Up until the end of 2017, I blamed others for what happened to me. If I was late, it was because there was too much traffic, not because I didn’t leave early enough to account for that traffic. If I forgot something, it was because someone else didn’t remind me. If someone misunderstood me, it was because they weren’t smart enough to understand me, not because I didn’t clarify the confusion. But all of this…sounds so selfish, doesn’t it?
Nearly one year ago, my approach to life completely changed. In essence, I guess I can say I also changed…a lot. It was a simple decision to take full accountability for everything that happened in my life, even if it wasn’t “fully” my fault, because well…why would I want someone else to have control over my outcome? Did you ever consider that thought?
I live in a generation where many people like to play the blame game. If something doesn’t go their way, it’s someone else’s fault, not their own. Especially living in California, everyone lovesssss to use the excuse, “oh there was so much traffic, sorry I’m late.” Nothing worse than wasting someone’s time, because that’s the most valuable asset we all have. Why? We can’t get time back. When will the day come when people my age (college students) start to admit, “I’m sorry I’m late, I did not leave early enough to account for the potential traffic. That’s my fault.”? There’s this part inside of us that feels better to say it was out of our control, but the problem is, not many realize by saying that, they are admitting that their own life is not in their control. Why would anyone want that?
The best part, is that the one who takes full responsibility is also the most powerful one. An individual who can do this, is in complete control of their life and is able to admit something not many can, creating such a powerful statement that is undeniably hard not to respect. Often times in groups, people are trying to determine who to blame, rather than admit even partial fault. Learning how to take accountability for your life takes practice, like building a muscle.
I see this lack of taking accountability so often among my millennial generation, although I’d say it happens in the older generations as well (perhaps where we learned from huh..). When we have disagreements with friends or colleagues, it’s a constant back and forth dispute because no one can admit what one did, but rather blames the other one for not doing x-y-z. Think about the last time you had a disagreement with someone, even if it wasn’t “really your fault”, was there something you could have done differently, maybe a different approach to the conversation or taking some sort of accountability for why the dispute began in the first place? It’s important to reflect on these situations that occur in our everyday lives, because if we don’t, then we will never learn where we can improve and grow as individuals.
Take full accountability for your life and actions. Even if you don’t think it’s your fault. Because chances are, there is still something you can do to change the outcome of whatever the situation is if you mentally take accountability. And remember, the individual in the room that admits responsibility, is the most powerful one.
Photos shot by Linda Lam // Edited by Emily Elizabeth