How do people grow in maturity unless they take responsibility for events in their own lives? Certainly there are occurrences beyond one’s control, but for the most part, people are in control and can influence the outcome. For example, if a family doesn’t want to go into huge debt, members will check their spending, generate a budget, and stick to it. If a student wants good grades, he will put forth the extra effort to learn the material and earn the grades. If an employee wants a promotion, she will work diligently to stand out above others.
Blaming someone else for one’s own lack of progress in life seems to be gaining in popularity. We all know people who want to blame circumstances or someone else when they should be taking personal responsibility for their own actions or lack thereof. After all, it hurts their self esteem if they admit they were the problem and not someone else. Blame extends to insufficient time and talent to do the job. We all have the same number of hours in a week and if we don’t have the talent, then we have to work that much harder and more efficiently to be competitive. Unless, or course, mediocre performance is accepted and even rewarded. If that’s the case, why put forth the effort?
If minimal performance is the new standard, it’s easy to develop a sense of entitlement where minimal effort is the norm and rewards are expected for that minimal performance. Friends, co-workers and parents may even sympathize with us and go so far as to tell us that it’s not our fault that we can’t succeed and that competition and striving to be better are selfish behaviors.
On the other hand, taking personal responsibility can be rewarding. It feels good to know that we have worked hard, earned the promotion, recognition, or good grade. It builds our self esteem with the right kind of input. We walk tall, hold our heads high, and are known as the kind of person, employee, or student that others want to emulate. We become leaders of a group of people who look up to us and wish they could be successful like us. If they only knew that it all starts with taking personal responsibility!