February 22, 2019

Claiming Responsibility for the Self!

by Gabriella Kortsch

As children, our parents often admonished us: be responsible! Take responsibility for what you do. And we took it to mean that if we had chores or homework to do, then we needed to be responsible about completing those tasks, and not dawdle, or worse, procrastinate so much that in the end they never got done, and we wound up with real emergencies on our hands.

When he was still quite young, I used to say to one of my sons (I found the saying in some article): your lack of planning does not constitute my emergency when he would come to me in the 11th hour with a paper that had not been written, or a project that had not been properly planned.

But this is not what claiming responsibility for the self is really all about.

Implementing a Different Type of Responsibility

One thing is to be responsible out there in the world, as described above, and another thing is to claim responsibility for the self. Both types of responsibility form part of responsible behavior, but the latter is much less understood, and even less implemented in an individual’s life. We pay little attention to it because the world at large gives it little merit, it is not talked about as something valuable to achieve, such as having an outstanding academic record, getting a prestigious position in an important firm, or becoming financially successful in the world.

Being Responsible for the Inner You

To claim responsibility for the self literally means to decide to be responsible for all that goes on within the self. Not, let me hasten to add, for all that happens to the self. You can not control that (also see You Don’t Have to Blame Anybody). If you live in a police state and are arbitrarily arrested, or if you live in an area often devastated by hurricanes, or if you live in a third-world country with raging hunger and poverty, or if you are of the wrong ethnic or religious origin (according to the powers-that-be) and are subject to harassment or worse, it is clear that you are unable to claim responsibility for that manner of events.

Claiming Responsibility for Your Reactions

But you can – without the slightest doubt – claim responsibility for the way in which you react to all of that, and therefore, you can claim responsibility for the way you feel about it all (also see No One Can Control Your Emotions), for the state of your being in the midst of such havoc and chaos, and therefore, in a nutshell, you have control of your life. As long as you are in control of what goes on inside of you, what happens on the outside carries much less weight. Imagine the potential freedom this would give you. Imagine a world where you are free to choose how you feel, think, and react. Imagine a world where you inner well-being lies in your own hands.

Does Your External World Control You?

We can take this into the arena of much more normal external events and experiences and understand how we can begin to take control of much of that which ails and plagues us by claiming responsibility for the self.

• your boss just passed you over for a promotion
• the bank declined your request for a loan
• the person you love just walked out on you
• the girl you asked out for a first date said she already has a boyfriend
• it rained the entire week you spent in Bali
• seven publishers rejected your manuscript
• your college application was put on waitlist
• one of your best clients moved over to the competition
• you had a reconciliatory dinner with your partner and the two of you wound up having a fight

In each of these examples something external to the self causes frustration, heartbreak, pain, annoyance, anger, or any number of other unhelpful emotions. And so we explain our negative emotions to by blaming them on the event or the person. Obviously we feel that way because of what happened.

Choosing to be in Control of Your Well-Being

If that is explanation enough for you, then you are willing to give over control of your state of well being to an event or another person. It is tantamount to saying that you are not in control of your state of well being. You might say: How can I be when these things happen to me? The way I feel is totally dependent on what just happened. Anybody would feel that way under those circumstances. Nevertheless, there is another way of looking at it … if only you will try. You can be in control of your state of well being by deciding to be. It’s as simple as that.

Make the decision that when things happen that would normally upset you, you will, in future, look at all the possibilities, all the alternatives of reaction at your disposal. Of all of these alternatives, one of them is always going to be:

• I can choose not to get upset
• I can choose to remain calm
• I can choose to keep my cool
• I can choose to remain in a good mood
• I can choose to refuse to let this person or event bother me
• I can choose to look at this as a learning situation and take something positive from it in order to advance to the next place in my life
• I can choose to grow from this
• I can choose not to worry (because worrying never solved anything at all)
• I can choose to smile
• I can choose to walk away from this situation
• I can choose to let this person be the way they are, realizing that their way of thinking, or their behavior says nothing at all about me
• I can choose to believe in my own value as a wonderful human being
• I can choose to laugh
• I can choose to shake hands

The examples of the choices you can offer yourself are endless, but if you make certain that your choices are always roads that take you to a good state of being, that enhance your well-being, and that serve you in some way, you are truly taking control, and claiming responsibility for the self. The goal of all of this is … contrary to what many of us learned in our early years … that we must first take care of ourselves. This is not selfishness. This is not egotistical behavior. This is recognizing that the better my inner state of well-being is, the higher my energetic frequency is (when you are happy your energetic frequency is high, when you are depressed or distressed, it is very low), and therefore the greater the possibilities are that I will have a positive impact on my world. The ripple effect of my very state of being – if it is energetically high – will be good for others, and in my own small way, I will be helping to change the world in a positive way.

Claiming responsibility for the self  then becomes not only something that is good for me, but it is good for the world. Claiming responsibility for the self brings me inner freedom, and helps to bring it to the world by the ripple effect of my example.

Claiming responsibility for the self is one of the biggest and most important steps you can take to make your life and your personal world the best it can possibly be.

Dr. Kortsch holds a doctorate in psychology and dedicates herself to integral coaching, clinical hypnotherapy, relationship coaching, and energy techniques. She is an author and professional speaker and broadcasts a live weekly radio show in English that is available on the Internet or for listening on her website. Visit Advanced Personal Therapy.com and sign up for her cutting-edge newsletter in English or Spanish, or visit her blog for more timely articles.

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