You must take responsibility for your own life. That is usually the advice we hear whenever we try to improver ourselves and our situation. And while this is a solid advice it assumes that you are able to respond beneficially in the first place.
One can tell by the word responsibility alone that it has to do with having the ability to respond, meaning you don´t just freeze or sink deeper into despair. If everyone could find it within themselves to respond more positively to their own lives, then they would see how immensely this benefits them.
To improve your life, you must take action. But many times we confuse this with actual action. But there are other kinds of actions to, the more passive ones such as say, emotions, thoughts and beliefs. For instance, breathing is a passive action that becomes active ones we control it.
So how exactly does one become able to respond? First of all, start of small. Start with your breath, meaning that whenever you remember during the day; try to take five deep breaths. Or at least do this exercise before you fall asleep and before you get out of bed in the morning. This small tweak in controlling your breath will help you take charge of other things in your life.
Next step is to take control of your thoughts. One simple trick is that whenever a negative thought pops up in your mind such as “I will never succeed,” remember to immediately exchange it for “I will indeed succeed.” It doesn´t matter if you think you´re lying to yourself, think the positive thought anyway. Notice how different the second thought makes you feel in comparison with the first one. Practice on doing this with more and more thoughts until it comes naturally.
Changing ones beliefs can be difficult but that´s only because you´re attached to previous beliefs. And the reason for why you´re attached to them is because you´re used to them. All humans like whatever is familiar because we are afraid of the unknown. This is why you need to do some research on how you would benefit from changing your belief. If you take the belief “I will be successful” then write down all the benefits this belief would bring you. In what ways would it change you and in what ways would it change your life.
The most important thing you can do is to be aware of your actions. It is possible that you´re not aware of them and that they come naturally. One example would be if you simply pass a mirror and your immediate thought is “I look awful.” You may be so used saying this to yourself that you barely even notice that you´re doing it.
Same thing could happen when it comes to your relationships. Maybe it comes automatic to you to say “Yes” when a friends ask you for a favor, you really don´t have time for and which you know he/she could in reality manage on their own. If you´re so used to saying “Yes” then that becomes a part of you and then you stand there, wondering why you´re so stressed and don´t have any time for yourself.
If you want to become response able then you need to ask yourself if this is really what you want. Because being response able also comes with setbacks. You can´t blame anyone else (people may be horrible to you, but you can´t cling to that). You can´t look at your life and think this happened because of that, or that happened because of this. This may sound harsh but it isn´t. When you are response able, then you are responsible for yourself. It may not be easy but the notion that it´s easier to have someone else be responsible for you, is an illusion. Most things that are easy are worthless deep down.
People who fail to be response able do so because they haven´t been response able when it comes to the small stuff. They are not rational when it comes to the small things, so they´re not able to be rational when it comes to the big stuff. Clarify, clarify, clarify. When you tell yourself that your life will never improve, clarify why you believe that is. Gather the evidence and is there even any evidence?
Probably not, because when you clarify you realize that you can´t foretell the future. If you want to be response able, you will need clarity. How well you respond depends on how well you respond in your everyday life. Take control over the small things, choose clarity over non clarity, choose deep breaths over shallow breaths, choose healthy snacks over the unhealthy snacks and choose a responsible life over an irresponsible one.