You need to accept responsibility for it, and own up to your mistakes. Ponder on it, then move on.
Making mistakes is part of being human. Remind yourself because you’re not good at some aspects, it’s possible to make a mistake.
Besides, making mistakes is not the end of the world. You may feel terrible about it for some time. However, you can always bounce back.
The important thing is you learned and gained valuable experience.
2. Own your thoughts
Familiar with this classic saying: “Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”?
It’s a saying by Henry Ford, an American Industrialist and the Founder of Ford Motors.
Why this thought-provoking saying remains a classic isn’t a mystery. It carries a deep meaning.
It acknowledges the importance of your thoughts. It shows accountability. And it’s a reminder that whatever happens to you is because of the direction of your thoughts.
3. Be present
Being present is a way of taking responsibility for your actions because when you’re present, you’re focusing on your surroundings. By being present, you’re not allowing your mind to wander.
It’s an important aspect of taking responsibility because it shows mindfulness.
And when you’re mindful, you’re choosing self-awareness. Being self-aware means you know everything that’s going on. You know how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking.
4. Look for the good
If terrible events happen, let yourself be sad for a little while. It’s human nature to be sad when things go sour.
After a while, though, you need to pick yourself up. Reassess the situation and concentrate on the good.
See terrible events as salvageable — as events you can reverse if you want to. It’s a way of taking responsibility and showing you’re in charge.
5. Be positive
Have a positive attitude. Optimism is a sign of hopefulness.
If you underwent years of having a negative attitude, it’ll be difficult to shift your way of thinking. By the looks of it, your mind is already wired to think negatively.
However, turning a negative attitude into positivity is doable. Do it slowly.
For example, start your morning with a bit of optimism. Go for a walk, and be grateful for your ability to walk. Tell yourself that you need to acknowledge and appreciate something that seems mundane. You need to because not everyone can walk.
Say NO to some things
6. Don’t blame others
If someone makes a mistake, accept them for it. Don’t berate them or make them feel bad in any way.
This is like the earlier advice about accepting your mistakes. You should accept your mistakes just as you should also accept other people’s mistakes.
Like you, they’re human, too.
So they messed up. Remember, there are some aspects they’re not good at. And because they’re not good at some aspects, they may make mistakes.
7. Don’t complain
Complaining is like blaming others. The difference is you’re throwing blame at nobody. And for that, it’s arguably worse because nobody specific will fix the problem.
Then again, let’s be fair.
It’s tempting to complain and/or think negatively when dealing with an unpleasant situation. You’re asking too much from yourself if you settle for things any person wouldn’t like.
However, complaining without a plan for a solution isn’t helpful. So don’t just complain. Instead, act on it. If you believe you’re not ready to act, do your best to silence your complaints after a while.
8. Don’t make excuses
It takes a big man (or woman) to accept fault. And until you realize it, you’ll make excuses to justify your flaws.
For example, you performed poorly during a mobile gaming competition. Because of your performance, your team lost. And your team blamed you.
Because you didn’t want them to blame you, you looked for a way to justify your poor performance. Instead of owning up to your actions, you made an excuse. You blamed it on your internet connection.
And maybe you’re on to something, and maybe your connection was problematic. Regardless, though, you should still take accountability.
Apologize to your teammates. Tell them your connection was bad. And you’ll play better next time.
9. Don’t take matters personally
If someone criticizes you for your actions, don’t take it as their way of calling you out on your personality. Take it as constructive criticism. Some people mean well, and they only bring matters to your attention if these matters are getting out of hand.
So if someone criticizes you, listen to what they’re saying. And focus on that.
This can benefit you in the corporate world and your relationships. It speeds up your growth as a person and your place in a relationship — be it professional or personal. Because of particular comments, you improve.
For example, your partner told you you’re late at every gathering. And it’s offensive to the people who wait for you.
If you wouldn’t take this matter personally, you’d re-evaluate your attitude when attending gatherings. By then, you’d see you really are always late, and you need to work on your punctuality.
10. Don’t pursue things halfheartedly
The primary reason to chase a goal is your deep love for it. If someone coerced you into doing something, consider dropping it. Otherwise, you’re likely going to lose willingness for it soon.
And you’ll regret the result of this in the long run. You won’t invest enough time, energy, and personal resources for it. Then you’ll realize you wasted resources — resources that could’ve gone to a different cause.
So let this rule guide you: Always give things your 100% effort.
11. Change your point-of-view
Changing your point-of-view is how you can take control of your perception. If you don’t like what’s in front of you, change it.
Your perception defines your attitude towards life. Sometimes, a problem is only a problem because you see it that way.
Seeing things differently is refreshing. You’ll recognize other angles, and you’ll think outside of the box. If you think differently, that problem may not even be a problem.
Like the traditional adage goes, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”
12. Find what makes you happy
Then devote your time and energy to them or things that give you life. If you do, you’ll be more productive and less stressed. You’ll also be happy.
For example, if your 9-5 job makes you happy, acknowledge it and accept responsibility for it. If you miss out on friendly parties because you want to excel at your job, accept it’s part of what you signed up for.
While you also want to attend the parties, understand it’s the price you need to pay for prioritizing your job.
When the time comes that what made you happy doesn’t make you happy anymore, it’s the right time to give it up. You’ll be doing yourself a favor if you do.
Want your hard work to always pay off? Want to experience success in life? Want to get everything you’ve always wanted?
If so, choose.
Making a choice is sometimes hard. If you’re asked to choose between two great options, it’s hard not to freeze and remain stuck in the middle.
However, while hard, it’s a way to go forward. Sometimes, it’s only right to choose to leave things behind.
14. Be confident
Be proud of everything about yourself. Sometimes, you may feel uneasy about this because you may think you might make others feel inferior.
Don’t be worried about that, though. Confidence doesn’t work that way.
Confidence inspires others to aim high and dream big. It’s also a mark of a great leader or someone destined for greatness.
So don’t sell yourself short or make yourself feel small. Focus on creating goals and making successful plans happen.
15. Be responsive
Don’t be reactive and don’t let your emotions dictate your every action. If you insist on doing, you’re prone to recklessness and other regrettable decisions.
Instead of letting your emotions take charge, think long and hard. Think about your actions before you execute them.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you should set aside your emotions. You’re feeling them for a reason. Listen to that reason and allow it to help you respond to the situation accordingly.
How do you plan on taking responsibility for your actions?
People who take responsibility are more respectable. And to be among the respectable ones, you know what you need to do.
Remember, it’s never too late to start taking responsibility for your actions. And how you plan on making it happen is up to you.
Taking responsibility can be difficult.
You may struggle along the way. However, don’t let that struggle stop and get the better of you.