Please to ask yourself, should you care to join me on this year long journey, some or all of the questions below.
They are by no means easy to answer yet serve as a launching pad for a year filled with personal growth as we make our way to self-acceptance & self-love.
- How frequently do you claim that others have determined/impacted negatively the person you are in this very moment?
- How easy is it for you to accept that you’re responsible for your choices in life?
- How easy is it for you to believe that *you* can determine the direction your life takes?
- How easy is it & how often do you blame others for causing you to be where you are today?
- How easy is it to accept that you determine your feelings when negative events happen to you?
- How easy is it for you to depend solely on yourself for acceptance, affirmation, and approval?
- How willing are you to step up and be the sole determinant of your health and of your self-esteem?
Healthygirl saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:39 am
My launching pad this year is to forget about the past, live TODAY, and no worry for tomorrow. And accept personal responsibility! =)
crazylady saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:54 am
You speak so much sense!! I need to work on my self-esteem big time as well as most of the others aspects you mentioned. I think awareness is the first and sometimes the biggest step!
Natalia Burleson saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:15 am
I haven’t watched the facetime yet, I’ll come back and do that later, but the questions are very thought provoking.
I know that a good amount of my life has been spent blaming my parents and grandparents for my weight issues. I’ve come to the realization that the issues may have started with them, but I picked up where they left off.
My life is happier, and my journey is easier when I not only take responsibility for my choices and actions, but accept the fact that I make mistakes.
This is a topic I could go on and on and on about. I’ll spare you all!!
Rupal saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:52 am
Great quote to live by. I think that self-actualization is the result of learning to OWN your life! Learning that eternal negativity can and inevitably will lead you to the crapper, that we can and do control what happened yesterday and what will happen tomorrow and 1 year from now, for better or for worse. It’s such an important life lesson to learn.
That’s how my husband and I have chosen to share our lives together, drawing our own map and writing our own story. Its a fab journey!!
Andrea saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 5:38 am
I liked hearing you say that you do the blame thing sometimes.
I have an image of you in my mind not as perfect but as not one to blame on others (something I find I do often for my failings).
Thank you for sharing this and I will answer those questions tonight in my journal.
Heather McD (Heather Eats Almond Butter) saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 5:48 am
I used to really struggle with never wanting to take the blame for anything…I think a lot of the problem boiled down to immaturity. It’s just so easy to blame others when you fail or something goes wrong.
I’ve worked on this a great deal. When things don’t always go according to plan, my gut reaction is still to blame someone/something other than myself, but I’m learning to take responsibility more and more because I am the one that can change things for the better. It seems if I put the blame on me, I’m more likely to seek out a positive change rather than wait for someone else to do it for me.
Blame ME! saysJune 24, 2010 at 3:32 pm
Watch the blame game, both ways. When I was very young everyone harped on me about personal responsibility. Now its all my fault all the time, and its been hard, especially through puberty. Can I really be responsible for being indoctrinated, or being abused, or injured in the first stage of my life? Obviously not, but be careful, with pushing the PR thing. It can go too far the other way, I should know, I’m the perfect example. A little bit of counseling, and a really supportive life partner help, but its still ingrained in who I am. When something goes wrong, Its all my fault, even though my rational mind knows better. Its really depressing and can make children feel alone in this world. So please Yes teach personal responsibility to your children but practice it yourself also. If you sent your kid to a school where there were not being taught facts and they end up being dummies, step up and take responsibility for your child not getting a good education. And heaven forbid you leave little Lucy with Uncle Tom and he abuses her. Its not her fault, look with in, and take responsibility for your mistake of leaving her with him.
Linda/Hughsmom saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 5:52 am
I shall play triangle in this band. I wish I had a dollar for every time my child says, “It’s not my fault…” For instance, his glass mysteriously disappeared yesterday. His room looks like the aftermath of a 95% off sale at ToysRUs, and he wonders why he can’t find anything. It’s too dangerous to even walk in there, so I let him know he is on his own to go to school visually challenged unless he cleans up so I can come in and help. “It’s not my fault…” (Maybe it’s mine for being too generous.)
“You made me feel…” is something I try hard not to say, because I know that I own my response to things that happen to me. It’s just so much easier projecting…
Marianne saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 5:57 am
I’m with Linda. I sort of have my own life by the reins (to be honest sometimes I’m just riding with eyes closed!), but am trying to guide my kids (almost 11 & 13) to step up and do this. It’s very, very tough. Miz, got a junior version?
Evan saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:00 am
This post completely describes my girlfriend. I love her very much and want for her sake her to take responsibility and not blame her parents for the life she is living when it doesnt measure up to what she wants.
any tips for getting her to see that a change would do her happiness good?
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:03 am
marianne? linda? KUDOS TO YOU FOR HAVING YOUR LIFE BY THE REIGNS.
I do have thoughts for junior!
coming soon….after I get my own juniortoddler to pee pee potty and NOT prance around nekid tempting fate
oh and this:
more later but, IMO, leading by example…without saying WORD works wonders.
anonymous saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:08 am
The last question is nothing new to me and one I am not ready to take responsibility for.
I realize I blame but I am afraid if I stop and take responsibility if I fail it is all on me.
I am not there yet.
The Bag Lady saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:22 am
Great video, Miz! (Now I feel doubly bad for that abomination on my blog – I don’t know where that woman came from…..)
Personal responsibility seems to be something that is severely lacking in this world. It’s just so darned easy to blame someone else. I’m speaking in general terms, of course, but from the clerk in the convenience store to the criminal on the street to the CEO of the big company, it seems as though it is always someone else’s (job/fault/problem/etc.), and they need to be bailed out.
How did this come to be? It is definitely time for everyone to step up and say, yes, I did that, or yes, I am responsible for that.
