Who takes responsibility for the choices you make? While the answer may seem obvious, it’s not for many. You get one life and it’s yours. Whether it’s your major in college, career, spouse or prison, you have encountered everything in your life because of your choices. While it’s true your environment shaped your thoughts and belief systems, it is your responsibility to transform the way you think.
Your first responsibility is to your body. Even though it seems science has made many advances, you cannot exchange your old body for a new one at the body store. At the same time, whatever you choose while in that body is because of your decision making process. If you eat bad food and gain too much weight, there will be negative consequences. You can become overweight and damage your internal organs. That puts too much pressure on your body’s ability to function. And that can lead to poor health, diseases and premature death. If you refuse to exercise, that has negative consequences. While it may be easy for most to see how they are responsible for their body’s condition, they may not see how they are responsible for other things.
In fact, for some people, the idea of being responsible for every aspect of their life is repulsive. They find ways to exonerate themselves from any responsibility for situations they encounter.
Let’s take something more complicated: infidelity. If a woman believes ALL men cheat, she is setting herself up to perpetually fail in intimate relationships. How? French philosopher, Jean Paul Sartre, says once a person believes something is true, they go out of their way to prove their belief system is correct. Most likely they will attack anyone who questions their belief. In relationships, if the woman believes all men cheat, she will have a negative outlook on men. I once heard a woman say, “It is not a matter of if a man will cheat. It is a matter of when.” While she is waiting for him to cheat, she is treating him as though he is a cheater. That includes withholding love. She may even make disrespectful remarks to him. In her mind, it is justified because he is a cheater, even though he has not cheated. She must find proof at any cost to prove her belief system is correct.
When the guy gets tired of being treated poorly or not getting the love he needs, he cheats or leaves. In the woman’s mind, she gets to say, “See! I told you so.” Her belief system has created a blind spot. She cannot see that her poor treatment or withholding of love causes all men to abandon her in some form. That makes her a responsible saboteur.
The same pattern can be found in careers. In many cases, women and minorities have the mindset that they will not be promoted in the workplace. Therefore, it’s a waste of time to train and develop themselves for leadership positions. When a leadership position opens up, they lack the necessary skills and competencies to fill the position. Instead of being responsible for their lack of preparation, they will claim discrimination.
Responsibility is a HUGE word. If you find yourself being upset with the words in this article, you are responsible for that. No one, and I mean no one, can make, force or trick you into feeling for thinking anything. The same way you are responsible for your body. You are responsible for what you think. As I stated, it is true that you inherited your mindset and decision making process from your environment. Nevertheless, it is your life and your responsibility to transform that mindset. There are plenty of resources to make it happen. You are responsible for making those changes happen.