You Are Responsible For Your Life

On this lovely morning, if you find yourself tempted to yawn, medicate with coffee or complain the day away, please remember:

You are responsible for your life.

Let it sink in.

You are responsible for your life.

No one else is responsible for your feelings, your finances, your happiness, or your success. It’s just you.

Last week I was really wounded by the way some friends treated me. I was stewing in anger and anxiety, and going over and over the situation in my head when I was reminded of this truth: Other people do not need to change. I need to change.

That’s not to say that I excuse other people when they do something wrong. It means that I am in control of my emotions. I don’t get to decide how people treat me. I do get to decide how I respond to it.

It’s terrifying to claim responsibility for your life. To own the fact that you are wholly responsible for how you respond to slights and success, failure and freedom. But do you know what’s even more terrifying? Letting other people run your existence.

I can’t control other people. I can’t make them kinder, can’t make them give me raises, publish my book or show up on time.

You know what I can control? Myself. I can work on regulating my emotional response. I can stop putting the blame for my unhappiness on others, and take ownership of my life. I can stop expecting other people to do the work of fixing my life and start getting my own hands dirty in the grimy, unglamorous work of self improvement.

Let’s stop blaming our problems on our jobs, our relationships and our circumstances. Let’s stop expecting other people to make our dreams reality.

Hate your job? It’s not your job’s responsibility to change, it’s yours. In an unhappy relationship? Same thing. Constantly exhausted and overwhelmed? See above. Placing the burden of responsibility on outside forces makes us stagnant, it makes us comfortable. It lets us pretend to be helpless, to pretend we are the victims, to pretend we can’t do anything.

This is a lie. You are responsible for your life.

So this week, when you are faced with a moment of apathy, a desire to hit the snooze button, to goof off at work, or gossip about a friend, remember: you are responsible for your life.

Want weekly reminders to live your life on purpose? Sign up for the Monday Motivation newsletter. When you sign up you’ll get a free Life Evaluation worksheet. Because who doesn’t miss doing homework?!

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