A Life of Responsibility: It's a Bold Choice

A life of responsibility is a blessed life. As a child, I learned how to be responsible very quickly. At age five, my nine siblings and I worked on our family's 88-acre produce farm right along side the adults and migrant workers. Most of us fall into one or two categories, we either had too much responsibility as children or we weren't given enough.

As an adult, I had to learn how to play more and work less, rest more and move less, and enjoy life more and stress less. I also had to learn that I'm only responsible for me. I don't need to take on the problems of others. 

How to Live a Responsible Life:

1. Don't blame others. You are where you are, doing what you're doing because of your choices. You have what you have, because of your choices and you feel what you feel, because of your choices. Releasing others from blame, empowers you and frees you from pain, paralysis and depression.

If you are overweight, it's not McDonald's fault. If you don't like your job, it's not the fault of a boss. If you're unhappy in your relationships, it's not because of the other person. If someone is beating you. It's your choice to stay or move away.

2. You are not to blame.  When you know better, you do better. When I was 22 years old with four children, I made plenty of mistakes. In fact, my most of my twenties were filled with parenting errors. One day, I learned of a parenting class and went. It was my first step to becoming a good enough parent.

I apologized to my grown children for my poor parenting choices. I certainly know better today. I take full responsibility to make our relationships great. 

3. Identify the places you are not taking responsibility.  Hubs is over responsible. He wants to take care of me. I was a kid when we married. To this day he will do anything for me. He wouldn't care if I sat in an adirondack chair with a non-alcoholic umbrella drink all day! I want no part of that. However I can take advantage of him by slacking or no carrying my share of the load. If I catch myself being lazy, I immediately change courses. Both of us want balance in all areas of our relationship. When we're out of balance, I have to step up and he has to step back in order for it to work. 

Where do you need to take responsibility in your life? How willing are you to do it? You're happiness depends on it.

4. Be vigilant for your ego. You lower self with always try and convince you that the pity pot is a good idea. If _________________ would just do _______________ my life would be great. Your Higher Self knows that life is always about you and your choices. Your ego or lower self wants to convince you that you are being unfairly treated. Catch yourself sliding into a "poor me" state and surrender. Choose to be the person you were meant to be!

5. Notice the payoffs. If I can blame others, it means, I don't have to change. I don't have to do the work. I don't have to grow. I like watching reality television, especially The Voice and The X Factor. I also want to learn more about photography. My ego self convinces me that it's too hard. I'm not smart enough. My payoff is I get to watch TV rather than study photography. My payoff is I can be a slug on the sofa. What's the payoff for not following your creative dream? 

6. Figure out what you enjoy in life and do it.  This takes commitment, discipline, and hard work. It may be easier to stay in your current job. You may fear rejection if you apply for work elsewhere. Nobody is coming to rescue you. Nobody is coming to make you happy. Decide to be happy today and go forward and create your life like you want it. Enjoy your journey.

Life isn't fair. It may appear others have it better than you. Don' kid yourself. We all have challenges. We all have lessons to learn and changes to make. Don't delay. Let me know how I can help.

7. It's all about choices. Learn to say yes to what you want and no to what you don't want. Don't try to change somebody else. Work on your personal growth. No one has more power over your life than you, unless you give it to them. Go ahead. Begin to design the life you want to live, Be bold. Begin today.

How to act responsibly in situations that seem out of your control:

When you want to blame our leaders for our national debt, ask yourself, "Where am I being irresponsible with money?"

When you want to blame someone for not giving you the help you want or need, ask yourself, "How can I help myself in this situation?"

When you want to blame someone who cuts you off in traffic, ask yourself, "When is the last time I did the same thing in traffic or conversation?"

When you want to judge someone for being inadequate ask yourself, "Where in life don't I step up to the plate?"

Pay attention to the people closest to you. Your friends and family are your biggest teachers. Become more responsible for yourself and allow others the same freedom. You'll be rewarded with more happiness and joy.

