SuccessDNA Blog - Taking Personal Responsibility
30 Aug 2018

As humans, we love to play the blame game. And often, we believe we’re not at fault – that something external is causing us to act or behave in a certain way. In the many years I worked as an educator, I saw how evident this was from a young age, in high school children.

I hold the philosophy that we should take 100% responsibility for where we’re at. No excuses and no blaming things outside of ourselves. It’s something that I believe we need to teach our children in order for them to lead successful lives. In the process, we can remind ourselves, too. As students mature and start to gain more responsibility in making decisions, we can help them understand that all decisions have consequences. Sometimes, very serious.

All decisions, even one of inaction, have consequences.

No one talks about taking personal responsibility better than Jack Canfield in his book, The Success Principles. He talks about responsibility, and the power of it, through E+R=O (Event plus Response = Outcome).

We usually blame the event when something doesn’t go our way. The problem is, we’re putting the power outside of ourselves. There’s nothing we can do about external events. But what can we change? The response, to get the desired outcome.

This is what Canfield’s E+R=O method represents. Change your response to get different results.

Canfield urges us all to reconsider our relationship with our reality, prompting us to take a step back and realise that we’re not entitled to anything, just because we exist. But as Canfield importantly states, there is only one person responsible for the quality of the life you live.

That person is you.

You can’t blame the event for your lack of results.
You can, instead, change your response to the event.

This is one of the most powerful things you can teach your children. Help them observe and understand when their actions are coming from bad, unhealthy habits. And remind yourself of this, too.

Regain control over your thoughts and behaviours.

Taking 100% responsibility. Yes, it’s harder than blaming.
But, it’s essential to be successful & fulfil your dreams.

It’s easier to blame the weather, the teacher, our parents, a lack of good equipment – the list goes on. Give up on all the excuses and take the position of whatever you’re currently experiencing is a result of how you’re responding to the event, rather than the situation itself.

Do this and you’ll empower yourself. Remember, no good can come from blaming and complaining. Literally, nothing.

So, how do you know when you’re acting this way?

You either create or allow everything that happens to you. Learn when you’re being passive.

Canfield talks about yellow alerts, both external and internal. These are the things about to happen or aren’t going to work out. Don’t deny the yellow alerts. Don’t become a victim.

External yellow alerts:

My mother warned me.
My teachers told me.
My friends weren’t sure, either.

And, the internal yellow alerts:

That feeling in my stomach.
That deep fear that I couldn’t explain.
That dream that woke me up.

Do this together with your children, making the yellow alerts your compass to guide you to success. The most accomplished people don’t let disasters stop them in their tracks. They don’t live out their excuses.

While this certainly isn’t easy, it’s the mindset that successful people maintain. Start from a young age by helping foster your children’s success mindset.