Personal Responsibility


I struggle with the idea that some people genuinely need help and others genuinely need to take personal responsibility. At what point do you say “OK, you have the help you need, and now it’s on you”? Do you keep helping them and providing help for them for a significant period of time? Or indefinitely, and run the risk of leading to either dependency or abuse of the help?

Or, do you provide a little help and let people get after it themselves – take responsibility. Let them struggle and grow because that is good for health and wellness and brain development and success. I don’t know the answer.

And if you choose the latter, at what point is enough help enough help? When do you let them spread their wings, so to speak. At what point do you help them if they try and try and don’t get the results they want and need more help? I don’t know the answer to that either.

It’s On Us

I tend to believe, based upon psychological research and logic, ultimately it’s on us. We are responsible for our own thoughts, feelings, actions and outcomes in life. We cannot be dependent on anybody else to get the results we want. That does not mean we should not look for help or ask for help. That does not mean that help is a bad thing. But ultimately, we should be more focused on bettering ourselves, taking action, taking personal responsibility and ownership vs. relying on somebody else. Ultimately, it’s on us. 

And if things aren’t turning out exactly as intended, we can always go back and ask for help. But we shouldn’t point the finger and blame others if things aren’t going our way. We should point the finger at ourselves and take different action if we’re looking for different results. 

No matter what situation in life, we can always get better. We can get the help we need, but we need to know where to begin. We need to know where we want to go. And we need to take action. 

Nature vs. Nurture

This is a nature vs. nurture kind of thing. We are born with certain traits and characteristics, but in my experience, it’s our environments that shape our realities much more than our genes. It’s our decision making, as well as the decisions of others, that influence who we become in life, the habits we develop, the characteristics we display. We are in control, not our biology. We can literally change gene expression, brain structure, and our biological makeup with our thoughts, feelings, and ultimately, our actions. 

So if something isn’t turning out exactly as you would like, take a different course of action. Ask for help, but don’t rely on others. You can do it. You can always change and get better. The same goes for someone in your life who needs help. Give it to them! And if they refuse, keep trying. And if they become dependent, tweak your strategy a bit or back off and let them fail. Let them struggle a bit. Challenge ultimately leads to success. 

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