How to take responsibility for your actions and your life (2023)

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We all do what we think is necessary to succeed, to do our best, to make a difference and to fulfill our responsibilities. But when life presents itself with problems, difficulties and obstacles in our path, it can be easy to lose enthusiasm, drive and motivation to keep improving.

It's frustrating when progress falters or stops. It happens to the best of us. Nobody is immune.

We have to be careful not to fall into the “excuse trap”. This is a dangerous mental circuit that many people inadvertently and often unconsciously activate in their minds.

This is the thought cycle that keeps repeating reasons why it's not our fault - it's the economy, it's your family, it's the timing - it's whatever excuse your mind can come up with. Once you get started, say goodbye to your hopes and dreams, because the list is never ending.

But the most dangerous thing this mind trap says is, "It's not my responsibility" and "I have no control over myself and my destiny."

How do we break the cycle? We tackle excuses head on.

There are many possible excuses we can use for not taking responsibility for our own actions, but funnily enough, these 5 words are the number one excuse for not doing, being, or having what you want in your life: "I don't have enough time. "

This is the queen of all excuses in the "apology trap" and it's why I committed to solving this problem 5 years ago while researching my book,The Time Cleanse: A Proven System to Stop Wasting Time, Reach Your Full Potential, and Reinvest in What Matters Most.

It was the number one excuse I encountered with my clients. Each of them said, "I don't have enough time!" It was the reason they didn't hit the gym, expand their business, get out in a relationship, take a vacation, or visit their friends and family, and the list goes on.

(Video) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR LIFE - Best Motivational Video

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We all have to put up with the excuses of the times to get out of the excuse trap once and for all. To be accountable for your attention and energy, you must take steps to help you manage your time.

Here are 3 simple steps to take charge of your time and your life.

Step 1: See time as your ally, not your enemy

"When you change the way you see things, what you see changes."-Wayne Dyer

The rule is simple: if you see time as your enemy, as an excuse, it's easy to blame and not take responsibility for it. When you see time as your friend and ally by your side, helping you achieve your goals, you can finally take full responsibility for your actions.

You need to look at your relationship in a new, positive light these days. First you must deprogram yourself from the way society has taught you to see time.

How many times have you heard the following?

  • "Where do I find time?"
  • "I never have enough time."
  • "How does time fly?"
  • "If I have time."
  • "Weather permitting."

But who really "allows" you to do things? It's not the time - it's you!

Realize that time doesn't make the decisions, you do. We all have the same amount of time. It is entirely up to you whether you use your time to get closer to your goals or toget distractedwith things that are of no use to you.

Time is an incredibly valuable resource. It's possibly the most valuable thing you have in your life.

(Video) Jordan Peterson on taking responsibility for your life | 7.30

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Imagine your total time on Earth as a billion dollars. It's yours and you can do whatever you want with it. It can literally buy you anything you want in life. But it can also be stolen and drained from you. You have to choose where to use it. You have to direct it. You have to make sure it's spent on what's important to you, because no one else will. Everyone will just try to take it away from you.

Your time is yours and it is your responsibility. Your time comes from you, it is part of you and you are not separate from it. It's a natural gift of your life - an infinitely valuable resource for you to become the best version of yourself. Be grateful and value your time and be aware of where your time is being spent.

When you stop struggling with time and take control of your time, you will regain your energy, flow into your day, and new opportunities will naturally open up to you. Time becomes your ally and friend. It is by your side to support you in everything you do.

"Time is not a thing - it's a relationship."-Steven Griffith

Make the decision to recognize once and for all that the time has come for you and your side to help you be your best. We all get the same amount. What you do with it is up to you and you alone!

Step 2: Go on an "Excuse Time" Diet

How to Take Full Control of Your Time: Stop using the excuse of time as a reason for not doing, being, or having what you want in life.

Try telling yourself, “I am 100% responsible for my time. I own it, I control it, and it comes from me!”

As of now you are on a "time excuse diet". If you want to get in shape, go on a diet that eliminates the toxic foods that keep you from getting better. The same goes for getting your time back. To cut down on distractions, you must eliminate the toxic thoughts that are holding you back from success and personal accountability.

Start deciding what you want to do with your time. Remind yourself every day that it's your time and you have the power to do with it what you really want.

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What we say yes and no and what we choose determines when and where we spend our time. When we believe that time is outside of us and controlling us, we live in a constant state of scarcity andvictim rolewithout even realizing it.

Having worked with thousands of people, I've seen all versions of a time excuse offered as the top reason people don't find the success, happiness, and fulfillment they desire. This common misconception is exactly why people struggle, falter, or get stuck.

Time is never to blame - it's your choices and priorities over time. We can always create or find the moment when something is our top priority. Just break a bone and suddenly you have enough time to go to the doctor and get it fixed.

It really comes down to choice. When you hear the excuse of not having enough time in your mind, get rid of it and choose to own your time!

Step 3: Use self-compassion daily

This last step probably seems counterintuitive, but it's essential to taking responsibility for your actions. Take time to thank yourself.

You see, taking responsibility for all your time, how it's spent, and everything you do or don't get is a lot of pressure. You won't always succeed at every task perfectly. So if you start telling yourself negative things all the time likeI'm not good enough", then you'll lose your motivation and excuses will take over.

Positive reinforcement is essential for reprogramming your mind full of excuses to full of motivation and solutions.

Here's the mind trick we play on ourselves: If you believe and know that if you "try" and don't succeed, you will be beaten more often and, over time, will be more likely to make excuses, procrastinate, withhold, or refrain from it.

