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INTRODUCTION

In his book Man for Himself, Eric Fromm, M.D.,

beautifully sums up the concept of personal responsibility: Man must accept responsibility for himself and the fact that only by using his own power, can he give meaning to his life. You have this God-given power. It is up to you how you use it. And you are personally responsible for how your life turns out to be.

TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY


YOUR LIFES ACHIEVEMENTS START AND END WITH

YOU. You define what success means to you. You want it. You go for it. You achieve it or you dont. You are personally responsible. Once you realize and accept the vital principle of taking personal responsibility for how your life turns out, your life will never be the same. You stop blaming others for your failures and disappointments. You start working on yourself to be the kind of person you want to be.

Taking personal responsibility for your life requires

supreme courage. It can be very painful at any age. But the pay-off is a tremendous sense of freedom and personal power. Your sense of personal responsibility and your ability to take control over your life puts you in charge of your life and your future. Without these, you will see yourself as a victim of circumstances, unable to take or accomplish any more than what others are willing to give. Personal responsibility means: IF ITS TO BE, ITS UP TO ME. Taking personal responsibility and exercising self-control are truly the hall mark of an achiever.

Victim Attitude
The tendency to blame others or circumstances when things

are not going well is the hallmark of a most devastating victim attitude. Such people rarely own responsibility for their individual problems. When something goes wrong in their relationships or at work, they usually find someone else to blame. Here are some typical statements: * It was not my fault that I was not prepared for the meeting. After all, they never give enough notice. * How was I suppose to know I had to submit this report in a week. He should have told me; * Why didnt you remind me it was so important; * If only you had warned me, that wouldnt have happened. The bottom line of all statements is: It is someone else, fault, and I am not responsible.

Being a Blamer
Blaming others for ones problem or troubles and making

excuses can lead to this dangerous downhill spiral: 1. Blame Other Its your fault. 2. Sees life as beyond personal control My life could be better f it were not for --- 3. Feels like a victim of circumstances If only that did not happen, then 4. Gives up Nothing will ever work for me. Why try

People devise ingenious ways, perhaps unconsciously, to

protect themselves and avoid any change in their lives. They remain passive and helpless victims. The cause of their behavior , they believe, is something or someone other than themselves. They wait for others or external circumstances to change or shape their lives.
The attitude of blaming reinforces the belief that life is out

of control and that others or circumstances determine how things are going to be. This attitude causes much inner turmoil, creating anxiety and feelings of helplessness.

People who do not take personal responsibility tend to live in

Living in the Past

the past. Frequently, you will hear them say, If only I had done or not done such and such, things would have been different. If only can be very destructive to reaching your goals and at crucial times can stop you from moving ahead.
If only: I had finished my graduation; I had chosen different career; I hadnt married that good-for-nothing husband of mine; The company had to merged; I lived in a different neighborhood; I had been born into this environment. The past continues to haunt these people, even when it has no relevance to the present.

Exercise
Complete this sentence:

If only it werent for ___________________ my life would really be great.

Using if only gives you the luxury of making yourself a helpless and passive responder to lifes events.

Check your Victim Quotient at Do I whine and complain about all the things that are wrong

work/school? Do I feel sorry for myself because of my work/school situation? Do I worry a lot about my work/school situation? Am I constantly projecting whats going to happen to me and my job/studies? Do I dramatize events at work/school and blow them out of proportion? Do I blame other people at work/school for my unhappiness? Do I resent other people with whom I work or go to school with? Do I try to manipulate those around me? Am I in constant search of approval at work/school? Do I constantly keep telling myself and reminding others how much I am sacrificing myself for the organization?

If you answered Yes to:

0-1 questions you are in pretty good shape. 0-2 questions You are moving toward becoming a victim. 5-10 questions you are a hard-core victim.

Fringe Benefits
Why would anyone want to remain a victim? There must be

some fringe benefits payoffs for doing so. Blaming others allows a person to temporarily rid themselves of feelings of guilt and the need to take personal responsibility for their actions. Instead, they can spend their energies complaining and looking for pity or sympathy from others. Some people choose to remain the poor mistreated one because they have a need to be mistreated. The mistreatment validates and gives credibility to the way they feel about themselves and what they think they deserve. They are masters at playing the victim role.

Not everyone who feels victimized sits

around and feels sorry for themselves. Some are hard workers even high achievers. But they live in a web of resentment and self-pity that keeps them stuck. They believe the problem is entirely with other people --- that others are responsible and that someone else should fix it.