Oh, wait, that isn’t what you meant? Oops —–
Hello, my name is the Bag Lady and yes, I ate that cookie.
Mara saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:22 am
Wow what powerful questions? It really makes you think. Thanks Mizfit for putting this out there.
Marc Feel Good Eating saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:25 am
Wonderful post and thought provoking list of questions.
Just like we train our bodies or our chosen disciplines, we must train our thoughts.
Thank you MIZ, you continue to inspire!!!
Beth saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:26 am
I do make resolutions (I know that you said you do not, Miz) and yet they feel confining sometimes.
Too much of a clear measure at years end of if I passed or failed.
I am drawn to the idea of a year long theme.
The PR part might be a big commitment (I’ve been know to win the who can blame others more competition. If only that were a reality show.. LOL).
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:29 am
Peeking in and had to say:
ARE YOU SICK OF MY SERIOUSNESS?
In search of some MONDAY SPOOFTIME??
Please to CLICKCLICK over to BagLady’s site and please to enjoy.
(And please to leave her a comment & let her know you did. The BL belongs on *SNL*)
Deborah saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:31 am
(I have dial-up and can’t watch your little videos :o( so I’m not sure what you said there but…)
I think it’s human nature to blame others for our predicaments. And it is oh, so, hard for us to lay the blame on ourselves.
I’ve been in two marriages with two totally different men. The first ruined my self esteem and the second bolstered it to where he sometimes regretted doing that. I felt so totally secure in my second marriage that the weight tumbled on at an alarming speed. Then he was gone and I had to face the music. I did this to myself and I will undo it! I’m worth it!
John saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:47 am
* How frequently do you claim that others have determined/impacted negatively the person you are in this very moment?
Never. As a matter of fact most of what I remember is how others who have done me right or wrong have contributed to making me a better, stronger person. Plus, I try to never forget that the Lord makes all things work for good for those who put their faith in Him.
* How easy is it for you to accept that you’re responsible for your choices in life?
Very easy. Who else could be responsible?
* How easy is it for you to believe that *you* can determine the direction your life takes?
This one is more complicated since I put the direction my life takes in the hands of God. But I guess I did make that initial choice. 😉
* How easy is it & how often do you blame others for causing you to be where you are today?
Doesn’t come easy and I don’t often do. Usually I blame myself for the stupid things I did in the past- like screwing up my first two years of college and sabotaging my G.P.A.
* How easy is it to accept that you determine your feelings when negative events happen to you?
Easy. Think positive.
* How easy is it for you to depend solely on yourself for acceptance, affirmation, and approval?
That’s not easy for me at all. I often find I have to rely on the Lord. I would be a shambles without my quiet times and prayer time. 😉
* How willing are you to step up and be the sole determinant of your health and of your self-esteem?
Sure. Who not? Is anyone else going to do it for me?
Tom Rooney saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:00 am
Along with grumpiness when one gets older, hopefully one also gets wiser. In an attempt to understand where you are in life and how you got here, you have to resolve that most decisions came about by your own choices. It is way too easy to blame another for their direction and where it leads you when things go wrong. Mostly we lose site that we all have free will to take our own direction. Right or wrong, if you do it yourself, you will feel better about it or learn from it but with most the easy way is to go along with what someone else says.
That said, have I fallen into this trap? Absolutely, hey I even owned a pet rock. It’s taking the lead on things that’s the hard part.
ttfn300 saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:15 am
amen sista! no, really, i think this is great and something that i need to work on. the theme for me is self-love. last year was rough (despite all the good things, how does that happen??). anyways, getting back to happy me, and this will definately be good to keep in mind!
Diana saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:18 am
It’s self preservation to blame other people. There is the flip side too though – accessing too much blame and guilt. Hopefuly we can find a balance and be able to do something about the things we (don’t) want to do. Now I just have to figure out HOW to do it and I’ll be all set 🙂
Kerry saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:19 am
I almost skipped listening to the facetime since I am in a hurry and thought I had this topic covered completely.
I DO blame others or at least not take responsibility for the time piece.
I blame m y failing on not having enough time for me which maybe (I am not committing yet miz! :)) is realy my own fault for not taking control and making the time
have a great day all!
Fooled saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:29 am
Right now I’ve been taking the blame for a lot of poor decisions I might have made in the past. For all my faults I don’t tend to spend so much time dwelling in the past. What’s done is done and the best you can do is to live for the future. I do tend to have a lot of contingency plans, and even when something unexpected happens I’m rarely stuck for an idea.
I do feel absurdly guilty most of the time, most of the time for little or no reason. I and my friends joke about my default expression being “I’m sorry.” So I really don’t go in for the whole blaming someone else. I don’t usually think to blame someone else.
Blame ME! saysJune 24, 2010 at 3:41 pm
You sound like me, let me guess you take the blame when its not your fault too.
Lance saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:34 am
Very good post today (well, they all are…this one just really resonates with me, though).
“The choices we make dictate the lives we live” – whoa, that says so much!
Personal responsibility – how important this is, to being who we are meant to be – because we are owning up to our lives. Until we can do this, until we have some PR in our life, we’re living under a facade….
…and your questions – going through these, honestly, fully…think about if we all did that…
dragonmamma/naomi w. saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:34 am
I’m big on personal responsibility, the big exception being when I can’t find something; then I KNOW it’s because my husband put it somewhere.
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:38 am
and sort of sad that I got the quote in my head, Lance, more from the movie Renaissance Man than good ole Bill Shakespeare himself 🙂
Im a big fan of Grand Canyon’s:
because they are right?
Or at least I hope so since they’d then be accompanied by popcorn and a smattering of m&ms.