But to be successful - to take full responsibility for our actions - we must be willing to take risks and beok failed. Only then can we propel ourselves to new heights and our next stage of growth. We must be able to rise voluntarily when we are downcast.

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Research shows that when we are kind to ourselves and show compassion, we empower ourselves to perform better by creating healthy expectations. Self-compassion increases well-being and our willingness to take risks. By being kind, we take more responsibility for our actions - the good and the bad.

Self-compassion is the best way to take responsibility for yourself. It means being by your side in the face of adversity, obstacles and challenges so that you can move forward. Just the fact that you want to take responsibility for your actions is reason enough to give yourself an emotional pat on the back.

Once we show compassion for ourselves and take care of our mental and emotional needs, we can find ourselves in a positive and receptive space to re-engage and learn from adversity, integrate new lessons, adjust our strategies and tactics, to take full responsibility for our actions and regain and achieve our goals with an even greater level of confidence, resilience, power and tools for success.


If you fall into the “excuse trap” of believing “I don’t have enough time” that our 24/7 connected devices and our lifestyles unconsciously push us into, you have a super toxic combination of mind traps. that keep you from achieving your goals and dreams.

Excuses justify people's mistakes in your mind and say give up. Lack of self-compassion tells them they can't do this. Given enough time and setbacks, they might start to believe. They might even want to believe it because it keeps them off the hook and allows them to accept their lack of success. But that's not you.

You want to take responsibility for your actions. You want to take your destiny into your own hands.

You've made the decision to take control of your life, eliminate all excuses (especially the time excuse!) and show self-compassion in a way that puts choice and responsibility back in your hands. With these 3 steps, you can rewire your mind from feeling powerless to feeling completely empowered.

I am 100% responsible for my time. I own, I control and it comes from me!– Steven Griffith, The Time Cleanse

More articles on taking responsibility

  • How to Take Personal Responsibility and Stop Blaming Circumstances
  • If you take full responsibility for your life, you will prosper.
  • Know the difference between guilt and responsibility

Featured photo credits:ConvertKit via

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Why can't I take responsibility for my actions? ›

Trauma. Avoiding responsibility can be a response to trauma. Some people who experienced painful abuse, criticism, betrayal, rejection, or other trauma, continue to see themselves as victims; they are so focused on their own emotional pain that they struggle to see how they harm others.

What does it mean to take responsibility for your life? ›

That means taking full responsibility for our thoughts, feelings, words, actions, circumstances, and impacts. It means taking full responsibility for our health, relationships, education, career, finances, choices, behaviors, and free time.

What are 3 steps to taking responsibility for your actions? ›

Examples of Taking Responsibility for Your Actions
  1. You recognize and own up to your part of what is occurring.
  2. If your message is hurtful to someone, you are willing to examine how your communication may have been damaging.
  3. You don't blame others when you're at fault.
  4. You don't make excuses for why things are happening.
Jun 9, 2021

How do you start accountability for your actions? ›

How to Develop Personal Accountability
  1. Know your role. You'll need to understand your responsibilities to be accountable for them. ...
  2. Be honest. Set pride aside. ...
  3. Say sorry. If something has gone wrong, and you're responsible, then apologize. ...
  4. Use your time wisely. ...
  5. Don't overcommit. ...
  6. Reflect.

How do I stop being irresponsible? ›

5 Tips on How to be a More Responsible Person
  1. Stop making excuses for yourself. If, and when you make a mistake, own up to it. ...
  2. Stop complaining. ...
  3. Learn how to manage your finances. ...
  4. Overcome procrastination. ...
  5. Be consistent and stick to your schedule. ...
  6. 8 Misconceptions of Time That Make You Less Productive.

Why is it hard to take responsibility? ›

Feeling shame can bring up a whole host of negative emotions that make us worry about being rejected, flawed, or inadequate in some way. Taking responsibility for even seemingly small transgressions is difficult because it all feeds into this deeper fear running in the background that we are not good enough.

How can I improve too much responsibility? ›

Tips for Changing This Destructive Habit
  1. Think about what you assume to be your responsibilities at home or at work, or both. ...
  2. Become more aware of when you are trying to rescue someone else. ...
  3. Practice not rescuing. ...
  4. Be assertive about what you need from others.
Apr 7, 2022

How do you learn responsibility? ›

How can I teach my child to be responsible?
  1. Set age-appropriate tasks. Think of something you know your child can do without too much difficulty, so that he's likely to succeed at it. ...
  2. Show and tell. ...
  3. Work, then play. ...
  4. Make chores fun. ...
  5. Avoid threats. ...
  6. Set a good example. ...
  7. Focus on effort, not results. ...
  8. Be realistic.

How do I learn to be responsible? ›

10 Ways To Become More Mature & Responsible
  1. Set goals. If you don't know what you're aiming for, how do you plan to get there? ...
  2. Practice self-control. ...
  3. Stay persistent. ...
  4. Respect other people's opinion. ...
  5. Build self-confidence. ...
  6. Take ownership. ...
  7. Listen more. ...
  8. Avoid negativity.
Aug 14, 2018

What does it mean to take responsibility for your choices and actions? ›

What Does It Mean to Take Responsibility for Your Actions? Taking responsibility for your actions involves owning up to the positive and negative consequences of your choices and behavior, rather than attributing them to external factors or others' actions.

How is responsibility learned? ›

Children learn responsibility by facing the consequences of their actions. As long as the consequences aren't harmful, allow your kids to experience the natural consequences of their behaviors. Automatically triggered consequences can teach valuable lessons about the importance of follow-through and responsibility.


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