Things go wrong. A drunk runs a red light and wrecks your car. A thief steals your credit card and runs up a huge debt. You get sick or break your leg falling on the ice. Your company downsizes and you lose your job. Something happens outside of your control that’s bad and it’s not your fault. But you are still responsible. You are responsible for all of it.
Yes, we all know that bad things happen to good people. But when you are faced with any challenge, adversity or trauma you must choose how you are going to respond, and you have only two options. You can take responsibility or you can be a victim.
Being a victim means is choosing to be powerless. It’s deciding that you have no control over the outcome or played any role in the circumstances that caused your trouble. It is a feeble, bitter choice to view the world from the perspective of a victim.
Choosing to accept responsibility for everything that happens to you is empowering. You are choosing to say that you are in charge and in control of your life. And that is choosing to come from a place of strength. What does word responsible even mean? It means “response + ability.” It means you have the ability to respond. To take whatever hand you have been dealt and to play those cards with dignity, serenity, and strength. You own those cards. Making the shift in mindset from victimhood to responsibility frees the mind up to new ideas and new options. It inspires action.
The next time you want to say, “It’s not my fault” or “why does this always happen to me?” stop yourself. Instead, ask “what part did I play in creating this situation, and how can I make it better? What can I do different next time to keep this from happening again?” You’ll feel better, your mood will improve, and your anxiety will lessen.
Develop the ability to respond. It doesn’t mean that bad things won’t happen to you. But it will mean you can face them down and be happier in the process.