It's Your Life! Take Responsibility

Updated: Sep 4, 2019


There are many negative connotations attached to the word responsibility. The idea of responsibility for many seems like such a heavy burden that when we mention it we automatically shun it. However, it is once you truly understand the concept of responsibility that your life can begin to take flight. Only when you accept and take responsibility for yourself, your life and everything you have, can you take charge and make rewarding changes. 


When you accept responsibility two things happen. You stop lying to yourself and hiding from your truth, and you stop allowing others to control you and the direction of your life. By accepting responsibility you are claiming ownership of your life, and this is by far one of the most empowering things you can do. 


One thing to be aware of though is the difference between empowering responsibility and disempowering self-blame. When we first take responsibility for our surrounding life there is a tendency to blame ourselves if we don't have the life we wish to have.

When we get tied up in this self-blame we are criticizing ourselves for our circumstances yet ultimately allowing them to determine and run our lives without intervention. Self-blame is, in essence, a form of inactive acceptance. When we choose to embrace empowering responsibility however, we understand that being the cause of our circumstances grants us the power to change them and that is when we get to work.



PODCAST TRANSCRIPTION #003

Matthew

Hello and welcome to Episode Three of Foxes Collide. My name is Matthew.


Ellen

And I'm Ellen.


Matthew

How are you today?


Ellen

I'm good baby, how are you?


Matthew

I'm good. So picking up from Episode Two, we spoke about one of the ways in which you can start shifting your life. Taking a different look at your own life, changing your perspective. But another one, which is really important to me, probably for you as well. Was responsibility.


Ellen

Ooohh Personal Responsibility.


Matthew

Yeah. I have the belief, and you probably do as well, that our life is a sum of us, ultimately.


Ellen

Yes.


Matthew

And responsibility is a funny topic because I think there's a lot of negative connotation tied to the word responsibility.


Ellen

Oh, yeah. Like "oh I've gotta be responsible" and as you grow older, "oh I've got so many responsibilities".


Matthew

Yeah. I think it almost maybe forms a lot in childhood, that idea of responsibility. You're responsible for this, you're responsible for that. Maybe the way that it's presented to you as you grow up, gives it a slightly negative spin, makes it feel like a lot of work, a lot of effort. But again, I guess that's all perspective again, right? Because I have found that truly taking responsibility has been quite empowering, challenging for sure, but also quite exciting.


Ellen

You mean like taking responsibility of our lives and taking responsibility of everything that we're doing and the outcome of our lives, and the trajectory of our lives, so being responsible for every single step that we want to take and everything that we want to achieve, right? So taking responsibility for our life in the way of manifesting and creating a kick-ass life and the life that you want.


Matthew

Yeah there's a lot of empowerment there I think and it's quite an exciting concept that is key to changing your life. You can't change your life at all until you take responsibility for what's already there.


Ellen

Yes


Matthew

You've almost got to have a look at what's around you and say, Okay, this is mine, this is my life, there's a reason that people's lives are different. It's because they are different. They're a different person and so they get to look at their life, as do you get to look at yours, and say, this is mine. This is what I have in my bank account, this is what my life looks like, this is what my social life looks like, this is how happy I am on a day to day basis, this is what my days look like. Much like perspective, it's a process you do in increments and you start by just looking at the different aspects of who you are and how you show up. So you can take responsibility for your words, take responsibility for your actions, take responsibility for the results that are in your life.


If you start to see your life as results, then you can work back and think, what's the sum to get to this result? What have I done to have this? Whether it's good or bad, that's up to you to decide if you're happy or unhappy with it. But it's a result, ultimately. So this lack of funds is a result of something you've done or not done yet, this unhappiness is a result of something you've done or not done and it's a very empowering position to be in once you start to see it that way, even though it can be a little bit overwhelming at first.


Ellen

Yeah looking at yourself in the mirror and saying this is what I have, this is who I am and these are the reasons why I have this, this is the reason why I am how I am now. It's not lying to yourself, but really being truly honest with yourself and saying, this is my situation, this is who I am, how have I got there and why and do I like this? Do I like this about my life and myself? And if not, then you take responsibility for getting to that point of not liking that about your life, because that has come because you've done something previously to put you in this position, or you've not done something like you said. So really looking at it and going, okay, well, I'm unhappy, how do I take responsibility for this and change that.


So for example, with health and fitness with us, and with me especially; I used to look in the mirror and I used to have a lot of stuff around not liking the way my body looked, but I never took responsibility and said, you really can change this. You are where you are now because of your lack of motivation, your lack of self-responsibility, your lack of self-discipline, this is why you're not happy with your body. If you'd have more self-discipline, and more responsibility, then you would have really taken it by the balls and said, I'm going to change the way I look at myself and not go down the slack road, not go down a way of "oh I don't want to work out" and I'll just do everything else so I don't have to push myself and can stay lazy. I never really looked in the mirror and fully took responsibility for my own health and fitness in the past.

I'm only just doing it now and it's really, really empowering, because I'm seeing changes, and I'm seeing results and I'm feeling amazing because I am taking responsibility of my own life in that area. And it's something that I didn't have; self-discipline, responsibility or even respect for myself. I didn't have that before. And I do now. So now I'm taking full responsibility for my health and fitness. And it feels amazing.


Matthew

I'm doing the same and it does feel really good.

For me, that's the biggest change that happened a couple of years ago... taking true responsibility of where I was, especially around unhappiness and how I felt about my life and myself.


