In any given situation or event, it’s our ability to respond appropriately that makes us responsible individuals and better leaders. To respond thoughtfully and meaningfully to a situation rather than simply reacting from habitual patterns of behaviour is the hallmarks of one who is able to master, or controls the self. Such a person is thus more likely to master the situation in front of them. They will make more considered judgments, better decisions, and be more effective all around.

If we act immediately from a place of anger, agitation or fear, then we are simply re-living, re–enacting and reinforcing old and ineffective patterns. We are not in control of our responses and therefore unlikely to be very successful in dealing with the problem.

Another ineffective re-action is to allow one scenario to influence the next, meaning we don’t have the capacity to put a full stop and start a new page. For example, you may get upset with your wife in the morning and later react with the secretary at work due to no fault of hers. To be effective leaders we need to learn to bring closure to each situation, not allowing the baggage of the past (from ten minutes ago or ten years ago) to cloud our response-ability in the present moment.

Taking responsibility for our actions as well as our reactions is another key quality in managing the self.

If we are indiscriminately blaming others for the issue or problem, for the mistake, or for making us feel bad, then we are disempowering ourselves by handing over our power to them. When we blame others for how we feel or where we are at in our lives, then we are absolving ourselves of any responsibility. By blaming we are trying to deflect attention away from the fact that we are not taking responsibility: in fact we are only deceiving ourselves.

Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy by not wanting to move out of our comfort zone and learning new skills and behaviour. We not only hold ourselves back but also prevent the growth of our spirit.

A responsible person will make a judgement without worry or regret; they take a decision and accept the outcome. They will realize that not everything will go their way, that things will sometimes turn out wrong, and that other people will have different opinions, but all of that’s okay. A responsible person will accept any situation and make the most of it.

Very often fear and insecurity can prevent us from taking responsibility. Perhaps negative childhood experiences can get in the way or simply our fears overtake us and prevent us from taking that first step of courage. But a responsible person will know that failure is only feedback, and when they fall it is only a springboard for something greater.

Another key skill is knowing when to take responsibility, and when not to, sometimes we get too involved in things that are not within our remit, or we get too bogged down in details. A clear intellect is needed to know the difference.

The word responsibility sometimes implies a duty, and the word duty can seem onerous, but the more we bring appreciation and enthusiasm into our work then the happier and more effective we will be, and the more we will bring good feelings into our environment. Those around us will automatically become more cooperative.

It’s Time to be responsible and to stop playing the blame game. As you begin to take ownership and control of your feelings you increase your ability to respond to life’s events appropriately. In this way you empower yourself and are able to make better decisions and have more fruitful outcomes. This is the key to peace, prosperity and a promotion


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