Quick question: Do you take responsibility for your actions or do you tend to blame others for the events of your own life?

If you like to play the blame game, it means you give up your power to change for the better. Your life is your personal responsibility and successful people are known to accept full accountability for their own actions.

This article is all about accepting responsibility and working toward becoming a self-aware and considerate human being.

We all, on occasion, make bad choices that lead us to do bad things. That doesn’t make you a bad person; it only means you’re flawed just like the rest of us.

To become a better person, you must learn to control your own behavior. Start using the ‘no excuses‘ motto and start realizing that when you make mistakes, it’s on you.

When things go wrong and your hard work goes to waste, it’s vital to understand the importance of personal accountability.

See also: What Is True Happiness? (And The Secrets To Attaining It)

But what exactly does that mean?

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It means stepping up and accepting the role you play in your own life. It’s acknowledging the good stuff along with the bad.

It means not looking around to point fingers but rather saying: “I messed up. And it was through no one else’s fault but my own.”

Why? Because YOU are in charge of what happens in your life. Yes, there are people around you who influence some of the things that transpire but ultimately, your life = your own responsibility.

If you do something wrong, apologize. If your bad choice cost someone something, whether materially or emotionally, acknowledge your part in it.

You may wonder what exactly is in this for you.

How about personal development? How about replacing your negative personality traits with positive ones?

woman in black top standing in forest

How about learning to lead a fulfilling life not just for the sake of appearances on Facebook and LinkedIn but in reality as well?

The best way to get to that place is through self-discipline and self-respect. And with each small step in the right direction, you’ll start noticing changes in both your private and professional lives.

Now that you’re starting to realize that you are the only creator of your own happiness, you’re ready to take it further.

Below are the steps I encourage you to take on your journey toward self-accountability. Each positive action will help you regain your self-esteem and take control of your actions.

At some point, you need to step up and take responsibility for your wins and losses. And today is a great day to do just that. So, give this a whirl and be sure to make it count!

See also: 25 Positive Affirmations For Happiness And Success

How To Take Responsibility For Your Actions

STOP with the blame game

woman with black hat standing outdoor

The first step is accepting responsibility. Blaming others and constantly making excuses for your hardships and mess-ups is incredibly easy.

Do you know what isn’t? Accepting that you‘re the one who caused your own suffering. Accepting that your character faults led to an unfortunate situation.

Next time you get the urge to point fingers, I want you to stop for a second and think.

Did that person create this negative situation or is your ego making it impossible for you to own up to your mess?

At first, it’ll suck. Trust me, I’ve been down that road. I always used to blame others whenever I was unable to do what I was supposed to or deliver on a promise.

It’s so easy to relinquish any personal responsibility and go through life playing the victim card.

Only once you realize that personal growth is impossible until you stop with the blame game, will you be able to mature in all the ways that truly matter.

Stop looking around for a fall guy and look in the mirror. Whether you like it or not, you are going to make bad choices along the way. What makes a good person is their ability to own it and learn from it.

Be true to your word and do what you say you’ll do

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The first thing I’d like you to understand is that making promises you know you won’t be able to keep is never a wise move.

Not only does it make people lose trust in you but it also paints a picture of you as an unreliable person. So from today on, I want you to think twice before you make a promise you’re unlikely to keep.

It’s unfair to the people who count on you. If you’re not down with something, just say it. Nobody’s going to think less of you if you occasionally say no.

Whenever you give someone your word, be sure to make it count. A person is only as good as their word.

Be someone your loved ones can count on and I guarantee you that your life will improve. If you said you’d do something, do whatever it takes to deliver.

Believe it or not, people don’t forget these things. The more trustworthy you are, the stronger your relationships will become.

Stop being passive and take action toward your betterment

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Start being proactive. If you want to change, you’re going to have to make it happen for yourself. All changes start with you.

Being passive or surrounding yourself with negative emotions, anger and resentment is only going to ruin your self-esteem. Stop being focused on the past and start looking ahead.

Whatever happened in the past is over. There’s no reason for you to dwell on something that’s gone. Take responsibility for your actions in the past and let them steer you toward a more proactive future.

Figure out what you want to do, what kind of person you’re eager to become and the best ways to get there.

Most importantly, don’t rush it. Follow your own pace, take small steps and look ahead. If you want to change for the better, you’re going to have to take action.

Embrace the ‘NO excuses’ mantra

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Do you want to make progress or keep making excuses? Hopefully, you already know the answer to that.

Listen, making excuses is never going to get you far. Whether you want to succeed in your professional life or private life, personal accountability plays a vital role.