There is a distinction between self-blame and responsibility and I want to dive into that real quick because I put a lot of blame on myself and I looked at my life and said, this is pointless, I dislike my life and myself, and I blamed myself for it. But I wasn't really taking responsibility. I ultimately blamed myself, put the fault on myself and then left it at that, it was like, well, I can't do it, I'm not worthy, I'm not good enough, there it is, that's it, close the book on it. As opposed to truly looking at my life. There is an aspect of responsibility that does grant you power, as we've said, in terms of feeling empowered, when you take responsibility, you are saying to yourself and everybody else that I can create life and I can choose how this looks, whereas self-blame is ultimately saying, this is how it looks and that's it, and it's always going stay that way. So with the responsibility I had to take on, it was quite challenging for me to admit that I had power over my life and how it looked and I looked at my life as a whole and said, I don't like any of this and yet, I'm the cause of it, ultimately.


The other aspect of responsibility is looking in the mirror, as you said, pointing the finger inwards because many point it outwards. So many will blame others for these things. I definitely did it at times, blamed family, friends, government, society, we do it, we say it's that that's the reason why we're unhappy, that's the reason we don't have what we want and this is all an inner game. This is all about running your own race and really taking ownership of your life.


Ellen

Exactly. Claiming your life. Taking ownership. I've done that, too. I used to blame others a lot as well and look outwards to solve my problems instead of truly looking inwards and saying, how can I make a better life for myself and that's only come about recently because I didn't know how to do that.

I think a lot of people just aren't aware that that's what they're doing, or that's what's happening because they're being influenced by so many things and so many people, that it's shifted the focus off them, onto others, onto everything else, onto media, all of this stuff. So it's stopped people being able to look inwards because it's distracting people, it's taking their mind off them and what they really feel and what they really want and it is difficult to do when you not conscious about it.


Matthew

Yeah, there is the responsibility of your consumption. There's the responsibility of what you consume, what you put in your body, what you watch, what you listen to, which as a whole tend to, as you said, put eyes elsewhere.


Ellen

Mmm and blame others for your own life and your own habits. So for example, with people that are really overweight, or continually consume and this is hard to say because there's a lot of people that are in a lower socio-economic and educational area that don't have access to the media, don't have access to as much information as a lot of the other population. But looking outwards and blaming all the companies, fast food chains, the people that put out all this stuff, you can blame them in some way...


Matthew

To a point.


Ellen

To a point, but then at the end of the day, it's up to you to have that self-control and discipline and responsibility for your health and your happiness in your own life, to look at what you're consuming, whether that be food, media, everything. So it's your responsibility to turn that focus inwards and there's only so much that, I mean, the fast-food chains, they can't put the food in your mouth, you're the one that has to do that. So at the end of the day, you're the one that goes to purchase the food, you're the one that goes to eat it, you know, so taking responsibility of that.


Matthew

There are some very interesting things about the way that things are marketed and peddled to us and that's something we'll go into there is a lot of things that are coming up in these sorts of conversations, which we'll return to, consumption is a big one.


Ellen

Yeah, that's a topic in itself.


Matthew

It is very much there's a lot of depth in that one. There's a lot of marketing, trickery, and a lot to do with how we've evolved as humans and sort of taking advantage of that. Yeah, it's quite fascinating.


Ellen

Brain chemistry and all of that stuff.


Matthew

Yeah. So building healthy consumption that could be something we talk about.


Ellen

Yeah, I'd like to take it back to where you said about being responsible for one's own words, and actions. So a good example of that is how you, you said to me yesterday, that it's important to reword the way that we say things in our daily life, about whether we can afford something or whether that's too expensive for us or something like that. Today, I've been trying to change the way I've been talking about money, because money is such a big part of everyone's life and our lives, and really taking responsibility for how our words and how I speak about money and how I speak about what we have and our abundance and our financial security and all of that, it's so important. So taking responsibility for the way I am with a certain topic and the way I act around that certain topic is really important to our quality of life. So in terms of taking responsibility for your quality of life, it really ties into every single other thing that you need to take responsibility for, looking back, accepting yourself, taking responsibility for your actions, your words, insecurities, how you've got to that point. Then you can take responsibility for creating that quality of life. So taking it back, and really dialing in and looking at every single part, and how you're acting, and how you're speaking, and how you're doing things and how you've got to where you are, you take that responsibility first and then you take responsibility for how you move forward from that, and how you progress.


Matthew

Yeah, you've got to start at an area of acceptance really, around what's here, what you've got, accept that first to then be able to shift it. I think that probably one of the best things is to find the things that bring you the most pain, or the things that make you feel most insecure and focus in on those first. I don't necessarily think you need to take a catalog of your entire life at first.


So I picked one thing. I felt a lot of pain around my health back when I was smoking a lot so my first thing was to quit smoking. I hadn't taken responsibility for anything else in my life. Everything else was kind of a shambles in some way or another but I decided that I was going to do that and it seemed kind of odd because the rest of my life didn't look that much better but that was one step. Step one was just to stop putting this in my body. Then let's move my body, let's be more active, let's feed myself good nourishing foods and so it was a stepping towards the responsibility of all areas of my life but starting first with what brought me a lot of pain and suffering.


Ellen

So, starting with one.


Matthew

Mmm Yeah.


Ellen

Then progressing to include others thing.

So the takeaway is, start with one thing that you can change, one thing that you feel you want to change, right now. It's important to not overwhelm yourself too, because if you try to do too many things, try to change so many things at once you'll get overwhelmed you'll say this is too much and you'll go back to the way that you were before and you'll stay stagnant. So to take away, just one thing.


Matthew

Yeah.

I hope you enjoyed this.


Ellen

Yeah.

We'll see you next time on Foxes Collide.

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