Why Taking Personal Responsibility is Crucial for your Mental Health

Do you take responsibility for your actions? Don’t we just love to pass the blame on to others, yet taking personal responsibility is crucial for our mental health.

OK, I admit it, at times I have stuffed up big time.

Not just once, but many times. I am sure that we all would like to go back to a specific date and time and change what we did.

History of mistakes

What do you do with your history of mistakes? Blame others? Minimize what you did? Try and ignore them?

The healthiest thinking people I have come across are those that take responsibility for what they have done.

There may well be extenuating circumstances that can explain the reasons for the behavior, but ultimately you need to take personal responsibility.

You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of. John Rohn

Taking personal responsibility ultimately leads to a sense of freedom from victimhood. We are not living at the whim of circumstances.

When we recognize and accept how our choices got us into a mess, then we can use our choices, here and now, to get us out of continuing to play the blame game at the local pity party.

Take, for example, Joseph from the book of Genesis.

Here was a guy that was sold into slavery by his jealous brothers, thrown into prison after being accused of rape by his bosses wife, and then seeing others getting a release from the prison and not himself.

He had plenty of reason to have a pity party, to blame others. He could not go back and rewrite what had happened. He needed to take responsibility for himself and the here and now.

Joseph was not alone. God was with him.

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the Lord was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favour in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph’s care, because the Lord was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did. Genesis 39:20 – 23

Even in the prison where others’ choices had placed him, God was with him. In prison, Joseph made choices to continue to live in integrity and humility and to influence others for good.

Joseph understood the importance of accepting responsibility for his own life.

That he had the power to determine his future.

The story of Joseph goes on to tell us how he was remembered by those he helped. He was brought out of prison and was used by God to save many many people from starvation.

His experiences had given him wisdom that was grounded in humility. He was not a prisoner of his past or his circumstances. He was now free to serve others without bitterness towards others or God.

Are you living in a pity party, blaming everyone else for your problems, wanting everyone else to rescue you and solve all your questions?

Make a decision right now to come out of this attitude and take control of your life.

Live in the present and not in the past.

Take a look over your life. Are you continually blaming others for your present situation?

Barry Pearman

Image by Stefano Corso Creative Commons Flickr

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Barry Pearman

Barry is a writer, coach, and course creator that has a passion for Mental Health and Spiritual Formation.

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