Sally saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:40 am
I used to be Fooled and blame myself for everything always and then I fooled myself into thinking I grew and began blaming others.
Am I ready to change this year? honestly I do not know.
POD saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:40 am
Tom Rooneys’s comment made me grumpy!
And this topic totally blows because I’m in the middle of composing an all telling blog about how my mother beat me into fatness and food cravings and with this post from you, you are trying to take the wind out of my sails and I am going to take personal responsibility for my sails being full of wind (gas?) and go forth and finish my blog post and post it and see if you agree that it’s totally my mothers fault — 100% that I’m a fatster. Just kidding!
It’s early out here..Still dark. Lovely to see your face at the crack of dawn and on such an important topic too.
I know I’m 100% responsible for the way I feel even if my mother forced us to eat bacon, marshmallow, chocolate-dipped meatballs every morning. I guess now that I’m 50 something I have to get a clue, huh?
suganthi saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:52 am
As always, you hit the nail on the head.
I adopted this theme gradually in my life. I finally got away from the excuse , “I have no time to exercise”. Now, it is as essential as brushing my teeth everyday. I don’t always get to it everyday, but I do get in 4X a week. It took me a while, till I found what I enjoyed, running with music and having an elevated heart rate. Now, life always feels spectacular after a run.
The biggest thing that I am working on now is.. to take personal responsibility for finding a fulfilling career. I took the backseat in our family when I had two children, I still worked, but did not push ahead ambitiously. I often tend to blame my husband for my stagnant career, but I realized.. it was a choice I had made and I have to move forward to get what I want. I also realized along the way to stand up for myself when people always asked.. so you are still in that job.
Running with my coach taught to realize my full potential when it comes to running. I want to realize my full potential in all aspects of life.
charlotte saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:58 am
This was a hard facetime for me to watch. Some of your questions are easy to answer (of course I don’t blame anyone for my failures – that’s all MEEEEE!) but this question: # How easy is it for you to depend solely on yourself for acceptance, affirmation, and approval?
Well, that’s a doozy. I’ll have to get back to you on that one;)
Leah J. Utas saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 7:59 am
I’ve been reasonably adequate over the past few years about accepting responsibility. The upside is when you accept the lousy stuff it gets easier to accept that you’re responsible for the good stuff in your life and that you deserve same.
There’s a slippery slope, though. When you accept responsibility you’ve acknowledged you’ve done the best you can.
It can get awfully easy to hide behind that phrase.
All that aside, yeah I did it. It was me. Ha! And I’m proud!
Felice saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:03 am
Hoo-ha! I am taking your questions for later so I can give them some adequate thought time. Those are big things.
suganthi saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:07 am
Yesterday I worked out with Margaret Richards using Unplugged Vol. 1. DVD. I quote what she says,
“Next year I will be 60. Its a new age and free.
It is life in prime time and I hold the key.
My limits , they are mine, set only by me.
It is my privilege and choice to be all I can be.”
I loved hearing this and feel so ready to take on the world. 🙂
Hilary saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:19 am
Wise words indeed. I know this “being my own cheerleader” is something I need to work on. I know it. I just don’t follow through. Thanks for the nudge. 🙂
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:21 am
for me, unlike John above even, I think it will take a year *of* answering the questions (monthy in my journal?) *to* answer the questions.
Constantly revisiting hopefully with different responses as the year progresses.
Hannah saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:39 am
I am all about personal responsibility! If I don’t love and trust myself, (knowing myself better than anyone) how can I expect others to look past my faults? It doesn’t mean perfection, but owning up to who and what you are and being okay with it or doing what it takes to get to a better place.
My 4 yo is learning and uses the PR language, saying that she is upset because… instead of YOU made me mad because… it is hard to teach little ones PR, from toys to actions to feelings. I should ask my parents what their approach was, having raised 4 kids who all point the finger at themselves instead of blaming the world.
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:49 am
hannah you *know* I’ll take you up on the parent-asking offer.
The Tornado will start to blame others (read: me) but after a sternbutlovinglook rephrases in her toddler-way.
Always starting with a giggleinducing (but I keep it inside):
mamarunswithscissors saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:52 am
“How easy is it to accept that you determine your feelings when negative events happen to you?”
i am pretty comfortable with all my answers to these questions EXCEPT this one!
from my kids, to the store clerk, to the driver who cuts me off. negative events can really set me off and it always feels so ridiculous after a few minutes pass. need to work on owning those feelings.
great post…as usual…not too too serious…just good stuff to ponder.
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:01 am
a little off topic but as per your emails:
NOPE. NOT TOO LATE TO JUMP IN FOR THE MIZFIT MATCHES.
YOU HAVE ALL WEEK TO PONDER.
EMAIL ME IF YOU WANT IN:
(Please not to any other email acct should you have one for me…)
cathy saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:04 am
I HATE when people do not accept responsibility for their actions. And yet I find myself doing the same thing more than I would like to admit.
Good food for thought here. I’ll be chewing on this for a while.
Marianne saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:16 am
Hey! What’s that on your arm that was not there last week? And I think A(u)nti Fit would be on Second City TV, no?
Tricia2 saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:18 am
I’m all about personal responsibility, although it’s tough, because people are so quick to tell me that nothing’s my fault.
Although I ended my friendship with the person who was to become my stalker because while he always made sure to take credit for doing the right things, he always had an excuse as to why he messed up (like when he failed out of college because he stopped going to class after the first week: he claims that he got overwhelmed and his inability to deal with authority kept him from using the many forms of academic and emotional support that the school offered).
And when I told him to leave me alone, he was (is?) convinced that I just needed to realize that I really love him, which will cause me to leave BK and marry him. The fact that he was a creepy jerk never entered his thought process.
So now, when I’m about to blame someone else, I think of my stalker, and take the blame.