Nobody’s going to hire an individual who can’t admit when they’re at fault. Nobody’s going to appreciate a coworker who keeps pointing fingers at them.

Most importantly, no romantic relationship of yours will ever go the distance until you learn to take your part of the blame.

From now on, no excuses. Before you look at someone else, take a look within. It’s scary but oh so necessary.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself

woman with sunglasses standing in wheat field

The importance of a positive attitude cannot be stressed enough. Yes, life is going to bring you a fair share of drama and at times, you’ll even feel as if the world is out to get you. It’s not, though.

Bad things happen to every single one of us. One mess after another might feel like a personal attack but it’s just reality. A brutal, harsh reality.

But something that no one can take away from you is your attitude. You choose how you let things affect you!

Please don’t be that person. Don’t be someone who constantly feels sorry for themselves and expects pity. Life doesn’t take it easy on anyone.

Roll with the punches, pick yourself up and persevere. Learn to find the positive in any situation and forego the victim mentality.

See also: 30-Day Self Love Challenge: Become The Best Version Of Yourself

Create realistic aims for your life

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Knowing your limitations is important. You don’t want to set yourself up for failure, right? So don’t! Be realistic about what you can and cannot accomplish regarding your future.

You know yourself better than anyone so you’ll be the best judge of what that is. The reason why this is vital is that a sense of accomplishment will help you see your self-worth.

In turn, you’re going to be less inclined to blame others for your mess-ups, as you’ll be more self-aware as a human being.

And accomplished, self-aware people don’t go around pointing fingers. They’re too busy making stuff happen for themselves. The only validation that you’ll ever need is your own.

Learn to forgive yourself when you mess up

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I am my own worst critic. When I do something wrong, no one is harder on me than myself. I guess that’s how most people are. But at what cost?

The world is harsh enough as it is. There are so many people out there who are ready to tear you down and take pleasure from watching you fall. Why would you help them do that?

Learn the importance of taking care of yourself. Be your own best friend. When you inadvertently do a bad thing, forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes!

If you’re willing to acknowledge it and learn from it, then you’re more than deserving of being forgiven. Kindness is so important, especially toward yourself.

Acknowledge and break your bad habits

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Taking responsibility for your actions (or a lack of them) is one of your habits, right? The first step toward betterment is pinpointing your bad habits. Looks like that part is covered. Now, it’s time to break away from it.

This is the tough part but I’m positive that by now, you’ve started seeing that it’s not impossible.

I’ve mentioned the importance of proactivity and the no-excuses mantra. The next time you sense that you might say something you know you’ll regret, stop yourself. Think about whether that is the right thing to do.

Don’t make an excuse as to why it is but rather acknowledge the mistake, apologize if needed and do better next time.

Stop letting other people affect how you see yourself

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Someone’s opinion of you does not define you in any way, shape or form. So why would you let it affect you so badly?

I’ll be the first to admit that I tend to let others’ opinions get to me badly. Or should I say, used to let it get to me? Ever since I decided to take control of my life, things have changed significantly.

I no longer let anyone have a hold on me. I no longer allow strangers (or anyone irrelevant) to affect my views of myself.

I’ve realized that everyone has an opinion and that’s something I’ll never be able to change. But what I CAN change is my perspective. And that has been a major game-changer.

The only opinion that matters is your own! The sooner you realize it, the better you’ll feel for it.

Love yourself (flaws and all)

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Love yourself on the days when you wake up and nothing seems to be going right. Love yourself on the days when you feel particularly low.

Love yourself even more when you don’t believe that there’s anything to love about you.

We are all just trying to find our way in this mess called life. But guess what? Life doesn’t come with instructions, so all you can do is wing it.

Just remember that no matter how bad things seem to be at the time, there’s one thing you should never forget…

To LOVE YOURSELF. Because if you don’t, who will?

See also: A Reminder To Always Be Thankful For What You Have

Be around people who encourage and uplift you

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One of the most important things when it comes to self-improvement is surrounding yourself with the right people.

You need someone you can count on day and night. You need someone who won’t push you aside as you learn to take responsibility for your actions.

You deserve someone who’s going to love you through thick and thin, flaws and all. Accept no less.

Re-evaluate your inner circle and weed out those who belittle you and your choices. The better the people around you, the more likely you are to make positive changes in your life.

Good people encourage their friends and root for them behind their back. It’s not about how big your circle is; it’s the quality of it that makes all the difference.

