The Language Of Responsibility
Updated: Jan 3
Do you give reasons or do you make excuses?
An excuse is a story you tell to outsource your responsibility and project it onto someone else, a reason, is a legitimate explanation grounded in reality.
There is a distinct difference between the two and how you use language often reflects what your natural inclination is.
Whether you take responsibility for the choices you make or whether you consider yourself some kind of helpless victim with no say in anything.
Maybe you even hide behind language because you're too afraid to face up to the harsh realities?
When we use certain words and phrases, we often don’t realise that we are reinforcing a narrative, a story we tell ourselves about our place in the world.
The more the story is reinforced, the more true it becomes.
What you fundamentally believe about yourself and the world you live in is deeply embedded in the words you choose to use.
How does saying ‘I won’t’, instead of ‘I can’t’ change the conversation?
How does saying ‘I want to’ or I choose to’, instead of ‘I have to’ change the conversation?
How does saying, ‘I have other priorities’, instead of ‘I don’t have time’ change the conversation?
How does saying, ‘I choose not to’, instead of ‘I don’t have a choice’ change the conversation?
Language gives life meaning, quite literally.
My point being, how you use language and the very words you use can cause a complete shift in paradigm.
It will allow you to clearly sort and establish your priorities and give those around you an opportunity to respond appropriately.
It will take you from being a passive observer to being an active participant in your own life.
From shirking responsibility and shifting blame onto others, to assuming full responsibility for the choices that you make.
You see, you ALWAYS have a choice; the more pressing question is whether you’re willing to live with the consequences.
Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, so you also need to be willing to take the hits.
Living an intentional life means choosing your words very carefully.
To not rely on the limited verbiage most likely ingrained in you at school, or work, by your family or your friends.
Culture also has a way of very intentionally and very subtly (through language) implanting ideas in your head about how significant you are and what you’re truly capable of.
About what’s right and what’s wrong and what’s expected of you.
What you have to decide is whether you want to play that game, or start playing a new game - a game where you have a say in defining all the rules.
Assuming full responsibility is at the very heart of taking back a sense of control over your own life.
It’s also that thing that ultimately allows you to deal with the reality of any given situation.
It’s about shifting your focus from what you believe you can’t do, to what you actually can.
And taking full ownership of your life and the choices you make, regardless of the consequences.
You can probably have anything you want in life, but you can’t have everything, so tread lightly and choose wisely.