Sorry for the rant. It just came out like word-vomit.
LosingIrene saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:26 am
I have already accepted that I am the only one who determines the outcome of my life (well me and God). For a long time I used to blame my mother for all the horrible things she did to me as a kid. But that is so long ago…there comes a time when you have to stop blaming and take responsibility for your life. That realization came at some point late in my pregnancy.
Sagan saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:29 am
You’re so wise.
That’s the way I try to live. We are responsible for what we go through and how we live our lives.
Also why it bothers me when people try to “protect” me by trying to prevent me from doing my own thing and making my own mistakes. There’s no learning unless we take action and take responsibility for those actions and then use that knowledge to change/improve how we act in the future.
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:31 am
oh my Sagan. all growed up and computer savvy and finding the videos on your own 🙂
you have some GOOD EYES, Marianna.
Rub on tattoo which refused to budge after showerS & baby oil.
Laurel (aka Lily) saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:33 am
Along time ago, I was a person who would place blame on anyone but me for my life situation. Luckily, time is a great educator and way more than 20 years ago I took the helm of my life ship…there is no one but me who can make my decision’s and I do live, everyday with the consequences….and I’m having a blast!!!
Gena saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:58 am
Good, though provoking stuff, Miz! It’s especially timely for me, as I need to hold myself more responsible for getting my work done and moving on to the next part of my life.
Ms. Turtle saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:59 am
Woah! I totally just wrote a pretty long post about owning our problems (and not trying to own other people’s problems) last week. In the post, I acknowledge that while others’ actions may have catalyzed or exacerbated a certain problem we have, in the end blame is useless because the problem belongs to us. Which is a very freeing realization, really. Because it means we have the power to move on and do something about it.
I’m still mentally absorbing this concept. Particularly the idea that I can control my reactions to events around me; that often my perception of the events is more important than the objective reality of what happened.
debby saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:00 am
Absolutely LOVE the quote, Miz! LOVE picturing Danny Divito paraphrasing Shakespeare. And I live by most of the concepts that you talked about in Personal Responsibility. Not that I am perfect in it at all, just that it is a concept that I truly personally VERY STRONGLY believe in. One of my favorite quotes is very similar to the Danny Divito one–
“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” Annie Dillard
And did I see in the comments above a mention of ‘popcorn and a smattering of M&M’s’–seriously? My hero Miz enjoys the same ultimate movie snack as me?
supermommy saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:09 am
Great questions! They really made me stop and think about it.
Missicat saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:20 am
Wow, great post. I am a great believer in personal responsibility and try to practice what I preach! Either you own your problems or they will own you….
Kel saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:23 am
Oh my gosh, these are the questions that I have been pondering for the last few years as a single mom, recently divorced. I could answer them all here but I have my own blog where I do and have done that.
I lived many years with a blamer. I took on the blame. And then I stopped. And I am a happier person.
He is still a blamer. He says it’s his fault our marriage ended- I say no it’s not we both share the responsibility. He’s not to the point of realizing that and may never be.
So I have tried verrrrry hard to use that dialog with my kids when they say something was someone else’s fault. I ask them about their responsibility. It’s not about fault it’s about being responsible for our actions. And despite the fact their dad sets the blamer example, I see them becoming responsible people.
Thanks for the encouragement, MizFit!
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:25 am
NO, thank YOU.
That’s a great suggestion for dialoging with the Toddler. Fault & blame & responsibility are such tough concepts to explain *simply.*
FatFighterTV saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:42 am
I totally believe that we control a lot of the direction our life takes. But too often, I get lost in all the other stuff going on in my life! Must focus this year.
Marelisa saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:44 am
Hi MizFit: I agree that taking responsibility for your life is very empowering and that constantly looking for excuses or for others to blame when things in our life don’t turn out as we want is useless. We should always be asking ourselves: What can I do right now to change this? What’s the most empowering thing I can do at this moment? What do I want to happen here?
bobbi saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 10:56 am
Miz this is great! I know that I need to take more responsibility for my actions in life, but sometimes its so much easier to come up with excuses right?? This was my favorite of all, How easy is it to accept that you determine your feelings when negative events happen to you? I tell this to my students all the time, you can not let the circumstances of life kill your joy, and destroy how you feel. I do not let things that happen to me change my attitude. If one want’s to let the things that happen around them kill their joy then they are LOSING the battle of life. I know that things like death we can not controle and it is hard to not let that destroy our feelings, but it is in times like this that our charachter truly comes out. I struggle the most with this question,How easy is it for you to depend solely on yourself for acceptance, affirmation, and approval? My number one love language is AFFIRMATION, and if I don’t get it sometimes I fail at being the best that I can be.
runjess saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 11:00 am
Taking responsibility for my actions is actually something that I consider myself to do well. My complaints about others have much more to do with their annoying habits than how they actually affect my own performance/life.
The Daily Mel saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 11:25 am
I set a theme for myself this year as “The Year or ME!” For me, this kind of goes hand-in-hand with taking personal responsibility.
This year is all about putting me first — not in a narcissistic way though. It’s all about speaking up for my needs, not putting the needs of others over my own to the point that I don’t have time for myself, etc.
Great post, Miz!!
HangryPants saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 11:32 am
Oh how I love you! This is such a good message. It’s so easy to point fingers and blame others for our problems, even if done inocently, but it doesn’t help anything. I am definitely trying to work on growing and being a more confident person this year, and part of that is reflecting and asking myself what do I need to do to improve my life (not what should so and so have done).
Annette saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 11:57 am
this is really what we all need to hear. It’s time to grow up! Hello…………..we’re not kids anymore 😉
I’m with Oprah on my goal for the year……more time for me………even if that means my house isn’t as clean as I would like it to be every waking second. Just a little time every day for ME is what I will be striving for in 2009.
