You're Responsible for Yourself and that Makes You Free

11 September, 2020
You're responsible for your actions and decisions at all times. This, as a result, makes you a free living being who's capable of doing anything they set their mind to.

You’re responsible for yourself. You must own up to the consequences of your actions and decisions at every moment. Only your own mind and heart can tell you what to do or not to do. Thus, you’re a free individual capable of building your own destiny.

Viktor Frankl said that freedom isn’t conceivable without a sense of responsibility. Although this is quite obvious, it’s something a lot of people don’t take into account. Many people consider themselves mature and with the capacity to assume the goals they set for themselves.

However, they continue to blame others for their bad experiences, failures, and sufferings. Believe it or not, sometimes unhappiness is the result of this. Some people might say, for example, that their insecurities and fears are due to their authoritarian upbringing. Nonetheless, they don’t seem to comprehend that, in order to move on, they must face the things they believe are keeping them from growing instead of simply seeing them as obstacles.

Everyone has blamed others for things they were responsible for at least once. As psychotherapist Albert Ellis said, “The best years of your life are the ones in which you decide your problems are your own”. Again, you’re responsible for yourself, and realizing this will allow you to take control of your own destiny.

Realizing that you’re responsible for yourself gives rise to change

Responsibility is a highly valuable psychological skill. Those who use it on a daily basis tend to feel more secure and committed to their own lives. Said individuals work hard to realize their mistakes and improve them and consider every failure an opportunity to learn and move forward with their personal growth.

Furthermore, a lot of individuals assume this virtue thanks to their education or their own personality. However, many simply don’t know how to put it into practice in any aspect of their lives. This is something incredibly important to work on during therapy.

Nonetheless, it’s quite complicated. Making the patient see that they’re the most important person in their life can be difficult.

“How can I do that?” they may ask. “My boss demands so much from me, my father-in-law stresses me out, my friends are narcissistic, and my teenage son doesn’t do anything but ask me for money.” As you can see from this example, sometimes, it’s easier to focus on everything external and project guilt and unhappiness onto others.

A man thinking during sunset.

What can you do to manage all those conflicts?

You’re responsible for yourself and for what happens to you

The word responsibility comes from the Latin responsum and means “to respond to something or someone”. Also, from a psychological standpoint, this competence is related to commitment.

Therefore, being responsible for yourself implies learning to make decisions that allow you to achieve well-being and personal fulfillment. Additionally, it means assuming the consequences of your actions and learning how to react to what’s happening around you without blaming others.

You mustn’t wait for others to solve your problems either. Therefore, an essential purpose of psychological therapy is to get the patient to commit to change, take responsibility for themselves, and learn how to act without fear. Although it’s a complex process, working hard to be successful at it brings an incredible feeling of freedom.

Personal responsibility allows you to create the life you want

Abraham Maslow stated that the sense of responsibility was an essential dimension within the pyramid of human needs. In fact, he established that, if you develop good personal responsibility, you’ll be able to fulfill your goals and, in turn, achieve self-realization (that peak where you feel good about who you are, with your surroundings, and what you’ve achieved).

Realizing you're responsible for yourself gives you immense freedom. In this photo, a woman feeling as free as never before.

In order to get to the top, it’s important to bear certain aspects in mind:

  • You’re free to live the kind of life you want. But to achieve this, you must focus all resources, energy, and hope on yourself. No one’s obliged to help you do anything. The responsibility is yours and yours only.
  • Set daily goals and work to achieve them. Every day, you must prove to yourself that you’re capable of working for your well-being and for those you love.
  • If something is bothering you and you can’t stop thinking about it, find a solution. Do it as soon as possible. Don’t let time pass or expect others to do it for you.
  • Be honest with yourself and others in every moment and circumstance.
  • Accept your mistakes and learn from them.
  • Commit yourself every day to improving and being more autonomous. Be brave to face what you fear, assertive to defend yourself, humble to be able to learn from others, and respectful to yourself and those around you, even if they sometimes don’t act as you’d like them to.

In short, realizing that you’re responsible for yourself is important and requires commitment. However, once you do it, you’ll feel free!

  • Maslow A. (1966) El hombre autorrealizado. Kairós