Refusing to be a victim
Some people have been victimized and justifiably feel anger and

resentment. However, when they stay stuck in the past, reliving old hurts, constantly dredging up every imagined injustice in the past, they seriously punish themselves. They spend their time and energy reliving the past instead of taking steps to liberate themselves from present situations that are harmful to them. When people focus on what others have done to them, they fail to look at the part they themselves may have played in the situation. They are constantly pointing the finger and waiting for others to change or do what is needful. By focusing on the other person, they abdicate their responsibility to achieve what they could achieve and become the person they could be.

Such people continue to allow themselves to

feel victimized. Some has wisely said that there are no victims, only willing volunteers. We empower ourselves when we realize we have options and we can exercise them. We feel powerless when we allow ourselves to be immobilized by resentment, anger and fear.

It is important that you refuse to see yourself as a victim.

GETTING OUT OF THE VICTIM ROLE


There are times you have to stand up for

yourself and for your rights in a mature way. Some people have worked with poor bosses so long that they do not even know they have certain basic human rights. Out of fear they allow others to walk over them. They let themselves be mistreated and then get back at others in subtle, underhanded, manipulative, very destructive ways.

To get out of the victim role you must realize that:


You have the right to be what you want to be and do what you want to

do.
You are fully responsibility for what

you are and what you do.

Fact: I am angry
Attitude
Blames Others or Situations

Blamer

Responsible
Assumes Responsibility

He made me angry ReactionsI am responsible for being angry (Owns responsibility and asks (shift and abdicates himself: Why am I angry? Does anger responsibility
help me achieve my purpose?)
Learning Change Growth Dynamic

Results
No learning No Change No Growth Static

REACTIVE MODE (VICTIM)

PROACTIVE MODE (VICTOR)

Many people experience a lifetime of unhappiness because

they cannot decide what it is they actually want in life. Often they are able to write a long list of what they dont want to happen but cant think they really want to happen. Basically they find it impossible to say what they want because they do not believe they can change their circumstances.
When you believe in yourself and ask, What do I want to

happen? you open all sorts of new possibilities.

Ask Yourself Two Questions

WHAT DO I REALLY WANT TO HAPPEN? HOW DO I MAKE IT HAPPEN?

We all make excuses sometimes when things dont go the way

they should. We all do some blaming. As someone has said, There arent enough St. Christophers around to carry the burden of the world on their shoulders. Weve all come across some people who make things happen and others who seem unable to initiate anything. Why is it one individual can create a new direction for himself while another flounders and feels like a victim of circumstances? What is the difference? The difference lies in their ability to take responsibility for their lives and futures to make up their minds what they want to be or do, what they want to make happen, and then take necessary action.

What Do I Really Want To Happen? Write down the answers that come to your mind. Be as specific as you can. The effectiveness of your actions is totally dependent on the clarity of your answers.

And How Do I Make It Happen


Its a good idea to use the brainstorming technique here.

Write down whatever comes to mind even if it appears outlandish or irrelevant. Allow yourself to express freely everything that comes to mind without evaluating or judging its validity. New and creative ideas often emerge in this way.

PRESENT STATE
What is the situation now?

What have you learned from the

present situation?

Desired State
What do you really want?
In what ways would it alter or improve your present

situation? How would you know you had it (evidence/indicators)? What stops you? What resources would you need to achieve it? What strategies or approaches could you use?

Your success and achievement in life starts and end with

you. Under God, only you are personally responsible for how your life turns out to be. Decide how you want it. Define it clearly. Go for it. You achieve it, or you dont.

Other people may try to take responsibility for you or try to

control your life. But in the final analysis, they can only influence how your life progresses. They cannot control it only you can

Personal responsibility and self-control are the hallmarks of

great achievers. Without these, one sees oneself as a victim of the world and is unable to accomplish any more than the world is willing to give.
Personal responsibility means: If its to be, its up to me. it

means accepting the fact that you are human and that you will make mistakes, but when you make them you will learn from them. You look for creative problem-solving strategies rather than looking for someone or something to blame.

TAKING PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE REQUIRES SUPREME COURAGE AND CAN BE DEMANDING AND PAINFUL AT ANY AGE. BUT THE PAYOFF IS TREMENDOUS FREEDOM AND EFFECTIVE LIVING.