Aka Alice saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:04 pm
THE BEST LIFE GOAL EVAH! One that I’ve been working on for the last several years…but not always. When I was younger (in my 20’s and 30’s), I was the queen of blame….but as I’ve (hopefully) matured (in some ways, but not all), I’ve tried to live my life knowing that ultimately the ONLY thing I DO have control over are the choices, decisions, and responses that I make to whatever craziness happens in the world around me.
It took me almost 40 years to learn this…I’m with Melanie, who asked earlier about the junior version. I’m trying to get my children (who are becoming teenagers) to live this way…and perhaps save them some pain in life (e.g. you can’t change the way the mean girls treat you hon, all you can do is be in control of how you respond to it…that sort of thing)…but it is such a difficult thing to learn…maybe teenagers need to live the self-centered life in order to get to the stage where they (finally) take personal responsibility…
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:10 pm
oh that I had FAB ideas for the Toddler/Kid version.
All I know is what I do and what I plan to do:
*Im starting with teaching the Tornado about consequences. IMO there can be no grasping of PR until the notion of things/events/actions having consequences is cemented.
*Im also starting with teaching responsibility about her STUFF/SPACE. her toys and her room. something a 3 year old can get and upon which I can build later.
*Im trying 🙂 to teach about OTHER PEOPLE and the fact that just because they were ‘involved’ in the interaction (this is often at the playground) doesnt mean their are immediately or necessarily to ‘blame’
and I wholly agree that we all need to PASS THROUGH the selfcentered stage (I fear mine lasted longer than the teen years…which is why I became a mother later in life. ) in order to get it/come out the other side…
Stacey saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:14 pm
How is that working with your toddler?
I have started the idea about consequesnces with my 4 year old but hadn’t yet coupled the keeping his room clean and toys stacked in their bins with the idea of his growing into an adult who can take personal responsibility as you chatted about in your video.
Lyn saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:27 pm
This is a tough one for me. Although I am much better about accepting responsibility for what I eat, and what I do with my time, I get in the victim mode sometimes. I’ll be feeling down and think, “This is not in my control. My knees are shot and there is nothing I can do about it. I want to take long walks or go jogging but I can’t” And while my health situation IS a fact, there’s no use in blaming mySELF for getting so fat I wrecked my knees, either. So the tough part, for me, is accepting responsibility without wallowing in blaming myself. I’m learning to focus on what I *can* control (like taking supplements and doing exercises for the knees) while accepting limitations and letting go of all blame… for myself and others.
Jen, a priorfatgirl saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:28 pm
oh goodness, these questions would take me forever to asnwer – mainly because I have frequently thought about this, although thinking doesn’t get me any closer to coming to answers or conclusions.
TokaiAngel saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:30 pm
In soooo many areas I have the opposite problem – I tend to think everything is my fault and responsibility – I was incapable of blaming (because how could anybody else screw up when I was around to do it for ’em?). Hey, what can I say, it’s the downside of thinking the world revolves around you (and that you suck!) :0)
HOWEVER there are areas I can definitely apply this resolution to – the phrase “take responsibility for our own self-esteem” really hit home for me. It’s the one area where I virtually refuse to take the reins. I need constant affirmation and reassurance but actually I AM a grown-up, and I HAVE come so far in my recovery already that its getting to the point where if I fall down I should be able to pull myself out of it, and not rely so heavily on other people (although learning to rely on other people AT ALL was a huge part of my recovery, I feel it may be time to ease off just a little and get more of a balance!)
I feel I may have overcomplicated what is essentially a very simple concept but suffice to say YES I’M IN!
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:31 pm
and completely what I meant, Jen, when I said I thought it would take me a YEAR to answer them.
to really answer them.
and not overcomplicated at ALL TA (for the reason above if nothing else…so seemingly simple and yet, if we are brutally honest with ourselves, NOT at all).
Vered - MomGrind saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:34 pm
I’m getting better. As a teen, I certainly blamed my parents for everything. I guess it was convenient. 20 years later, I do take responsibility for my life and for my actions.
Marste saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:44 pm
I love the concept of PR (I haven’t seen the Facetime yet as I’m at work, but am going off the questions.)
I think the first time I really understood the full impact of the concept was when I heard a speaker ask a room full of people,
“How many people here believe that you create your own reality?”
*Almost every hand in the room raised*
“How many of you blame anyone, anywhere, for any event that ever happened in your life?”
*Almost every had in the room raised again*
“(laughing) Do you see the disconnect there? ‘I create my own reality, EXCEPT for that instance over there when someone else created it!’ Nope. Doesn’t work that way.”
That was a SERIOUS lightbulb moment for me.
Gigi saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:50 pm
I completely agree with your PR platform and realize that no one got me into this mess except me. Where I am struggling is the whole self-love aspect…I reject all the years of being told I wasn’t “good enough” but it is still buzzing around in my head.
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:51 pm
marste? Is that speak whom I think it is??
Cyndi saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:54 pm
This discussion falls right in line with the current tagline on my blog: “In order for things to change around you, things must change within you”. To me, it means to always look inside myself FIRST for a solution, evaluate MY behavior first, before immediately removing myself from the responsibility equation.
I am a firm believer that life does not happen TO us, it happens BECAUSE of us. It all starts with ME (YOU/US).
Good stuff Miz, nice to do this sort of reflection from time to time….keeps us honest! 🙂
eurydice saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:56 pm
those questions are very difficult to answer. i still blame other people – or at least the circumstances that other people put me in… but really they don’t. it’s all my fault! MY FAULT! boo hoo hoo!
