Compared to other animals in nature, as humans we are born fully reliant on our parents or someone to take complete care of us for many years. Animals take care of their young for a limited amount of time before they are expected to survive themselves. For us humans, with the society we have created, it can be two decades or longer before a child become reliant on themselves.
Obviously this can happen sooner, and does in many cases, but still society norm is that at least until 18 a child is legally supported by their parents. Once past that age, an individual is expected to start to support themselves. An interesting point, though, is that doesn’t mean the person will actually become “personally responsible.”
What is personal responsibility
Personal responsibility is a point where an individual makes a decision that they will live up to and execute on a specific set of ideals and expectations that they have defined for themselves. You can say that a person is finally accepting personal “respond-ability” for their actions and how they will live in the world. Usually inside this decision is a willingness to focus on personal development and be willing to change who they are at the most fundamental levels. Because if you are taking responsibility of your person, then you must be willing to look at your successes and failures.
To become personally responsible you must be willing to separate yourself from the victim mentality. Brendon Burchard has a great video talking about this located here. He covers what he feels are the 5 core areas - 1) our aim, 2) our attention, 3) our attitude, 4) our affections, 5) our actions.
Other forms of personal responsibility
There are a few new aspects of responsibility that are starting to show that are on a much more larger scale but ultimately still relate to the individual. I am talking about ones like: social responsibility, corporate responsibility, and even corporate social responsibility. These are important because it is continuing to stress the need for various entities to think about how their actions relate to others in the world.
Where these can go wrong is that not every person related to the situation actually has to take responsibility. The assumption is that everyone is fully on board but in reality the “amount” can vary. There can be a sense of “taking action” in the right way but that doesn’t mean that at the deepest level the person believes it because there is an out they have if something doesn’t live up to expectations, etc. — it was someone else’s fault.
This is why taking individual responsibility over oneself is most important and a fundamental requirement over anything else. So the question you need to ask yourself is how much of it are you willing to take? And how much do you truly take on a daily basis?
How mature do you respond to all the curve balls that life throws at you? Each day we face certain challenges and circumstances that are not to our liking. These situations stretch our inner resources and strength as well as require us to examine how we act in the world. Things might be as simple as saying you’re sorry to that of a much deeper willingness to go above and beyond to fix a mess you created.
This type of maturity requires you to be obligated to recognize and rectify your own mistakes. You must be willing to monitor and judge your own actions and the motivation behind them. Emotional intelligence is key to your success along with a sense of pride and self respect/esteem. And as I stated earlier you must be willing to cast off that victim robe and burn it!
Have you taken the time to really understand and define your goal in life or how you wish to act on a daily bases? Do you stay focused on the things that make your better throughout the day? When interacting with people do you have an attitude that is uplifting in the situation? Are you the type of person that really connects with people and their own goals? And lastly, do you take action based on what you have defined is the way you want to live?
Where personal responsibility can go wrong
I fully support Brendon’s core 5 areas related to personal responsibility, but in all of this there can be one thing the person is really missing. It is very easy for someone to become too myopic in how they look at the world. You can have a goal, stay focused on it, have a great attitude, care for those people in your circle, and take consistent action but still be completely stuck in life.
This is where personal responsibility goes wrong! It happens because people become so focused on themselves and their world that they miss the greater aspect of the world. They miss that being human is being part of humanity.
The missing most critical step
There needs to be a 6th area to what Brendon teaches - awareness. How aware are you to what life is trying to tell you? When I took the time and had my 124 day transformation, it became very apparent to me that there was a larger intelligence out there beyond my own. Life, nature, the Universe, Source, God, whatever you want to call it. This only happens if you really take the time to broaden your awareness to all that is around you. Yes, connecting to people can help with this, but where it goes wrong is that it is very easy for that circle to stay too small.
Remember we are all made of vibrations that attract the same like vibration. So it becomes very easy for us to miss those vibrations that are outside our awareness. This is why learning to grow your awareness is so critical. Whether that awareness is more about yourself or more about the world around you - it really doesn’t matter.
I am going to completely ignore the fundamental laws that our reality is made up of and just focus on common human physical response. We have a consistent tendency as a species to focus only on things that are directly in our immediate awareness. We default to this because we are very dependent on our senses to help us define the world around us. Due to this we tend to stay too self centered which usually affects our growth and how we approach our personal development.
To really change ourselves and our society we need to start to rely on the other latent senses within us and develop a broader perspective on how we see the world. We need to find ways to connect deeper with nature so that we can truly become "part of life" on a fully integrated level. Something that has a deeper level of connection than we currently have with our world.
This is important because if you look around in nature, you see that every other component of it has completely found its spot and works with life to create something greater. So this is why that missing step of awareness is so critical. It helps you broaden yourself and hear the messages from life that you aren't normally aware of.
I developed a free 3 day results toolkit that helps a person to start to become more aware of themselves and the world around them. Go get it. Then take the time to fill it out and understand how you relate to the life you have made for yourself.
Start to grow your awareness and see how that helps you actually expand your own sense of personal responsibility. Once you have taken that 6th step you will be able to consistently meet life in a way that is conducive for both it and you.