Taking Responsibility for Change
Once you have recognised that something needs to change in your life, what do you do next?
The first question to ask yourself is, “Who or what needs to change?”
When it comes to who, it is a fact that we can’t change other people. We can only change ourselves. Therefore, the logical next step is to own the problem (if it really is a problem) and to accept responsibility for changing the situation yourself. That’s because only you can change your behaviour, your thinking and your beliefs. No one else can do this. Taking responsibility essentially means that you put yourself in the position to recognise, and to take the required action, to change what needs to be changed.
Blaming others for your problems or issues will only keep you stuck in the role of victim. Nothing will change when you are in this space, no matter how much you want it to.
By acknowledging your part in your life situation, whether it be by accepting that you have behaved in a certain way or had particular thoughts and feelings, you are taking the first step towards accepting responsibility. When you do this, you then begin to move out of the victim role and into a space where you can take action for change. This is the start of the change process.
The change that you need to enact may be simple and fairly straightforward, or it may be more difficult and complex. It all depends on your unique situation and context.
Change is a constant in our world. People may change over time without necessarily meaning to, and so sometimes learning something new, or engaging in different activities, can also mean that we evolve into different versions of ourselves.
In circumstances where you consciously want to enact change, it is important to work out what you want the desired result to be. Then you will be able to decide on the steps that will help you to reach your goal. It is a good idea to do some research on the issue or problem, as this will enable you to understand the steps that will be needed and how you can apply these to your own situation.
Whether you want to change your thinking about an issue, or work on what you say to others in certain situations, change may result in other unforeseen benefits as well. Even apparently superficial changes can have deeper consequences.
However, it will take both time and effort to change.
Forming New Habits
In order to put a new behaviour in place, you will need to think about it consciously and act in the present moment for a period of 3-4 weeks. If you do this on a daily basis, then at the end of this time the behaviour will have become more familiar and automatic.
In the meantime, however, you will need to continue to think consciously about, and take action to engage in, your new behaviour. So it does take time and effort but it will be worth it. The benefits that you will find when you have changed your behaviour will be many. You will no doubt become a better you.