Angie saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 12:57 pm
Love that quote and your goal for personal responsibility. I need to follow in your steps this year and do that myself. Great questions to ponder.
susie saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm
good afternoon, your lovely mizness,
I totally get the personal responsibility thing and do try to hold myself accountable for EVERYTHING (ahhhhhhhhhhh!!-which makes me nuts, b/c I take on too much)..an area I struggle with and am trying to come to grips with would be.
1. I can’t change people. I NEED TO CHANGE HOW I DEAL WITH THEM. ( i am referring to the difficult ones)
2. I need to lower my expectations of people. Not everyone is going to act in the manner I would.
So, those are my areas of prospective change..as well as soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo many others.
I know you will do well. I plan too also.
ps- In relation to movie quotes and life experiene, I actaully have a friend who wrote a book called “Movie Quotes to Get you Through Life”…handy movie quotes for different life situations. Maybe he’d wanna throw his hat into giveawayland? NOW THAT’S an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT TYPE OF PR!! heehee
Judy saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 1:24 pm
Great post, and one I needed to hear. (And for some reason, the embedded videos just started working so I could see this one. My computer makes no sense.)
I have been battling depression and anxiety ever since we moved here 2 1/2 years ago. There are things about this place and the situation that are really good (hello affordable health care, and great weather, and close proximity to the beach), but there are things that suck (1100 miles from any family, even farther away from my daughter who lives with her dad). I didn’t really want to move, and – due to postpartum depression and some other issues – I just kind of let it happen, without feeling like I could object. Now, I’m stuck here, and struggling with how do adjust to it all. We are considering moving to a place where I think I would be happier (um, New Braunfels probably), but I know that won’t fix it all, and I have to recognize that it is MY JOB to accept what has happened, not lay blame, and take actions to make it better.
And this all hit home this morning for a variety of reasons, moments before I opened your blog. Perfect timing. I thank you. I printed out your post and put it in my journal.
Hide Those Cookies saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm
I think I need a little more PR in my life. I find myself frequently saying that I couldn’t stay on track with my diet because of other people or difficult situations. Honestly, I know that what I put in my body and what I do with my time are up to me. Great Monday Facetime!
BigGirl saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 1:48 pm
Great food for thought. I love those questions and they will rattle around in my brain for quite some time.
tfh saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:05 pm
When I was in grad school, I thought I wanted to spend my life mainly working with people who had PR problems– not problems accepting personal responsibility, but the related issue of not being able to step back and say “This happened to me and it is NOT my fault.” But I had to stop because I realized I didn’t know how to balance “bad things happened to me/NOT my fault” with “I have control over my life” let alone teach other people to do so, and because I have a “get over it” reflex that is sometimes less than compassionate. But really, getting over it can be the beginning of freedom to reap the consequences of your own actions.
Conny saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:07 pm
Another great post! I was already thinking about this one today. I lived in a marriage (would have been 20 years today) where finger pointing/blaming was the norm. One day I just told him “sometimes things just ARE, they happen, and no one is to blame.” He didn’t get it.
Many years later I came to learn that I have choices to make myself and take am responsible for where I am at today. I’ve come a long way. I regret not taking responsibility for myself during those dark years, but remind myself today that I just wasn’t ready. Hindsight, don’t you know…
Now to work on the whole acceptance/affirmation/approval thing.
Geosomin saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 2:31 pm
You have no idea how timely this is…my main resolution for the year, was to give myself the respect and attention that I give to everyone else. To stand up for myself and do what I feel is right for me, not just look at failures as learning points and be a stronger person from them, but to ask for and recieve mutual respect. To work hard at things, even if I might fail because the journey is part of the accomplishment. Self respect carried over into my relationships with others…something I’ve come to see was lacking in my life.
You’re right…some things do just happen, and my saying lately has been “It is what it is. What should we do about it?”.
Y’know, I’ve found, even in the events of today, that when you ask for respect and kindness, you recieve it.
Go figure 🙂
Dara Chadwick saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Wow, Miz…very thought-provoking!
This is a topic that really hits home with me. During the year I worked with my life coach, she taught me to embrace the concept that the past is only relevant in that it brought us to where we are today. She also helped me see — and this was extremely empowering, both in the weight loss and in other areas of my life — that if a belief or a way of doing something no longer serves you, it’s OK to let it go. Some of the behaviors and thoughts and patterns that I was holding on to from childhood were holding me back, yet I held on to them. Letting go — and choosing to see myself and my life in a new way — was the best thing I’ve ever done for myself.
The older I get, too, the more I come to see (especially with regard to my upbringing) that most people do the best they can with the information and resources they have at the time. When I embraced that concept, that’s when “blame” about certain things gave way to forgiveness and understanding.
And THAT’S empowering.
Hanlie saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:06 pm
The last two years I’ve literally devoted myself to figuring out what happened to my life. Where I went wrong, where my perspective was totally off and who done me wrong. It’s been so liberating and I have managed to mend some family relationships that had been strained for decades… I now understand so much about myself and am done with the blame game. I can see where I went wrong, but I prefer to concentrate on doing the right thing now. There’s a world of acceptance and forgiveness in this paragraph!
Sometimes I still get overwhelmed, but I’m on the right track. And that’s good place to be.
joy saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:16 pm
Where I fail is in drawing that line between where my PR ends, and somebody else’s PR is supposed to pick up.
joy saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:20 pm
Oops – submitted a blurb too soon.
Being helpful is good, and responsible, but sometimes the PR thing to do is to say no when asked for help. Tough thing, especially with a houseful of growing children.
Just_Kelly saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 3:27 pm
Wow, this strikes such a chord with me. Something I’m dealing with, that I’m not willing to blog about, centers around this whole PR concept. At the beginning of the year I just decided “I am going to be the best, happiest, most balanced Kelly I can be, regardless of outside forces” and decided to let the cookie crumble how it may after that. Maybe thing will get better/ maybe worse and that will be a natural sign that a rebirth is needed.
