The deceptively simple and yet obvious thing about success is that it starts and ends with you. You know this, but sometimes it can be so very difficult to actually live as if you know it. Living as if you know it means understanding and accepting this bottom line truth: Success is always about personal responsibility.
No one should be more passionate about your success than you. If they are, you’re on the wrong path. You need others to help and support you on your journey, and they can certainly help open doors for you, but you must walk through those doors. You must always take the first step.
In order to truly succeed, you must be willing to take 100% responsibility for getting yourself to your goal and know that this will mean making some really hard choices.
These five steps can inspire you to start living from a place of more responsibility today:
1. Make the decision
Before you can do anything, you must make a decision. And making the decision to be fully responsible for your life and your success can feel daunting. It requires a giant shift in what you’re willing to tell yourself about who you are and what you can accomplish. It also requires you to look in the mirror and decide that you are done making excuses and done blaming others for your circumstances.
What is your vision of success? Why did you create that specific vision? How can you start moving toward that vision even if means taking a small step that terrifies you? When you make the decision to personally own your success, you change your thoughts and your energy which in turn changes what you do from today forward.
“It is in your moments of decision that your destiny is shaped.” – Tony Robbins
2. Set boundaries
If you’re going to go all in with success, you must learn to set healthy boundaries first and foremost with yourself. Think about your vision of success, figure out where you’re getting distracted or frustrated, and start cutting out some of those distractions. Once you’re done with your own boundaries, think about where you may need to set kind but firm boundaries with others.
Being successful means learning to manage your time and energy in ways that allow you to move toward your goals and also stay healthy. It also means knowing your limit when it comes to interruptions and activities that drain you. Don’t worry about setting the perfect boundaries, just start somewhere and adjust as you go.
3. Shift from passive to active
If you tend to get caught up in a giant brain chew over what you should be doing to be successful, chances are that’s where you’ll end up, stuck in the brain chew. This is because while thinking and talking about successes are great, action always leads to results.
One of the best ways to break out of this thinking and talking cycle is write down your thoughts and talking points as action items. Even if some of them seem far-fetched, take time to turn them into something that directly relates to your success vision. Then take the leap.
Get out of your comfort zone and do something, then reflect on what happened. To be a successful person, you need to fully own and accept that no one else can shift you from passive to active, only you can do it. So take one of your think or talk items and get going on it within the next day or two.
4. Embrace the fact that your direction may change
Being personally responsible means understanding that your direction may change, but the feelings you get from being successful won’t. This is why it’s so important to really get in touch with why you’re doing something; success is about how you feel, it’s not measured in social media numbers, dollars earned, or material things.
Watch out for thoughts such as “I should do…” and focus instead on “What I must do is…” What you must do is your passion, what you should do is what everyone else tells you to do. Catch yourself when you start to compare yourself to others and remember that their vision of success is just as unique as yours. Focus your time and energy on your own vision and let others pursue their dreams.
“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” – Charles Darwin
5. Live with integrity
The ultimate way of showing, not just saying, you’re stepping up and taking personal responsibility for your success is by living with integrity. Integrity is the foundation of trust, and without trust you can pretty much kiss meaningful personal and professional relationships goodbye. What are you promising yourself and others? Are you following through on those promises or making excuses when those promises are broken?
When the words and the deeds match, you have integrity. Talk is cheap and people are more likely to believe you, trust you, and ultimately like you and work with you if you show them that you continually make good on your word. This isn’t always easy but it is one of the best and fastest ways to keep yourself accountable. Integrity is one of the cornerstones of success so be sure you keep it top of mind in everything you do.
Taking full responsibility for your own success makes you powerful. By ditching excuses and dropping the blame game, you get to choose how to use your power to grow yourself both personally and professionally.
This will mean making tough decisions by getting in touch with what you really want and what you’re willing to do to feel truly successful. Best of all, it allows you to share your gifts with the world and inspire others to do the same.