Recognize your choices to learn what NOT to do again

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Every day, you’re faced with numerous choices. Those tiny moments that seem irrelevant but that can change your entire life.

Some truly are fleeting and without a huge impact but others lead to big, important things.

Sometimes, those things lead to bad choices that end up being the last thing you wanted to happen but there you are. In moments like that, you show your true colors.

Will you be able to take responsibility for your actions and own up to that unintentional mistake? Or will you blame it on external factors that didn’t actually play a role in it?

Being able to say that you messed up helps you grow as a human being. It helps you mature in ways that ultimately make a big impact on who you are as a person.

Recognize your bad choice and own up to it, if for no other reason than for the sole purpose of knowing what not to repeat ever again.

There are always two simple choices: Accepting fault and rectifying the situation or pointing fingers and avoiding accepting responsibility.

Which one is it going to be?

Quotes About Taking Responsibility For Your Actions

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As the final touch and the perfect way to exemplify the importance of personal responsibility, I give you the most thought provoking quotes on taking responsibility for your actions.

1. “It is only when you take responsibility for your life that you discover how powerful you truly are.” – Allanah Hunt

2. “Responsibility is the thing people dread most of all. Yet it is the one thing in the world that develops us, gives us manhood or womanhood fiber.” – Frank Crane

3. “When you think everything is someone else’s fault, you will suffer a lot. When you realize that everything springs only from yourself, you will learn both peace and joy.” – Dalai Lama

4. “Attack the evil that is within yourself, rather than attacking the evil that is in others.” – Confucius

5. “The moment you take responsibility for everything in your life is the moment you can change anything in your life.” – Hal Elrod

6. “The power behind taking responsibility for your actions lies in putting an end to negative thought patterns. You no longer dwell on what went wrong or focus on whom you are going to blame. You don’t waste time building roadblocks to your success. Instead, you are set free and can now focus on succeeding.” – Lorii Myers

7. “The key is taking responsibility and initiative, deciding what your life is about, and prioritizing your life around the most important things.” – Stephen Covey

8. “Stop blaming other people for your own behavior! Own the truth. If you don’t like it, then invest the time and energy to change it.” – Akiroq Brost

9. “You are responsible for your life. You can’t keep blaming somebody else for your dysfunction. Life is really about moving on.” – Oprah Winfrey

10. “Responsibility to yourself means refusing to let others do your thinking, talking, and naming for you; it means learning to respect and use your own brains and instincts; hence, grappling with hard work.” – Adrienne Rich

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11. “If you want to change something about yourself, you need to be willing to take full responsibility for yourself. If you are going to hide behind stories and excuses, it won’t work!” – Akiroq Brost

12. “Take responsibility for your own happiness, do not expect people or things to bring you happiness, or you could be disappointed.” – Rodolfo Costa

13. “With freedom comes responsibility. For the person who is unwilling to grow up, the person who does not want to carry his own weight, this is a frightening prospect.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

14. “Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility.” – Unknown

15. “Action springs not from thought, but from a readiness for responsibility.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer

16. “A sign of wisdom and maturity is when you come to terms with the realization that your decisions cause your rewards and consequences. You are responsible for your life, and your ultimate success depends on the choices you make.” – Denis Waitley

17. “Accepting personal responsibility for your life frees you from outside influences – increases your self-esteem – boosts confidence in your ability to make decisions – and ultimately leads to achieving success in life.” – Roy T. Bennett

18. “When we have begun to take charge of our lives, to own ourselves, there is no longer any need to ask permission of someone.” – George O’Neill & Nena O’Neill

19. “The disappearance of a sense of responsibility is the most far-reaching consequence of submission to authority.” – Stanley Milgram

20. “Character – the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life – is the source from which self-respect springs.” – Joan Didion

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21. “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

22. “The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” – Steve Maraboli

23. “Accept responsibility for your life. Know that it is you who will get you where you want to go, no one else.” – Les Brown

24. “Stop pointing fingers and placing blame on others. Your life can only change to the degree that you accept responsibility for it.” – Steve Maraboli

25. “There is an expiry date on blaming your parents for steering you in the wrong direction. The moment you are old enough to take the wheel, the responsibility lies with you.” – J.K. Rowling

See also: 21 Life-Changing Decisions To Make In 2021

If you want to learn how to take responsibility for your actions, the 12 steps above are your golden ticket to getting there.

You can’t keep skating through life fault-free. There comes a time when you need to learn the importance of personal responsibility and start living your life accordingly.

Take ownership of what you say and do and embrace the wins along with the losses. Or simply put, stop making excuses and decide that it’s time to start making progress.