Great message. Really needed to hear it! And great leading questions too…
Fitness Surfer saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:09 pm
I’ve always had an extreme sense of independence along with the accountability that comes with it. However, my emotions in the past were always based on others and events in life. I didn’t even realize I was doing that until this past year. I’m now becoming more responsible for my emotions and realizing that I can chose how I feel about any particular situation.
The same thing allies to my fitness goals. I can either make excuses or get results. It’s all choice…a choice that I make, and no one else. I love that!
MizFit saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:12 pm
so very true AND empowering.
It is our choice and while it’s daunting to take responsibility it’s also so very empowering.
Fit Bottomed Girls saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:13 pm
Tough questions…thanks for this. It really gets to the root of a lot… [now I go into “The Thinker” pose for a really long time]
Alison saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:16 pm
You ARE my fitness guidance counselor or more my life couch I guess.
When is that book coming out, Miz???
Eileen saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:17 pm
I think this is my most favorite post of yours. Though I know I’ve come a long way, I’m also trying to remind myself of personal responsibility in every aspect of my life. Thank you for this!
Mary Meps saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:32 pm
PR is a big thing. My personal philosophy is that chaos happens when we venture down the wrong roads, don’t make the right decisions and ignore our own inner voice. That’s what I’ve learned. When I’m out of balance, life is out of balance. My goal is to keep balance – diet, exercise, family, social goals, learning goals, activities that excite me … etc … And, I have to keep ME high up on the priority list. When I take care of me, the whole family benefits.
Heather saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:38 pm
So when I saw “PR” I thought of “personal record,” which is a running term for your best time ever for a distance. I like personal responsibility much better.
I have been working a lot on “repackaging” my life. Like you said, how we perceive our life is all about the angle from which we are looking. I tend to take all the responsibility for bad things that happen, so what I need to really work on is not seeing a somewhat messy house, piles of adoption paperwork, un-finished work, and a cranky two-days-until-he’s-three-year-old. Instead, I try to see that I should be so proud that the laundry & dishes are done, the adoption paperwork is getting done (albeit not as quickly as I completed it in the past), I can do my work this evening, I’ve successfully trained for a half-marathon, and the almost-three-year-old likes to use the potty and says his Mommy & Daddy are his best friends.
To summarize, I’m working on being personally responsible for my own mood.
Dana saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 4:49 pm
I was just looking at this topic for my job — researching programs and policies that encourage individuals to step-up and actively participate in their health and healthcare decisions. SO PR has been on my mind…
What struck me very quickly was the contrast between the United States and European persepctives. We may not have accepted PR here for our health (US) but we generally believe it is our responsibility to “maintain” or “manage” their health – with a far lesser emphasis on the healthcare system obligation to promote or encourage this behavior.
What struck me – was the lesser degree PR is emphasized in European countries — there is more responsibility placed on system management.
Not really sure where I fall — I think we owe people education — but at some point are you not responsible for taking care of yourself.
Scale Junkie saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:39 pm
Excellent post and face time. I’m trying to do this in my own life and learning to let go of things that are in the past and live in the present. Whatever happened in the past, whatever will happen, all we really have is this very moment and we must make the most of it.
Fab Kate saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 6:58 pm
oh come on… we can’t deny that others DO have an impact on our lives, and that there ARE forces beyond our control.
Let me answer the questions one by one:
How frequently do you claim that others have determined/impacted negatively the person you are in this very moment?
Determined and impacted negatively are two different things. I don’t think that anything I did as a 3 week old baby evoked years of abuse by the family who adopted me. On the other hand, once I reached adulthood it was time for me to put on my big girl panties and deal with the results of that abuse to myself and to my family (as much as I felt I had control over).
When I was living in Texas, my son had a cat. When the plumbers came to repair a problem in the pipes in the courtyard, the office gave them keys to access my apartment to use power. I was at work, and had no idea until I came home, found the apartment door wide open with cords running out of it, and no cat. My son, who is autistic and schizophrenic, had a further breakdown on losing his cat. His autism, schizophrenia, and loss of the cat were not “determined” by him… or me… and we both had to deal with the outcomes of that. Yeah, I blame the plumbers for the loss of the cat (but not the schizophrenia and autism)
How easy is it for you to accept that you’re responsible for your choices in life?
I used to be one of those people who believed you got the life you wished for. That if things were bad, it’s because I somewhere must have made a ‘wrong’ choice. I could reason that if I wanted something bad enough, I could somehow attain it, if I were willing to pay the price. Of course, that’s the rub. We like to think we have absolute free will, but then we have to be willing to accept the consequences. So I have, for example, absolute free will to acquire the money I need for my bills this month, for example, if I chose to rob the bank. I chose NOT to pay my bills with stolen money because I chose not to go to jail and send my kids to foster care.
That really gets kinda silly sometimes. We have laws, social rules, and physical and even psychological limitations to our ‘choices’ and ‘free will’.
The thing is, that doesn’t mean we’re powerless in the ocean of fate. We may be able to steer ourselves in this direction or that direction. We might not be able to make things GOOD, but if things are bad, there is generally something we can do to make it BETTER.
How easy is it for you to believe that *you* can determine the direction your life takes?
DIRECTION? I can comfortably say I chose my own DIRECTION. Outcome is a totally different thing.
How easy is it & how often do you blame others for causing you to be where you are today?
Well, lets see. I didn’t chose the exes to leave. Didn’t decide for them not to pay child support. I didn’t hold up my social security for 4 years after becoming disabled.
