The Power of Taking Responsibility

I often talk to people who are struggling to achieve the things they want in their lives and they find it difficult to understand where things are going wrong. They have decided what they want, set their goals and begun to take action on their goal paths, but somehow, they seem to find that circumstances get in their way.

When I start to question these people and get them to think about what is going wrong, I often find a common thread. They frequently tell me that they failed because of something someone else did, or didn't do; something that happened "beyond their control" or something that changed that they "had no influence over".

Although they don't realize it, what these people are doing is giving away their power by failing to take responsibility.

So how do we make sure that we recognize and grasp our responsibilities and take back that power? Let's look at some typical examples where people blame circumstances or other people for their failures.

  • Blaming the weather for not going running is never going to get you fit. Buy a treadmill if you can afford it; buy a lightweight waterproof if you can't. Choose a different form of exercise that can be done indoors or tell yourself that you don't care about getting wet.
  • Blaming your customers because they didn't buy your e-book is not going to make your fortune. Maybe they didn't buy it because you didn't explain it to them properly, or they didn't understand the value or not enough of them came to your sales page. Rewrite your copy, improve the value you offer or seek out more traffic. Take some action.
  • Blaming your boss because you didn't get a raise is not going to pay your mortgage. Maybe your boss doesn't think you deserve it, or he can't afford it, or he just hasn't noticed you. Figure out what you can do to get noticed, add more value or find another job. Take some action.
  • Blaming lack of time for not being able to write that novel is never going to win you the Pulitzer Prize. Get up earlier, go to bed later, spend less time watching TV. Ask your family to leave you alone two nights a week. Take some action.

"Circumstances" are nothing more than problems which require solutions. Take the responsibility to find the solutions instead of bemoaning the difficulties.

The next time you find yourself saying "I'd like to do that, if only" give yourself a slap round the head and wake up. Use those words "if only" as a personal challenge to figure out just what YOU can do to overcome that obstacle.

  • About

    headshot: David Beroff in St. ThomasDavid Beroff started writing software at the age of 11, and was teaching Computer Science at Rutgers University by the time he was 18. After designing software for two decades, he started his own Internet marketing firm in '95; one of his company's earliest successes was, a free feedback-form service that was later sold to Wondermill.

    Beroff had bought and sold four million voluntary, opt-in email leads generated with properties like LeadFactory and SuperTAF before the business failed in '07. He is the author of the book, Turn Funny Email into CASH!, and is currently developing a new social media site,

    He has two grown children, and now lives outside of Scranton with his girlfriend and five cats.

  • Contact

    If you have any questions or concerns about our website and/or our advertising, please feel free to email me directly: David (at) Beroff (dot) com.