Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Responsibility means that we recognize that we choose how we react to the events of our lives.  In this sense, responsibility means ability to respond.

The choices we make pertain to three areas:  our thoughts, our feelings, and our actions.

If something bad happens to me and I act like a victim, how am I likely to feel, act, and think?  On the other hand, if I assume full responsibility, how am I likely to feel, act, and think?

As we exercise our "ability to respond", we become aware that we not only respond to the events of our lives, but we also have a part in creating those events.  This does not always mean that we cause all of the events that occur in our lives.  There are circumstances and events that exist outside of our direct control.

However, at a minimum, we make choices which put us in the situation in which those events occur.  Often we even set up the events to which we respond.

When we act like victims, we blame others and justify our own behavior.  When we act like victors by taking responsibility, we recognize our choices.  One attitude leads to disempowerment; the other leads to empowerment.

Responsibility for ourselves is directly related to our ability to make choices.  Here are three levels of choices:
  • Behavioral:  Take direct control of our thoughts, feelings and actions.
  • Situational:  Choose to change our circumstances.
  • Attitudinal:  Accept what we cannot change.
Most of the time we exercise behavioral responsibility.  Less frequently we exercise situational responsibility.  When we are unable to alter our reality through either of those means, we exercise attitudinal responsibility.

Think about it.  What could you gain by:
  • Not blaming others when things go wrong?
  • Taking responsibility fo all of your thoughts, feelings and actions?
  • Accepting accountability for your results?

Until next time...

Sheryl Tuchman