Again, impact, not determination. Sure, I’ve had more than my share of challenges. I’m not by nature the type to sit back and moan about it for too long (although I do have periods of sadness, anger and regret) and I suppose that I’ve gotten where I was to some degree, despite that. But I do suspect I would have been in a BETTER place if I didn’t have to go through that. And I suspect that there are plenty of Hurricane Katrina survivors who have had similar experiences.
How easy is it to accept that you determine your feelings when negative events happen to you?
OK… I have to share this story. When my son was quite young we had a crisis team who worked on training in our house. He used to become quite violent when he was hallucinating. One day the trainer came and was working with the family on “I” statements. My son didn’t want to do this, so he took a large piece of art glass and threatened to smash it. The counselor thought this was a good opportunity, and prompted me to use an “I” statement in response.
“I feel hurt and angry when you destroy my things”
He smashed the piece on the floor and said “Mother, you are responsible for your own feelings.”
Let’s face it, we don’t (and shouldn’t) have complete control over our emotions and responses. Imagine not feeling sad when our dog is run over by a car, disappointed by the loss of a promotion, uncertain as a result of a job loss. We wouldn’t be whole.
How easy is it for you to depend solely on yourself for acceptance, affirmation, and approval? For some of us, it’s all we’ve got. On the other hand, it certainly is nice to know that others care.
How willing are you to step up and be the sole determinant of your health and of your self-esteem?
Oh, I’m willing to be the sole determinant of my health …
so now I guess it’s up to me to cure my lupus, my thyroid disease, and make that my body fights off any infection that may attempt to invade it. I don’t think that’s a terribly realistic expectation.
Look, it’s not about having absolute control. Not in ANY of this stuff. It’s about OPTIMIZATION. The question isn’t if others can hurt you emotionally or physically. It’s not whether there are things in life that we can’t control. It’s whether or not we take control of the things we can. It’s whether we lie down and die when faced with adversity, or whether we look for options and try to make our lives better.
Kelly Olexa saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:05 pm
I think responsibility is daunting at first, taking responsibility that is~ to some. But once you move in that direction it is freeing because then you realize not only are you responsible for where you ARE but you are solely responsible for where you are GOING. Fantastic.
😉 You rock.
Marste saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm
marste? Is that speak whom I think it is??
LOL, probably not. That was Carolyn Myss. (Though it sounds like something Beckwith would say!)
Marste saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 8:55 pm
marste? Is that speak whom I think it is??
LOL, probably not. That was Carolyn Myss. (Though it sounds like something Beckwith would say!)
sassy stephanie saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:42 pm
Sigh. I blame others quite a bit for where I am right now. Something I’m working on for the new year.
Irene saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 9:54 pm
It’s really easy to blame others, and I know I’ve done this in the past, even though I don’t like to admit it. A lot of that has to do with my own insecurities. Yes, it all starts with self love.
Buffedstuff saysJanuary 12, 2009 at 11:03 pm
I admit I am a control freak, so I take full responsiblity for everything in my life expect my conception. Don’t get me wrong I am a beautifully flawed person. When I do mistakes I do them right. I however try to learn from them and move onward. When people do me wrong, I just figure they don’t know any better and I just let it go. My time on this planet is to short to give to some poor misguided soul who doesn’t know how to share the love.
Life bring pain but out of can come beauty. It’s all about letting go of the pain and embracing the beauty.
s saysJanuary 13, 2009 at 12:23 am
as a somewhat tangential comment, (and i don’t know how this happened but) i think i blame myself more than i blame other people for things that happen to me. this can get kinda ugly though. i would like to just be able to let things go more. i think it would also help me degauss from the day’s stresses if i didn’t beat myself up over awkward situations.
Andrew R - Go Healthy Go Fit saysJanuary 13, 2009 at 11:35 am
I try and step up to take responsibility on a daily basis. Not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow, but what today’s outcomes/results have been attributed to the choices I’ve made. It becomes a very pragmatic way of life, kind of the way a bridge builder feels when he/she sees a river. You think to yourself “Ok, we’ve been here before, but how do we solve this one? Let’s get it done.” Does that make sense?
All the Best,
Giyen saysJanuary 13, 2009 at 8:21 pm
I think taking personal responsibility is critical in all areas – mental, spiritual and physical health.
A year ago I was often working 60 hours a week but could never *find* time for exercise. I could always *find* time for work though. I would then blame work for making me unhealthy or I would use it as an excuse not to exercise.
It wasn’t until I realized I wasn’t doing anyone any good being all depressed and unhealthy that I finally took responsibility for making my life the way it was.
Acknowledging that I had made some bad decisions AND had the power to change course has been amazing and has made all the difference in my well being.
It’s hard work to dig deep, but worth it. Life keeps getting getter and better. : )
Broderick Allen saysJanuary 13, 2009 at 8:39 pm
Great video! Personal responsibility is so important. I used to blame my circumstances and other people up until about 4 months ago. I’ll never forget the moment where I made the decision to stop blaming and complaining. When you blame your circumstances or other people you put yourself in victim mode and in victim mode you’re powerless.
Losing Waist! saysJanuary 14, 2009 at 1:19 am
You nailed it on the head. Even if parents are abusive there is only so long you can blame them before it becomes ridiculous. I struggle with that all the time!
I also struggle with my former swimmer self who was ranked nationally at the age of twelve but who went away by the time she was sixteen. I am mad all the time that I left that part of me just to get back at my parents! She exists and I want to take the responsibility to find that girl who put in six hours a day in a pool (I know I really haven’t lost her- she just hides sometimes)!
Okay! Enough talking about my former self in the third person! Creepy! Ha!
Emilia Palmer saysMay 26, 2010 at 1:59 am
Balance diet is so important if you want a healthy lifestyle and a longer life.`’`