I see you. I see your potential. I see the beauty shine through you. I'm here for you. xo

Photo by Stuart Miles

Need direction for 2013? Check out Six Simple Rules. 

What are your thoughts on responsibility?

Please share your thoughts below.

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  • Dan Garner December 9, 2012, 12:18 pm

    I love it. All good advice on being responsible for yourself and yor choices. Too many times people feel imposed responsibility for other people’s lives and actions, but don’t accept it for their own lives. It is all about choices.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

    • Tess The Bold Life December 9, 2012, 1:16 pm

      So true…it’s called “being in someone’s back yard.” We do that in order to avoid our stuff. Thanks for your support!

  • Sandi Amorim December 9, 2012, 12:30 pm

    Such a great list, with #5 being one of the sneakiest ones to manage. It’s so easy to forget there’s a payoff in everything we do (in some way) or we wouldn’t do it!

    • Tess The Bold Life December 9, 2012, 1:17 pm


      Sneaky is so right because I can justify TV time with being near hubs who loves TV. It’s an excuse;) I need to go figure out my other payoffs!!!

  • Sandra / Always Well Within December 9, 2012, 12:57 pm

    What an important topic! I especially resonated with #3. I don’t like dealing with all the daily basics and all the complexities of daily life. I have to be sure to stay vigilant and not pass off my responsibilities. It helps to see I am not alone in this. In so many ways, it’s a relief to realize that we are responsible for our lives. It cuts through so much and empowers us.

  • Tess The Bold Life December 9, 2012, 1:20 pm

    I think anyone who has been married for quite a while can relate to no. 3. It doesn’t bring happiness, in fact I think resentment is the reward.

  • Elle December 9, 2012, 7:14 pm

    Tess, this is so spot on. There is no outer cause in our world – it’s us. You put it in such a great way. And not blaming self is such an important one, responsibility for our choices isn’t about a chance to blame, but a chance to change.

    Love it.

    Love Elle

  • jocelynverna December 10, 2012, 1:20 am

    I love every detail of your post, it makes me re evaluate myself again. Thanks for this inspiring post Miss Tess.

  • Cathy Taughinbaugh December 10, 2012, 8:33 am

    Great list of tips, Tess! I like them all – but #1 hits home for me. We can fall into that trap of blaming others when things aren’t going well. But taking responsibility for all that you do is the only way to move forward.

  • KarenYvonne December 10, 2012, 1:14 pm

    I love this! The moment I decided to be responsible for everything that went on in my life was the moment that found true peace. Blaming others just gives away too much of your power.. great post!

  • janet December 12, 2012, 3:24 am

    the more we can be conscious about the choices we make the better!

  • Galen Pearl December 12, 2012, 4:15 pm

    Yes, that freedom comes with responsibility. When we blame others, we put ourselves in bondage to them because we give them the power over our lives that is rightly and rightfully ours. I’ve been seeing this play out a lot with my kids lately as they learn to take responsibility for their own choices. And your questions helped me look at places in my own life where I’m perhaps not noticing and taking care of my own responsibility. Thanks for helping me focus.

  • Liz from FitSmarty December 13, 2012, 8:27 am

    Hi! Such a great post! I shared it at our Facebook page.
    I still feel the need to argue against one statement that: ” I also had to learn that I’m only responsible for me.”
    If you have small children then you certainly are not responsible only for you.
    I feel it every day. It would be much easier (but a whole lot emptier) if I were.. but I’m not. So I have to accept this responsibility and take it seriously.

  • Evita December 17, 2012, 9:06 am

    Hi Tess,

    This is fantastic! Oh how I love when more people inspire others to take responsibility and make bold choices to move in the direction they desire.

    Thank you for sharing such empowering stuff!

    p.s. I will be adding a link to this article in my article on Evolving Wellness next week as it fits in so perfectly.

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